We’re back after another incredible Cloud Master Class looking at how to install and configure CloudPlatform in less than one and a half hours. The one complaint on the webinar was that people didn’t know it was happening or couldn’t stay on for the entire time so they missed something they were hoping to see. As always, we recorded the class so you can watch it on your own time.  To make sure you don’t miss future classes, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we keep you up on all the latest news and events.

During the webinar our cloud experts answered over 500 questions and showed countless live demos highlighting the unique features of the product. Here’s a recap of the top 5 questions asked by the audience:

What are the limits of CloudPlatform hosts, clusters, pods and zones?

If you’re not sure what the terms in the question are referring to, don’t worry you are not alone, you can learn about them here.  We often talk about ‘powering the world’s largest clouds’, this is all well and good from a marketing point of view, but what are the actual numbers that CloudPlatform can support?  CloudPlatform 3.0.6 is certified to run up to 30,000 hosts with 4 management servers and up to 3,000 pods. Zones and clusters are a construct of CloudPlatform so there are no additional limits there.

Which version of XenServer works with CloudPlatform?

For those of you who have seen the class, we build the CloudPlatform demo environment on top of a unique virtualized XenServer infrastructure which, while definitely not recommended for any type of production environment, enables us to limit the number of hosts used for the demo.

Today with CloudPlatform we support XenServer 6.0 through 6.1 (and all the feature packs in between). Some of the latest features in XenServer 6.1 are not yet compatible, for instance Storage XenMotion. Of course we are working on this and hope to be able to show some really cool shared-nothing demos on future classes. The follow on question to this is ‘why choose XenServer for your cloud environment?’ which I covered in a previous post.

How do we deliver multiple cloud-based services to our end users?

This question is indicative of a trend we see growing in the cloud computing space this year, the idea of self-service IT delivery. Cloud providers who initially focused on building Infrastructure-as-a-Service clouds, that would simplify and automate provisioning of infrastructure for their system administrators, now need a way to deliver the IT and cloud services that their business users are looking for. Our newly released CloudPortal Business Manager sits on top of your CloudPlatform environment to deliver desktops, applications, storage and platform as a service through a single, managed end-user portal. We expect to see a big focus on this concept of IT-as-a-Service across the industry this year so definitely make sure it’s part of your decision process when building out your cloud environment.

Why use basic zone vs. advanced zone?

Networking is one of the key components to cloud computing and also one of the areas that most often confuses people when they start building their CloudPlatform environment.

Basic Zone: provides a flat networking model, where isolation between tenant VMs is provided using security groups. This type of networking is based on Amazon’s cloud and tends to be adopted by service providers. This model is more scalable because there are fewer physical limits for isolation and in many ways offers more granular isolation at the application level.

Advanced Zone:utilizes VLANs at Layer2 for tenant isolation, but can also support SDN. This networking model is adopted mainly by enterprises that are more familiar with VLANs and want to design their cloud environment within the same framework. There are a number of features including the use of physical firewalls and load balancers that can be implemented with this model but there is the inherent limit of ~4000 VLANs per cloud.

Who/what is SolidFire? 

A big thank you to our friends at SolidFire who joined us on last week’s webinar to show off their SSD based cloud storage. We’re pretty familiar with this solution internally because they power our CloudPlatform demo environment. SolidFire storage solution is architected to guarantee quality of service in a cloud environment by allowing you to assign minimum and maximum IO to specific use cases (can be by workload, user, account, etc.) that guarantee a certain level of performance. If you’re a service provider this means you can offer varying levels of service and charge accordingly and if you’re an enterprise you can guarantee different levels of performance to various departments in your organization. You can find out more about their solution at www.solidfire.com.

There you have it, the top 5 questions from our Cloud Master Class! If you are interested in attending a future Master Classes so you can ask questions of your own, register now for one of our upcoming sessions.

Getting started:

For those of you who are ready to start evaluating the CloudPlatform solution we have a free trial and lots of documentation to get you started:

  1. Download the CloudPlatform 90 day trial
  2. Read our product documentation including Trial Installation Guide, Release Notes, Developer’s Guide
  3. Find all the resources from our CloudPlatform Master Class

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