Published: August 23, 2013 Version: 1.1 Abstract: This article defines a scenario for a fictitious company that defined the requirements for the firm's new hybrid cloud computing infrastructure. These requirements drove the design decisions that ultimately defined the hybrid cloud infrastructure implementation. This article is part of the Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Solution for Enterprise IT guidance set.
1.0 Introduction 2.0 Organizational Overview 3.0 Problem Definition 4.0 Envisioning 4.1 Solution Definition 4.2 Solution Requirements 5.0 Implementation Strategy 6.0 Summary
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This article includes discussion of solution and public cloud infrastructure service provider requirements, and therefore does not include references to specific technologies. Separate articles within this article set discuss the technologies that were selected and implemented to meet the requirements defined in this article.
This article is one of several articles that are included in an integrated article set called the Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Solution for Enterprise IT. If you haven’t already, before reading this article, please read the Overview article within the article set, as it provides an overview of the article set as a whole, introduces the problem domain for the solution, the audience that it is written for, and the articles contained within it.
This article describes a fictitious enterprise IT organization that integrated resources from a public cloud provider with its private cloud infrastructure to enable a hybrid cloud environment. It details the organization’s original IT environment, the business problems they needed to solve, the solution requirements they defined, and the environmental policies and constraints that drove the design of their solution.
Many organizations will find that they have a similar environment with similar requirements and constraints as the organization discussed in this article. This article is most helpful to those responsible for evaluating and selecting public cloud service providers and integrating resources from public cloud service providers with their own private cloud resources.
Contoso is a manufacturing company. It has a main office and several regional offices that are located all over the world. The regional offices connect to local branch offices. The figure below shows a high level depiction of Contoso's site infrastructure and the connections between the sites.
The IT department had been implementing and maturing its service management processes and had recently started evolving its infrastructure from disparate hardware and software with little automation to a more standardized private cloud infrastructure that would facilitate greater automation for them in the future. They had used the Cloud Infrastructure Solution for Enterprise IT article set when they started their journey to a private cloud infrastructure.
3.0 Problem Definition
Contoso's IT consumers were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with both the cost of the IT services provided by their IT department, as well as how long it took the IT department to provide new IT capability to them. The management team knew how quickly resources could be provisioned with public cloud service providers, but they also knew that they would not be able to provide new IT capability to consumers on their new private cloud infrastructure as quickly for some time.
Though they had recently started their private cloud infrastructure implementation, it would be several months before they were able to provision new IT capability as quickly and automatically as they planned due to the time it was taking them to establish and fully implement their processes and automation. To add to this, the Contoso IT management team knew that it was running out of datacenter space and that 25% of its hardware was reaching end-of-life status next fiscal year. Adding more data center space and replacing servers would increase its cost to provide IT capability even further.
The management team had read Microsoft's The Economics of the Cloud whitepaper. While the management team didn't have enough data to determine whether or not its own cost to operate IT resources was up to ten times more than operating the same IT resources with a public cloud service provider as was presented in the paper, it did suspect that it could operate some of its IT resources for less than the cost of building a new datacenter and replacing its end-of-life hardware. The potential cost savings, coupled with the faster provisioning of IT resources with a public provider, caused them to create a project team to define:
The management team also expected the project team to configure the necessary infrastructure integration, and complete the migration of the low-risk application to the public cloud service provider. Upon project completion, the management team would evaluate its actual costs, and if it truly proved cost-effective, it would define plans to move more applications to the public cloud infrastructure service provider.
After the project team was created, it immediately started to define a solution to Contoso's problems.
Though the project team knew that it would initially migrate only one application to a public cloud provider and establish basic infrastructure integration between its private cloud and the public cloud provider, it also knew that if all went well, it would likely move additional applications to the public provider in the future. Given this, the project team defined the following high-level usage scenarios:
The project team then defined the following high-level short and longer-term goals:
Next, the project team defined the following goals for their pilot project:
The project team members quickly identified the company's time card application as their migration candidate. This was a fairly simple application that employees entered the vacation and sick days that they used into. It contained low business impact information, and did not maintain any personally identifiable information, so Contoso's IT department thought it made a great pilot migration candidate. The project team currently uses the Cloud Services Foundation Reference Model (CSFRM) as a framework for identifying detailed project requirements in their environment.
Since Contoso wanted to select a public provider that could meet both their short and longer-term goals, their detailed requirements were what they used to select a public cloud provider. Due to this, they aligned their requirements to the CSFRM subdomains, and then within each sub-domain, they first divided their requirements into the following categories:
Within the two categories of requirements, Contoso IT further divided its detailed solution requirements into groupings that aligned to the CSFRM components within each CSFRM subdomain. These requirements are listed in the remaining sections of this article.
While the requirements listed below were Contoso’s final requirements, the project team arrived at them only after initially defining all of the requirements listed below, and then adjusting them after incorporating lessons they learned from several different design trial and errors. The requirements were defined to align to Contoso's existing environment, in terms of existing technical capabilities, services, constraints, policies, and processes.
