Hey Private Cloud Architecture fans, I’ve got some great news – the Private Cloud Solutions Hub is now live and ready for you to check it out. Our goal for the Private Cloud Solutions Hub is to give you one place where you can find all the private cloud architectural information you need to optimize your private cloud deployments.

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Since the Private Cloud Solutions Hub is new, I’d like to walk you through the sections of the site and describe what they are and what we have in mind. I also would like to ask you to think about our plans and what we’ve done and then let us know if there is anything you think we should add, remove, improve, or change.

You can write to me at tomsh@microsoft.com or add a comment at the end of this blog post. I get the feed for this blog and know when there are comments and will respond to you really fast! (you’ll be amazed Smile)

The Featured Articles Section

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The Featured Articles section will always include three articles – the main article on the left will always be there, as this is our key page that links to all of the architectural reference material we put together for private cloud. On the right side of the Featured Articles section there will be two “articles of the week”. Each week we will rotate one of these articles out and add a new one so that the Featured Articles section appears fresh and provides you new value each week. At the bottom of the Featured Articles section is a link to the Microsoft Private Cloud marketing content and there you will find great information which includes case histories, success stories, white papers, and lots more content that you can use when you begin learning about the Microsoft Private Cloud.

The Private Cloud Architecture Library

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The Private Cloud Architecture library is the place where you’ll find the majority of our content. The library “stacks” are represented by seven tabs:

  • Getting Started – The Getting Started tab contains content aimed at getting your started with private cloud and private cloud architecture. There are several overview articles that help you understand the private cloud landscape and introduce you to the terminology, concepts and goals of private cloud. If you’re new to private cloud, then start with these articles.
  • Architecture – The Architecture tab contains a number of articles that will inform you about key architecture concepts and requirements for a well designed private cloud solution. Examples of content you’ll find here are “Private Cloud Architectural Principles, Patterns and Concepts” and “Private Cloud Planning Guide for Infrastructure as a Service”. This architectural content will give you a firm understanding of the architectural underpinnings of a successful private cloud deployment and will benefit just about anyone interested in private cloud.
  • IaaS – The IaaS tab focuses on the Infrastructure as a Service cloud service delivery model. After you learn about private cloud architecture, you’re then ready to understand what it takes to build out a well designed Infrastructure as a Service solution. Examples of content you’ll find here include “IaaS: Service Delivery Modes” and “IaaS: Physical Platform”. IaaS is the foundation of all private cloud deployments and so it’s critical that you have a firm grounding in IaaS – the information on this tab will help you get there.
  • Security – The Security tab includes information about security considerations for the private cloud. Security is a cross-cutting issue that injects itself into all architectural components of a private cloud solution. Examples of information you’ll find in this section include “Security in the Private Cloud” and “Identity and Access Management in the Cloud”. While private cloud shares many of the security requirements found in a traditional datacenter, there are some things that are specific to private cloud so you’ll want to make sure you have a good foundation in private cloud security so that your private cloud can be even more secure than your current LAN based datacenter.
  • Management – The Management tab contains information that you’ll need to know about to manage an efficient private cloud deployment. Examples of information you’ll find here include “Managing the Private Cloud” and “Monitoring Datacenter Environments Overview”. The ability to manage a potentially complex private cloud infrastructure is crucial and the information in this section is targeted at helping your manage that complexity.
  • Infrastructure – The Infrastructure tab contains material that will help you understanding the physical infrastructure that supports your private cloud. Examples of content you’ll find here include “Core Server Infrastructure” and “Network Architecture for Private Cloud”. You’ve got to have a good handle on the physical infrastructure required for private cloud before you begin your plans to build one out.
  • Service Management – The Service Management tab includes articles and other types of content that focuses on managing the services you provide through your private cloud. Service delivery is a core tenet of private cloud and so this content is especially topical, since you’ll be changing your mindset from a focus on infrastructure and operations (and keeping the lights on) to one of a service provider. Examples of content you’ll find in this section include “Service Catalog Management for the Cloud” and “Capacity Management for the Cloud”

So those are the “stacks” we have in the private cloud architecture library right now. I should clear that at this time our primary focus is on private cloud architecture. There are a number of reasons for that, but the most important reason is that you need to have a firm grounding in the architectural underpinnings of private cloud before you even think about building out a production private cloud deployment. It would be like building houses and office buildings in your city without a building code.

Sure, you could do it, and even some of the houses and office buildings would be pretty safe and attractive. But there is also a very good chance that there would be a large number of unsafe and unattractive homes and business in your area. Think of the private cloud architectural content as being the “building code” that helps assure a safe, high quality private cloud deployment.

With that said, the name of the site is the Private Cloud Solutions Hub – and a solution means that we cover private cloud from end-to-end, which includes implementation information. Over time, the Private Cloud Solutions Hub will expose new tabs that include information on how to build out private cloud based solutions. We know you want that information too and it’s on our radar to provide you that guidance.

The Community Section

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The Community section has two subsections:

  • Weekly Community Content – This subsection will include a link and an introduction to a piece of community content that may be hosted on the TechNet wiki, on the Private Cloud Architecture Blog, or perhaps a blog or web site from someone activity in the private cloud architecture community. This link will be updated once a week.
  • Private Cloud Community – This subsection includes a list of places where you can participate in the private cloud architecture community. We participate in a number of venues because we know that everyone has his or her favorite way to participate in online communities. Here you will find links to our presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, the TechNet wiki, the TechNet forums, and other places. Over time we anticipate that this section will grow as online communities evolve and grow.

The Training Section

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The Training section will include two or three links to key training opportunities that will help you ramp up on private cloud. We know that IT budgets are tight these days and so we’ll try to find and list free training opportunities. But if we identify some high value for-pay training, we’ll call those out too. This section will be updated on an ad lib basis.

The Microsoft Virtual Academy Section

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The Microsoft Virtual Academy section highlights a selection of training classes on Microsoft virtualization technologies. These are free classes that help you get up to speed on a number of aspects in Microsoft virtualization. I’ve taken several of these classes and they’re great introductions to the topics they cover. We anticipate that the catalog of classes will increase over time and that the classes will become increasingly sophisticated. We will update this section as new classes are offered by the academy.

The Blogs, Forums and Windows Azure Section

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The Blogs, Forums and Windows Azure section contains information about blogs, forums and Windows Azure that is related to private cloud. The Blogs section includes a list of key blogs that are related to products and technologies that power the private cloud. The forums section contains links to forums that will be helpful in discussing and solving problems related to private cloud and the Windows Azure section contains links to Windows Azure related information that will help you in your path from private cloud to hybrid private/public cloud.

Summary

There you have it – an overview of the Private Cloud Solutions Hub, how it works and what its all about. I hope that you like what you see when you visit the Hub. Even more, I hope that you’ll think about how we can improve the Hub to make it more useful to you. What are we missing? Are there topics that we didn’t cover that you think are vital to understanding and architecting the private cloud? What would you like to see in the future? More video? More audio? More live webcasts? More of everything or less of everything? We want to know! Send me a note at tomsh@microsoft.com or enter a comment at the bottom of this post and we’ll do everything we can to give you what you need.

Thanks!

Tom
Tom Shinder
tomsh@microsoft.com
Principal Knowledge Engineer, SCD iX Solutions Group
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