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Introducing Novell Cloud Manager

Soon to-be-released product creates and manages a cloud environment

Written by Jo De Baer and Eric Harper

If you’re organization is like most, you’ve found the realities of virtualization haven’t quite met your expectations. You were probably counting on virtualization to improve flexibility and reduce costs, but after spending money on large capital expenditures and consulting expenses, you'll still be coming up short of the promised ROI.

The private cloud has the potential to transform the virtualized data center by improving efficiency and reducing costs while radically increasing agility and business reponsiveness.

In addition, many application managers complain of long provisioning times, complex processes and poor visibility into application performance. I guess it’s no surprise that current estimates from industry analysts show less than fifteen percent of enterprise workloads have been virtualized.

The private cloud has the potential to transform the virtualized data center by improving efficiency and reducing costs while radically increasing agility and business responsiveness. However, implementing a private cloud presents its own challenges of security, management and sprawl. Until those challenges are addressed, organizations will continue to keep cloud computing in their plans without moving forward very quickly.

Novell Cloud Manager takes these challenges head on with a product that not only builds and manages a private cloud, but does so in a way that’s so easy to use and quick to implement, you could deploy and begin leveraging a private cloud in your own data center in days or weeks instead of months or years.

Novell Cloud Manager is also massively scalable and supports multi-tenancy, making it an ideal solution for building a new public cloud. We'll reserve this service provider focus, however, for a future Novell Connection article.

Provisioning a Service—The Typical Way

To understand the benefits of Novell Cloud Manager, I need you to first step back and think of how a typical service is provisioned in the traditional IT environment. Please note that in cloud terminology, business services are made up of one or more workloads that work together to accomplish a specific task. For example, a Web application could actually be made up of three different workloads: the Web application itself, the presentation layer users see and the back-end database that serves up the data to the application. These three different workloads work together to form one defined service.

So let's take our example here and pretend that you need to find a home for a new Web application you'll be hosting. The typical approach might be to spec out the server you need, get approval, order it and wait for it to show up. Then you'll work with your network and storage IT folks to get it racked, stacked, and properly provisioned. This process, in most enterprises, can take 60-90 days or more! That's two to three months of manual, error-prone, and difficult-to-track processes. Nothing is automated, and there's often a lot of red tape and hand-holding just to get the process started.

Novell Cloud Manager Provides an Easier Way

Now let's look at a similar example using Novell Cloud Manager. We'll start with an easy example—a new business service for file sharing. Instead of going through that whole process I just mentioned, you can make your request online through a Web portal. When you log in to Novell Cloud Manager, you’ll have the ability to select the workloads you need from an online service catalog.

With Novell Cloud Manager, it’s easy to make buying decisions based on your needs and your budget because you’ll immediately know what your costs will be.

Creating a New Business Service for File Sharing

First, you have to name your business service request. Because this is a new file share, we'll call it iFolder. (See Figure 1.) And you have to specify the business purpose, so let's say this is a new file share for the London office. You can also specify a start and stop date for this new business service; of course, we want it immediately.

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