Creating a cloud is not as simple as it sounds. Many companies make the argument that a cloud offers the best of all possible IT worlds – with low costs and easy access for companies, along with great storage and high security. Of course, the trouble is that all clouds don’t play nice together, and many cloud options will not work with others or allow businesses to migrate their data where they want to and when they want to. In many respects, companies are tied to the cloud they choose, and the fact is that there are many different ways to build a cloud.
Take VMware’s vCloud Director, as an example. The vCloud Director can be considered a cloud fabric as it “wraps around” ESX hypervisors and vCenter controllers. The Director can be used for a myriad of functions and enhances the overall stitching together of the cloud, making it a more cohesive structure. Of course, it also costs money. A vCloud Director system has a great deal of add-ons that can be purchased, all at a cost, and will only work with ESX systems – make no mistake, VMware has created the fabric, and no one may alert it.
Another cloud fabric option is one like OpenStack, created by NASA and Rackspace. This cloud fabric is intended to be entirely open-source, which aims to create a one-million server cloud with 60 million virtual machines. Its open-source nature theoretically means cheaper commercial support, but may also mean a less focused suite of applications and products.
No matter the choice of fabric – open or closed, the fact is that there are many ways to create a cloud, and business must find a cloud control that suits their needs and their budget.