Engage Support Early

This post is part of a series based on a presentation I did to the London VMware User Group on February 25th, 2010 about the reality of Enterprise scale internal cloud platforms. To find other posts in the series, just look for the tag “Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth”.

Last post I talked about challenging convention, but you can go too far in doing so. Depending on the depth of your operational knowledge of the environment you work in, it’s easy to do just that and if you don’t consult with the ops teams until the last minute you could be in for a nasty surprise. And so the best thing to do, even if you think you know how things run, is to get operational representation onboard early. Like day one of the project early.

Without Them You Fail
I don’t really need to elaborate on this point do I? If it’s not obvious that one of the first things you need to identify is who will support/run your platform, you should probably stop reading. Without identifying that and keeping them in loop, your Cloud will fall.

Monumental Change
The thing is, depending on where you are at today, it may not actually be a monumental change. If you have ticked all the boxes from the “Garbage In / Garbage Out” analysis, then you’re probably in for a pretty smooth ride. If you’ve looked at your current conventions and found little change needed to be functional in the Cloud, you’re in great shape. But you still need to ensure there is some kind of operational oversight from the beginning – depending on what features you want to implement, there will be varying degrees of impact to the guest operating systems. I have yet to meet someone who had equal depth in all guest OSes and vSphere and all the disparate infrastructure components and all the extraneous aspects that I am covering in this series. At the very least, a few sets of eyes never hurts.

Summary
That’s probably the shortest part of the series, because it’s probably the most obvious. Let’s change gears and get into some platform details.

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