Top 7 requirements for infrastructure cloud providers in 2010
1) Inexpensive storage
The storage industry is built on the back of NAS and SAN, but for cloud providers, the overwhelming preference is for inexpensive local disk, or DAS solutions. … every cloud provider I talk with expects storage to be independent of the host physical server, redundant, and provide support for HA.
2) Open source hypervisor
Service providers know that if they plan to compete with Amazon, Rackspace and other cloud providers, on price, VMware is not a good option. Perhaps because it is being used by Amazon, Xen seems to be the most popular hypervisor for Infrastructure clouds among the service providers
3) Integration with Billing and Provisioning Apps
… most hosting companies and MSPs have billing and user management approaches that they have built-up over the years. Every one of the companies I’ve spoken with expect their cloud solution to plug into these existing systems.
4) Image-based pricing to support both Windows and Linux
Most service providers I talk to expect Linux to make up the majority of the images they run int he cloud, but they still need to make sure the cloud will support Windows, and all of the associated technology necessary to manage licenses.
5) Simplicity of administration by end0users
Plenty of end-users will leverage a Clouds API to automatically provision and manage virtual machines, but that doesn’t change the need for a simple UI. Most hosting companies have a huge number of end-users who are used to working with control panels, and an Infrastructure cloud needs to make life easy for these end-users.
Over the next few years, many of the large providers of dedicated servers will be offering their customers the option to transition to virtual machines running on a computing cloud. For this to be successful, VMs need to offer better reliability than dedicated machines at a lower cost.
7) Turn-key solution
… service providers today can implement a completely integrated cloud stack on commodity hardware, and receive ongoing maintenance and upgrades over the years. Equally important, service providers can license software on a consumption basis, so upfront investment is negligible.
Incidentally, Mr. VMOps Product Manager, you may wish to provide just 3 more requirements to make this a Top 10 requirements list.