By Krishna Subramainian, VP Product Marketing, Cloud Platforms at Citrix
As organizations define their cloud strategies, it is imperative to think about the use cases and application workloads that they will run in the cloud, as these will ultimately define your cloud architecture and which solutions to deploy. Workloads themselves vary widely, ranging from traditional n-tier enterprise applications found in the typical datacenter to mobile and social apps born into the cloud. The types of workloads an organization will run in the cloud will be ever changing as business and users’ needs change and evolve. To execute a successful long-term cloud strategy, organizations must holistically think about their workload requirements for present and future applications.
Fundamentally, there are two types of application workload that are run in the clouds, traditional scale-up enterprise applications like SAP® ERP and Oracle® databases and cloud native scale-out applications like mobile apps, High Performance Computing (HPC), Big Data and batch processing. It goes without saying that these different families of workloads each bears its own distinct set of hardware, storage, networking, availability and redundancy requirements and overarching uniquely different architectural characteristics.
Considering the vastly different characteristics of traditional scale-up versus cloud native scale-out application workloads, organizations thinking about building a cloud could have a critical decision to make. Should your strategy be focused on enabling traditional workloads and finding the most suitable cloud orchestration platform for enterprise applications? Or, should you be focused on the cloud native workloads that you want to deploy and invest in a cloud platform more suited for scale-out architectures?
The problem with this line of thinking is that it fails to meet the larger, long-term success criteria because it narrowly focuses on the most present and tangible use cases. It is all too tempting to select an architecture that fits just one scenario, but down the road, when adoption and use cases expand, the solution proves to be ill-suited for handling all of an organizations cloud requirements. Our experience helping over 200 customers launch production clouds has shown us that while many clouds start with those greenfield, cloud native use cases, businesses rapidly realize the need to also incorporate the vast base of existing enterprise application workloads such as database-driven and Windows applications into a standardized cloud architecture.
With an understanding about the importance of workloads, let’s introduce how Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Apache CloudStack can help. CloudPlatform is the industry’s only application-centric cloud solution to reliably and efficiently orchestrate both existing enterprise workloads and cloud native workloads within a single unified cloud management platform. In contrast, other cloud orchestration platforms on the market address only one type of workload, either as an extension of server virtualization or as those designed for cloud native workloads. CloudPlatform breaks that single workload architecture dichotomy by enabling businesses to build one application-centric cloud to reliably and efficiently deliver both enterprise and cloud-native applications throughout their lifecycle.
To handle both types of workloads, CloudPlatform lets organizations group their cloud into multiple availability zones, each comprising resources in one or more physical datacenter.
Within each availability zone, IT can designate the appropriate combination of hypervisor, storage and networking configurations to support a given workloads requirements. Each availability zone can also offer multiple, distinct levels of service, differing in reliability, scalability, security, compliance, performance, cost and other dimensions. The diagram above depicts what the basic architecture components of a traditional workload zone and a cloud native workload zone would consist of. Customers like SAP are already benefiting from this application centric approach to building clouds.
“At SAP we have a range of applications and services that we are running in the cloud, from SAP’s world class Business Suite to the SAP HANA in-memory computing platform. As diverse as these solutions are, CloudPlatform has the unique ability to run them all, despite their fundamentally different architectures. Because of this, SAP and Citrix are able to help our customers make the transition to the cloud regardless of the types of applications they need to run, today or tomorrow.”
– Ralf Lindenlaub, VP Cloud Solutions Services, SAP
Find out how Citrix and NetApp partner together by viewing the Citrix profile on NetApp Solution Connection and watch the video Different workloads, different architectures, one solution and read Future proofing your cloud: Why workloads define cloud strategies.
Follow Krishna on Twitter at @CloudKrishna.