Identifying Cloud Computing Hardware - dummies

Identifying Cloud Computing Hardware

By Judith Hurwitz, Robin Bloor, Marcia Kaufman, Fern Halper

Costs for your cloud computing data center hardware will vary dramatically depending on the type of workloads you support. Data storage is an excellent example of this variation. When your company is establishing a cloud data center, think about the hardware elements in a different way.

Cooling hardware for cloud data centers

Cloud data centers have the luxury of being able to engineer the way systems (boards, chips, and more) are cooled. When systems are cooled via air conditioning, they require tremendous amounts of power. However, purpose-built cloud data centers can be engineered to be cooled by water, for example (which is 3,000 times more efficient than air in cooling equipment).

CPU, memory, and local disk equipment in cloud computing centers

Traditional data tends to be filled with a lot of surplus equipment (either to support unanticipated workloads or because an application or process wasn’t engineered to be efficient). Surplus memory, CPUs, and disks take up valuable space and, of course, they need to be cooled. The cloud data center typically supports self-service provisioning of resources so capacity is added only when you need it.

Data storage and networking in cloud data centers

Data storage and networking need to be managed collectively if they’re going to be efficient. This problem has complicated the way the traditional data centers have been managed, and has forced organizations to buy a lot of additional hardware and software. The cloud data center can be engineered to overcome this problem. The cloud knows where its data needs to be because it is so efficient in the way it manages workloads. It’s actually engineered to manage data efficiently.

Redundancy in data center hardware

Data centers must always move data around the network for backup and disaster recovery. Traditional data centers support so many different workloads that many approaches to backup and recovery have to be taken. This makes backing up and recovering data complicated and expensive. The cloud, in contrast, is designed to handle data workloads consistently.

Software embedded within the data center

There’s a lot of talk about software in the context of applications, but a considerable amount of software is linked at a systems level. This type of system level software is a big cost in the traditional data center simply because there are so many more workloads with so many operating systems and related software elements.

Cloud data centers have fewer elements because they have simpler workloads. There are some differences in how software costs are managed depending on the type of cloud model. Cloud providers understand these costs well and design their offerings to maximize revenue. It will help you understand pricing by understanding the cost factors for each of the models.