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A bit of background.

We run a small in house data center: about 20 virtualized servers (Debian Lenny, Windows 2003, Windows xp and Windows 7 machines), in a Citrix Xen pool running on 3 host servers and a SAN, plus a few standalone machines running legacy or specialized software that can't be vritualized.

There is a big push everywhere now to move to cloud so we considering Ubuntu Cloud.

I was wondering what are the pros / cons of running virtualized pool vs cloud to run all those machines?

Thank you

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That's a vague question that is highly subject to opinion and has a huge list of answers ranging on topics of security, cost, access, backup/restore, and so on. How about rewording and picking a specific usage scenario and a specific cloud hosting solution. This is Q&A and not meant for a long back and forth discussion on a general topic like "what are pros and cons of cloud VM hosting". --I say this in the nicest way :) – Bret Fisher Mar 9 '11 at 19:21
Hi. How would you suggest I rephrase it? I mentioned specifically what I have now, what we use it for and how would that fare in Ubuntu Cloud? What more should I specify to make it less ambiguous? – konung Mar 9 '11 at 21:29
one mans pro, is another mans con - What are you most comfortable with? – Mister IT Guru Apr 23 '11 at 17:37
Did you pick an answer yet? – Mister IT Guru May 1 '11 at 15:52

Your answer:-

Do what you feel is best for your environment, but apply some of these rules.

  • Make sure all your critical data can be retrieved in minutes, rather than hours - I'm thinking to use the SAN, and replicate that off site.

  • Make sure all your critical services are replicated, and do not rely on the same bare metal. - So, you primary mail server and your backup mail server virtualised on different systems

Basically, your main aim should be to provide all the services that the business needs to run available, and redundant, and in the event that you screw up, (as a sys admin, you know that all tech issues are some how your fault!), it's okay because you have backups, and redundant systems .... right? How you execute it, is up to you.

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Mister IT Guru - no offense but you stated the obvious I'm looking for a list of pros/cons to a very specific question. What you mentioned is a generality that applies to any IT infrastructure project, i.e. I'm using SAN right now for our virtualized pool and I'll use it for cloud if we switch. I was looking for a list of benefits of switching to cloud other than following a bunch of buzzwords. – konung May 2 '11 at 18:05
No offence taken. I guess what I should say really if the pros and cons are alien to you - then I suggest that you make use of the technologies you wish to use on a small scale, and get experience using then. If you can then use that experience to solve your current problems, then that technology is for you - pros and cons on paper are not really the best way to judge what will work, experience is. – Mister IT Guru May 9 '11 at 10:37
I see your point, but before I start spending time and money on the project ( I would need at least a couple of used servers, and a few weeks to dedicate to this), I wanted to figure out if it was worth it for the company ( my desire to learn new technology, is not necessarily a good reason for our company to spend money and time on a project that will go nowhere, that could be used elsewhere) – konung May 10 '11 at 21:57
It will always be worth it for the company to know that their IT personal are constantly looking at ways to better the system behind the scenes - If management do not understand that, then feel free to rewrite their internal registers until they do! You have to spend time testing and running new technologies even if you will never use them, because it makes you a better IT person, and you'll find a use in the future for that experience. But looking from a pure managment perspective, I now see you point! Go forth and grab as much knowledge as you can! – Mister IT Guru May 17 '11 at 12:50

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