Best hosting providers for a medium private cloud



  • Hi all,

    I am trying to find out some good hosting provider to host a private cloud setup. Someone who has very good experience in maintaining Linux and Windows environments.

    Requirements are:

    • Setup a 3 node Private Cloud with 5 TB of Primary Storage and 5TB of Secondary Storage.

    • Private Cloud would run on VMware Enterprise

    • Apart from that 2 x HP Servers, and 1 x HP SAN can be shipped (existing ones) to be joined into VMware Enterprise private cloud (so total 5 nodes).

    • With active/passive firewall services on the private cloud, with VPN

    *Backup services to be used on the 5 TB of secondary storage

    • Offsite backup on different datacenter

    DC location ideally be in the UK.

    I would like to check on the recommendations for a provider and get some pricing from them



  • Why a private cloud at such a tiny scale? Any why VMware for a cloud? This is a tiny fraction of what I would expect for cloud use.

    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2013/06/when-to-consider-a-private-cloud/



  • @Ambarishrh said:

    I am trying to find out some good hosting provider to host a private cloud setup. Someone who has very good experience in maintaining Linux and Windows environments.

    I'm a bit confused. Are you looking for a cloud host or for outsourced IT? Why would a private cloud host have or need experience with Windows or Linux? I feel like something is wrong here, like maybe cloud is being used where it should not be.



  • Before anything you need to determine if this is hosted private cloud or on premises. If going hosted you would normally want to work with the normal providers: Amazon, Azure (haha), Rackspace, etc.



  • @scottalanmiller I am trying to get pricing to compare our current hosting partner. The VMs on these servers will be hosting websites (Drupal, wordpress, SharePoint etc) for our clients. There are 2 major reasons why we cannot do this on premise.

    Our parent company's IT policies doesn't allow any servers hosted in our premises, it has to be on their datacenter, but even if we decide, they don't have the expertise to manage those servers nor can they give 24X7 support, which is another reason why we cannot go with Amazon/Azure. We checked rackspace but the overall solution was pricey.

    Our existing hosting partners, support wise they are excellent, its just that after several years of hosting with them, management now wants to see if their pricing is right or we being charged lot more. Main purpose is to compare the pricing for now and take decisions later on.

    Now why VMware, this is because of the new offer our hosting provider has given us. All our servers are currently in the UK, and as per management request to look into reduced costing, there was a suggestion to move them to Canada, where we will get cheaper pricing. We are currently using Xen. So the hosting provider is giving us vmware+the mentioned specs setup in a bit lower price and we would like to check how is this compared to other providers. Quoting from their own proposal "VMware will provide the automated provisioning tools needed for Windows Sharepoint deployments, as well as a lot more advanced features in terms of high-availability, d/r, replication, and automation", so that we can give advanced solutions to our clients than the current basic hosting. We have queries from clients to have high available, replicated to multiple locations setup.



  • @Ambarishrh said:

    @scottalanmiller I am trying to get pricing to compare our current hosting partner. The VMs on these servers will be hosting websites (Drupal, wordpress, SharePoint etc) for our clients. There are 2 major reasons why we cannot do this on premise.

    I'm not suggesting that you do it on premises, just was unclear what you were looking for as it wasn't mentioned if you wanted on premises private cloud or hosted private cloud. As you were asking for some features that only seemed to make sense for on premises, I thought that that was the direction that you were going.



  • @Ambarishrh said:

    Our parent company's IT policies doesn't allow any servers hosted in our premises, it has to be on their datacenter, but even if we decide, they don't have the expertise to manage those servers nor can they give 24X7 support, which is another reason why we cannot go with Amazon/Azure. We checked rackspace but the overall solution was pricey.

    So the real need here is a fully managed solution by a third party. No reason you can't get that on Amazon or Azure the same as anywhere else. In fact, I would expect ANY quality service to do it that way.



