Sun's "Dynamic Infrastructure" Attributes

Seems like "DI" is everywhere today. It has been a set of core principles at Sun since 2006. It has helped us help customers move toward's cloud-like and enabled environments and continues today in practice. I wanted to review some of the principles we started with back in 2006 and one's that I still believe are as relevant today as then.


You can also listen to a podcast at http://blogs.sun.com/jasoncatsun/entry/defining_dynamic_infrastructure_a_podcast linked in a prior blog.


So what are some of these principles? With Sun's DI we started with four basic ones...


USE AS MUCH AUTOMATION AS YOU NEED.


Whether its bare-metal provisioning or data-center wide orchestration (ala OpenDI -- see http://opendi.kenai.com and now http://veriscale-manager.kenai.com) there's always tradeoffs, spin up time, etc.


START WITH STANDARDS AND DEFINE YOUR OPERATING CONTRACTS.



Standards are important even in the cloud. The fact that public cloud infrastructure provides a strict model and operating contract is evidence of that. Standards also translate to the run-time environment and the definition of the 'stack." See "Standard Operating Environment" at Sun's DC reference guide.


THE NETWORK IS CRITICAL -- AND NOW THE STORAGE NETWORK!


For me and some others - -the network has always been the computer. In dynamic data center environments its role cannot be taken for granted -- it's critical for operation. A solid network infrastructure and architecture that supports static and dynamic services such as Sun's Service Delivery Network Architecture is a way to do it.


MODULAR DEPLOYMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE SCALING -- OR PODS.


Constraints are a given -- and they play a critical role in defining the deployment architecture. The deployment platform is now inseparable from the hardware itself as we move towards highly virtualized infrastructure. Being able to define the characteristics of the platform is critical, and leads to a well-defined scaling and capacity model that can be versioned and changed over time.


pod_constraints_01.jpg


Better yet, how can this deployment architecture "snap in" to your data center as you need to grow? in-rack networking? Pre-racked/pre-cabled?? etc?


Sun's including the DI concepts as part of its refresh and introduction of the Veriscale (follow on twitter ) architecture platform. Look for more soon -- but you can bet these principles are still important!

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Thoughts from Jason Carolan -- Distinguished Engineer @ Sun and Global Systems Engineering Director - http://twitter.com/jtcarolan - http://archmatters.wordpress.com

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