Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Nathan Day, the CTO of Softlayer and ask him a few questions surrounding cloud computing. Back at Synergy 2010, Citrix launched seven turnkey cloud solutions, focused on practical cloud use cases and delivered by proven cloud providers, that let enterprises take advantage of cloud economics to address pressing business and IT needs. Citrix Cloud Solutions let enterprises leverage existing investments, including third-party virtualization technologies and tools, to migrate application workloads to the cloud without having to overhaul existing applications or their underlying infrastructure. Citrix Cloud Solutions offer an open, pragmatic approach to cloud computing.

In the coming weeks I will focus my blogs around On-Boarding to the cloud and highlight:

  1. How applications are on-boarded to the cloud with minimal effort without the need to re-architect the application and/or network stacks.
  2. How applications can be bundled into application workloads that encompass key components such as directory services, storage, data access and web services that the application may need once on-boarded to the cloud.
  3. That there is no dependency on the premise datacenter virtualization platform when moving to the cloud, where various virtual machine formats are supported enabling heterogeneous format support.
  4. That once on-boarded, application workloads will function as if they are still in the premise datacenter coupled with robust management capabilities.

Let’s have a look at what Nathan Day has to say about cloud computing…

Pete: What is a Cloud to Softlayer?

Nathan: SoftLayer views Cloud as another tool in the toolbox for application owners to deliver their application. Cloud at SoftLayer can be used in conjunction with Dedicated Servers and Virtualized Servers to provide the environment for our customers that fits their business and technical needs.

Pete: What are some hurdles to moving to the cloud?

Nathan: Hurdles to moving to the cloud usually revolve around education of what the Cloud is best used for. The advantages to running a workload in the Cloud should be considered carefully so as to set the proper expectations so that the success of the project is properly evaluated. For example, rapid provisioning of compute environments is a characteristic of the cloud that can be exploited to solve technical challenges, while a workload that has high I/O requirements might not be best suited to running in the cloud.

Pete: How does Citrix’s On-Boarding Solution help?

Nathan: Being able to move a workload to the cloud can help with business, technical, and operational challenges. The consumptive cost model of the cloud could help the bottom line, rapid provisioning could solve scalability issues, or providing additional capacity helps the operations team in the case of power challenged datacenter space.

Pete: In the Citrix On-Boarding Solution, what is your favorite aspect?

Nathan: The ability to extend a network from a local facility to the cloud using the cloud bridge is an awesome part of the Citrix On-Boarding Solution. This enables the ability to obtain compute resources, in effect increasing the power available to run applications and have it appear as if the applications are running locally on the same network segments.

Pete: If I am a VMWare administrator, will On-Boarding help me in moving to your cloud?

Nathan: Absolutely! At SoftLayer our customers can obtain compute resources using a variety of virtualization solutions. Customers have the option of migrating their virtual machine images to a new host running the same hypervisor, or customers may use a V2V tool such as Citrix XenConvert and migrate the Virtual Machine to XenServer. Either solution is available and customers should pick the solution that fits their technical and business requirements.

Well I want to take this time to thank Nathan for his time and for you to check out Softlayer at: http://www.softlayer.com/

For more information on the Citrix On-Boarding Solution: http://tiny.cc/on-boarding_pdf

Stay tuned for some great topics surrounding on-boarding!