Interest in private clouds and converged infrastructure continues to grow because organizations can rapidly deploy applications in a scalable fashion. Whether the goal be IT cost reduction, business agility, or any number of other benefits of smarter IT service delivery application delivery. That being said applications don't run on their own and infrastructure is a major consideration for how those applications will run.
When deciding on infrastructure there is always the traditional option of assessing, designing and building the infrastructure piecemeal internally or with a trusted reseller or systems integrator. This approach has advantages. Depending on legacy architecture and business objectives, do-it-yourself fits best in cases organizations that significant legacy equipment with remaining lifecycle, specific vendor ties or loyalties, dominant skill sets in specific vendor hardware, or highly customized requirements.
Another option that is being pushed by the major IT giants is integrated stack architectures. Integrated stacks are some level of vendor integration, testing and certification of various hardware and software components which can include: compute, storage, network, virtualization, automation, and orchestration. Integrated stacks come in many shapes and forms, so let's take a quick dive into the general options:
Single vendor stacks integrate hardware and software from a single IT vendor. Two examples of this are HP BladeSystem and Oracle's Exalogic. Matrix is HP's BladeSystem coupled with HP storage and networking components. Additionally Matrix integrates HP's Cloud Service Automation which means that Matrix 'out-of-the-box' is very close to the full vision of a private cloud. Oracle's Exalogic offering is highly tailored toward Java, and other Oracle focused middleware and applications. It is constructed on Oracle hardware (formerly Sun), middleware, and software. With the automation and orchestration in place within Exalogic , it is very close to full private cloud functionality.