  • @Ambarishrh said:

    Now why VMware, this is because of the new offer our hosting provider has given us. All our servers are currently in the UK, and as per management request to look into reduced costing, there was a suggestion to move them to Canada, where we will get cheaper pricing. We are currently using Xen. So the hosting provider is giving us vmware+the mentioned specs setup in a bit lower price and we would like to check how is this compared to other providers. Quoting from their own proposal "VMware will provide the automated provisioning tools needed for Windows Sharepoint deployments, as well as a lot more advanced features in terms of high-availability, d/r, replication, and automation", so that we can give advanced solutions to our clients than the current basic hosting. We have queries from clients to have high available, replicated to multiple locations setup.

    None of those are reasons to go to VMware. I also don't see why private cloud is a thing that you want. It sounds like what you need is just outsourced IT management and nothing else. Use public cloud, use enterprise cloud (no enterprise cloud runs on Vmware) and look for the features and price you need. If you select VMware you are letting the solution drive the goal, rather than looking at a goal and finding a solution to meet that need.

    Getting VMware alone doesn't give you any of those features. Those are all things that you have to purchase on top of VMware. Meeting your technical request would not meet your intended goals.

    I would step back and think about the actual project goals. A true request should never include technical details because that means the goals have been lost. A business never cares about technical solutions, only the outcome. Let's come up with the real business needs and see if we can come up with a solution that makes sense. From the request made, you'd end up with something very different from what you were hoping for.

    I would not use Rackspace support, their support is not good. I would not rely on them for running my infrastructure. You'll pay one of the highest fees in the industry and get really low end support.



  • Ok, here are the business requirements:

    Need to host drupal/wordpress solutions. Sites ranges from a very small website to very high data intensive sites that might require high availability as well.

    Need to host SharePoint farms, each server farm can start with 3 servers to 12 servers (current max server farm we have).

    Spin up both SP farm and Linux instances quick on demand, looking at some automation tools here.

    24x7x365 Monitoring of Service and Performance reporting

    Offsite backup

    Now VMware was not my choice, i am very much happy with Xen server and current setup. But as I mentioned, i am trying to compare the pricing what i have now with new ones with almost the same setup.



  • @Ambarishrh said:

    Ok, here are the business requirements:

    Need to host drupal/wordpress solutions. Sites ranges from a very small website to very high data intensive sites that might require high availability as well.

    Need to host SharePoint farms, each server farm can start with 3 servers to 12 servers (current max server farm we have).

    Spin up both SP farm and Linux instances quick on demand, looking at some automation tools here.

    24x7x365 Monitoring of Service and Performance reporting

    Offsite backup

    Now VMware was not my choice, i am very much happy with Xen server and current setup. But as I mentioned, i am trying to compare the pricing what i have now with new ones with almost the same setup.

    This is pretty basic, I would not look to go to a cloud here, no cloud features seem to be something that you are looking for and cloud adds complication, risk and cost (even if only in effort and setup.) Doing this with normal virtualization would be easier. VMware will be extremely costly here and any solution involving it will be unnecessarily expensive. Xen or XenServer can do this and anything that VMware can do here, you don't gain any features by switching, only increase the cost (both up front and later.)

    If you are in a position where you need to reduce the complexity in order to make it easier to manage, which seems like this is a requirement, I would seriously look at Scale HC3. It allows you to deploy all of the components, and get HA, very easily and quickly without needing to bring in outside consultants to help with the infrastructure. Of course you still can bring in outside consultants if you want, just the need for it is much less.

    I would say XenServer over VMware for sure. But this sounds like a situation where a much easier to manage solution like Scale makes more sense for you.



  • Getting the support for Windows, Linux, monitoring, etc. can all be done through a consulting firm, no need for that to be combined with hosting. You can separate those pieces.



  • Now, saying that you can do that all separate, someone like @ntg will happily manage everything from the colocation or cloud hosting to the platform (VMware, Xen, Scale, HyperV, whatever) and will manage all of the systems running on top of it.



  • Colocation in Canada is definitely cost effective for very high quality hosting. We've been working with a group of datacenters there for a long time with great results.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Now, saying that you can do that all separate, someone like @ntg....

    coughshamelessplugcough


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