Since Contoso hadn't utilized resources from public cloud providers prior to the start of this project, the project team members first read the Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Design Considerations article, which helped them better understand the various design considerations that were applicable to designing hybrid cloud infrastructure before they started defining their own requirements.
All requirements in the following sections are aligned to the applicable subdomains and components of the CSFRM.
Before integrating public cloud services with its existing private cloud, Contoso identified the following requirements that were based on its existing IT environment and needs of its consumers. The requirements are aligned to the CSFRM Service Delivery components. As mentioned previously, the requirements below are Contoso's final requirements. They had started their project by defining an initial list, but found that some requirements negated others, and eventually arrived at the final list below.
In Contoso's pilot phase they had only a single consumer with a single application, which simplified their service delivery requirements due to the limited scope of the pilot phase. Contoso IT will define unique service delivery requirements for each application that it migrates to the public cloud provider in the future.
Availability and Continuity Management
Information Security Management
Regulatory Policy and Compliance Management
Contoso has a variety of operational processes that are applied to the delivery of all services and technical capabilities within its environment. As a result, it had requirements for how the hybrid cloud infrastructure must apply to and comply with their operational processes. The requirements are aligned to the CSFRM Service Operations components.
Asset and Configuration Management
Release and Deployment Management
Incident and Problem Management
Every organization uses a variety of technical capabilities to manage and support services in their environment. Contoso's private cloud has a variety of capabilities and constraints. The requirements in the sections that follow are aligned to the CSFRM Management and Support components.
Consumer and Provider Portal
Usage and Billing
Deployment and Provisioning
Every organization uses a variety of infrastructure technical capabilities, or infrastructure services, or some combination of the two to host IT services. Contoso has a variety of existing infrastructure service capabilities that support services within its environment. As a result, it had requirements for how the hybrid cloud infrastructure must integrate with its existing infrastructure service capabilities. The requirements are aligned to the CSFRM Infrastructure components.
Compute (Virtual Machine)
The requirements listed in this article were those that Contoso IT defined during the first phase of their hybrid cloud project. The purpose of the project was to enable Contoso IT to begin to understand the capabilities, limitations, and functionality of a hybrid cloud infrastructure where applications, or portions of applications, would be moved to a public cloud provider's infrastructure. Contoso started very conservatively, as it had a very small team that participated in the project, and because it wanted to get a solid understanding of its public provider before migrating more applications to it. The team began by investigating how to integrate the public provider's core infrastructure functionality with its own before it moved additional applications to the public provider.
To begin to familiarize itself with both the public provider, and its hybrid infrastructure, Contoso deployed its time card application during a pilot phase. This applications was a low business impact, simple two-tier application, that did not include any personally identifiable information. The application has a front-end web tier and a back-end database tier. The front-end web tier is accessible from the Internet and both managed and unmanaged devices are allowed access to it. Users authenticate to the application with their corporate Active Directory accounts.
The front-end web tier was originally located in the de-militarized zone (DMZ) of Contoso's private cloud. The back-end database tier was initially located in the internal network of Contoso's private cloud. In Contoso's pilot project, they migrated the web tier to the public provider, and kept the database tier in its existing location. They configured a virtual network over the Internet between their private cloud datacenter and their provider's datacenter. In addition to supporting web tier to database tier traffic, this connection enabled the application to authenticate users with the corporate Active Directory.
Contoso cataloged what they learned during the pilot phase of the project and plans to use this information to help them define the next phase of their project, where they will integrate more comprehensive management and automation capabilities into their hybrid cloud infrastructure. They also plan to begin identifying applications for migration to the public cloud infrastructure service provider's infrastructure during future phases.
The figure below provides a high level view of Contoso's hybrid cloud infrastructure design, which includes the pilot time card application that they initially migrated to the public provider's infrastructure.
This article defined the requirements and constraints of a fictitious enterprise IT organization that integrated resources from a public cloud provider with its private cloud resources to enable a hybrid cloud cloud environment. If you’re interested in reviewing a lab-tested physical design that meets the requirements and constraints listed in this article, you’re encouraged to read the Design article in this article set. The Design article details which specific public provider, products, technologies, and configuration options were selected, out of the hundreds of individual available options, to meet the requirements listed in this article.
The Design article also explains the rationale for why specific design decisions were made. For organizations that have requirements and constraints similar to the organization discussed in this article, the lab-tested design and rationale in the Design article can help decrease both the implementation time and the risk of implementing a hybrid cloud solution. To understand the full spectrum of design options and considerations available to you when designing hybrid cloud infrastructure, you're encouraged to read the Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Design Considerations article. You may also choose to refer back to the Overview article in this article set, or to view other cloud architectural and solution guidance at the Cloud and Datacenter Solutions Hub.
This scenario definition article is important in the story that we're telling on how to create a hybrid cloud infrastructure using a lifecycle approach. In this article Contoso begins their plan for a hybrid cloud infrastructure by considering what their current problems and issues are and what they want to do in order to address them. Then they move forward by setting their requirements for the solution - with the requirements being driven by using the cloud services foundation reference model and a guiding light to help them move the requirements list using a methodical approach.