Cloud computing has become an extremely attractive area of research and practice over the last few years. An increasing number of public and private sector organizations have either adopted cloud computing based solutions or are seriously considering a move to cloud computing. However, there are many concerns about adopting and using public cloud solutions. Hence, private cloud solutions are becoming an attractive alternative to a large number of companies. We initiated a project aimed at designing and setting up a private cloud infrastructure in an academic and scientific environment based on open source software. One of the key objectives of this project was to create relevant material for providing a reference guide on the use of open source software for designing and implementing a private cloud. The primary focus on this document is to provide a brief background on different theoretical concepts of cloud computing and then elaborate on the practical aspects concerning the design, installation and implementation of a private cloud using open source solution. It is expected that organizations looking at the possibilities for implementing cloud solutions would benefit from getting the basics, and a view on the different aspects of cloud computing in this document. Defining the cloud computing; analysis of the economical, security, legality, privacy, confidentiality aspects. There is also a short discussion about the potential impact on the employee’s future roles, and the challenges of migrating to cloud. The main part of this report is concentrating on the practical infrastructure related questions and issues, supplied with practical guidelines and how-to-dos. The main topic was the design of the server and network infrastructure, and the distribution of the roles over the servers belonging to a private cloud. The management of the instances and the related subjects are out of the scope of this document. This document is accompanied by three supplemental books that contain material from our experiences of scaling out in the virtual environment and cloud implementation in a physical environment using the available server and networking equipments. The conclusions drawn from the reported project are that the private cloud solutions are more customizable, but have greater installation cost, and lower flexibility. They are at an early stage, not much predictable, still too hard to install, manage and maintain for an administrator without an advanced knowledge and practical skills in different aspects of advanced of IT infrastructure solutions. There is a steep learning curve for the whole organization, for both users and administrators. Public clouds are more mature, well documented, rich with features, and easy to use. But the effort required for running a private cloud is having a downward tendency, and is expected to meet the level of effort required for implementing solutions on a public cloud at some point in time. For organizations not familiar with the technology used for private cloud implementations, a better choice would be going for a public cloud implementation, meanwhile learning and working with the technology, building the operational skills while waiting for it to be more mature.
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