Cloud Infrastructure news

The ‘VI’ part of the VIDaaS project is now well underway. Partnering with VMware and using loan hardware kindly supplied by Cisco and EMC (specifically, a UCS blade centre and a VNX 5100 SAN), an initial implementation of the Oxford private cloud is now complete. The virtualisation platform is VMware vSphere, with vCloud Director and vShield running on top to provide the cloud abstraction layer. In the cloud layer we are running several prototype VIDaaS VMs, based on our chosen technologies of Debian Linux, PostgreSQL and JBoss.

While development of the DaaS software continues in parallel, the virtual infrastructure team has been investigating best practice for design and implementation of a production private cloud for Oxford. We will shortly have to return the loan equipment on which we have developed the prototype cloud, but the deployment of our live environment is already underway. For this we’ve selected Dell as our hardware provider, and we’ll be using both their blade and SAN technology (the storage element being provided by Compellent Storage Center).

We’ve also been doing some investigative work into how we might move workloads between the private and public cloud. Workloads in VIDaaS are primarily based on what we are calling project nodes, which are essentially Linux VMs running Postgres and JBoss, and it is these nodes that we have been moving between cloud services. For this initial testing, public cloud facilities have been offered by Colt Technology Services. Colt is a leading cloud service provider, certified by VMware through their vCloud Datacenter Services program. Our collaboration with Colt and VMware has been very fruitful and we have successfully migrated several prototype DaaS nodes between the Oxford and Colt clouds.

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