Steadfast Hosts Cloud Consulting Day, Engineer Answers Linux/Unix Private Cloud FAQs

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In preparation for Cloud Consulting Day on November 5th, Marc Schulz, Managing Implementation Engineer, addresses most Frequently Asked Questions regarding private cloud on Linux/Unix.

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Virtualization can be a very powerful tool to bring efficiency and flexibility to an environment.

Steadfast, a leading provider of private and public cloud hosting, colocation, disaster recovery and managed services, is hosting Cloud Consulting Day on November 5th. It will be an opportunity for businesses to ask engineers about cloud technology. In preparation for this event, Marc Schulz, Managing Implementation Engineer, addressed frequently asked questions regarding Linux/Unix and the Private Cloud.

Schulz compiled the most frequently asked questions about Linux/Unix-based private cloud over the last several months. He addressed the most prominent questions this October to help prepare businesses for Cloud Consulting Day, November 5th. Marc specializes in Linux and Networking deployments for Steadfast's midwest region.

"Virtualization can be a very powerful tool to bring efficiency and flexibility to an environment," said Schulz. "Combined with traditional dedicated environments it's becoming a necessary part of a companies IT deployment and should be a big part of infrastructure discussions going forward."

Steadfast's Cloud Consulting Day is now accepting appointments; sign up is available through the website.

Linux/Unix Private Cloud: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What options are available to me for virtualization on Linux/Unix?
A: There are many open and closed source options available on the platform. You have free products such as KVM, Xen, OpenVz, and paid products such as VMware, Citrix Xenserver, and Virtuozzo.

Q: What are the advantages/disadvantages of enterprise virtualization products such as VMware or Citrix Xenserver?
A: Going with an enterprise virtualization product such as Xen or VMware has many advantages:

  • A large user base and community have given input back into the product
  • Platforms designed specifically for ease of use
  • Advanced GUI and API related configuration
  • Compatibility with other enterprise tools such a Veeam backups (Vmware and Hyper-V)
  • Official support channels / contracts to ensure you aren’t left in the dark

It also has some disadvantages:

  • Pricing is often expensive for the advantages especially as it relates to staffing
  • Locked in to a proprietary platform
  • Contract renewals add up over time

Q: Does Linux/Unix virtualization support Microsoft products?
A: Yes. Microsoft products are supported on Linux/Unix virtualization platforms. Microsoft has provided through support over the years to ensure that drivers for each virtualization platform are fully supported.

Q: How should I go about choosing the correct platform?
A: Start by gathering up information about your specific environment:

  • CPU (# of Cores, processing ghz per core, and actual utilization percentage)
  • Memory (used vs. actual)
  • Disk Space (used vs. actual)
  • Software licenses in use
  • Operating systems in use
  • Network Capacity

The above is the bare minimum your private cloud provider should be asking you to start designing your environment.

Next, you’ll want to determine if you’d like an additional layer of support for your private cloud. Free open source virtualization is often limited to community-based support as opposed to contracted professional services. Your cloud provider will likely have experts on hand, but for peace of mind you may want to have virtualization vendor contracted support.

Lastly I’d look into what administration tools are available for the platform. Will you need to configure the majority of the environment from the command line? Does your cloud provider have it’s own management system? Will you be using the vendor provided management tools? What features do the management system/tools have?

Q: Any other things I should be looking at/asking?
A: The best thing you can ask when working with a provider is “is it appropriate to virtualize everything?” Often providers are so intent on getting you into a cloud environment they forget that they should be providing the solution that works best for all facets of your environment. Remember, the best solution is always what’s best for your business.

For other questions on Linux/Unix cloud environments, sign up for an appointment on Cloud Consulting Day, November 5th.

About Steadfast
Founded in 1998, Steadfast is a Chicago-based IT infrastructure provider with fully redundant data centers in Chicago and Edison, New Jersey. Steadfast’s services include managed cloud hosting, dedicated servers, colocation, hybrid hosting, and disaster recovery services. These services are all highly customizable, designed to give customers maximum flexibility. By combining services, enterprises can create unique infrastructures tailored to specific requirements. Steadfast’s customers include organizations of all sizes, from small and medium businesses with single cloud hosting accounts, to larger companies with multi-gigabit setups. Steadfast prides itself on its “Always there” philosophy, with comprehensive managed services and support.

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Jamie Madison
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