Cloud Extension Center
Designed for businesses looking to propel their infrastructure into the 21st century without incurring massive infrastructure and operational expenses, the PDS Cloud Extension Center (CEC) network is a fabric of data centers and infrastructure across the Midwest enabling rapid innovation, scalability and access to compute resources on-demand.
Access to the PDS CEC network provides compute resources to customers within 25 miles of their primary data center facility — and to a network of facilities outside of their geographic region for disaster recovery or other types of services.
Connected via high speed/low latency fiber, CEC customers have access to enterprise-grade technologies with enterprise-class SLAs — providing cost-effective compute, storage, and network resources suitable for any enterprise application workload.
A CONVERSATION WITH AUSTIN PARK, CTO, PDS
Cloud Computing architecture incorporates tools to view and manage the physical environment in its totality and quickly respond to change in resource demands through automation tools and pre-set policies.
Q: There is a lot of buzz around Cloud Computing, why is that? And what is the true impact Cloud Computing will have?
That’s a really good question. Too often we get asked the question to define Cloud Computing and inevitably we start describing the characteristics of the architecture, rather than its impact or value. I think the real impact cloud computing has on IT, and ultimately the entire economy, is its ability to respond to changing needs with very little friction. This enables organizations to focus more on development and less on operations.
Traditional IT is more focused on keeping the environment stable. It is intentionally disciplined to minimize change through a series of change management bureaucracy, which were needed at a time when human error during the configuration changes accounted for more total down-time than all other sources combined. Usually Cloud Computing architecture incorporates tools to view and manage the physical environment in its totality and quickly respond to change in resource demands through automation tools and pre-set policies. This allows cloud based service providers to deliver everything from sales automation applications to entire datacenters as a service with high efficiency and the elasticity it is commonly associated with. Large organizations have found similar benefits by architecting their own enterprise architecture to a private cloud.
Q: Does that mean people will be less important in managing Cloud Computing environments?
Quite the opposite, people become even more crucial and they need to be highly skilled and competent. The software tools embedded into the Cloud Computing architecture simply magnify their reach and capacity while minimizing errors. People will need to update their skills to be effective in this new environment. Many organizations are experiencing a talent shortage in these new competencies.
Q: You seem to be talking a lot about how the Cloud is built and managed. I thought the Cloud was so you don’t have to worry about that?
Yes. The funny thing about Cloud Computing is it impacts different groups differently. One way to look at the cloud is from the user’s perspective, arguably the most important perspective. For them, the cloud makes it possible to do what they want. It provides a wide range of IT services from applications to entire development platforms; as a service. It responds on demand and gives them a self-service portal to interact with the environment.
Of course, to make that seamless and cost effective while still taking into account security and compliance risks, organizations need to plan out how their own systems are going to interact with resources outside the organization. It is no wonder why 80% of companies are projected to consider and build a Hybrid Cloud environment within the next few years. For that kind of true internal and external interoperability, we’ll need to make further advances in software defined networking. It is the last layer of the architecture that is not truly abstracted yet.
I think the networking world is undergoing a monumental shift, almost as significant a shift as the introduc-tion of switches two decades ago. The current shift is caused by the need for flatter networking architectures as data centers scale out, with less physical complexity so we can truly take advantage of a virtualized stack. One of the proposed solutions for these problems is creating a layer of abstraction between the brains of the network and the gear responsible for routing packets. Once this occurs, it’s possible to put commodity gear inside the data center and smart software on x86 machines that will then orchestrate the network.
Q: So what is PDS doing in the Cloud Computing Space?
PDS is a technology consulting and integration company focused on helping organizations make the most of their IT investments; enabling their businesses to innovate and grow. Our job is to help our clients improve performance and enable them to service their customers more efficiently.
We have a consulting practice that helps organizations evaluate Cloud Computing technology and assist in the planning of an enterprise architecture that maximizes its potential to dramatically increase the velocity of their development cycles and reduce operational costs. For those seeking a flexible growth strategy, we help to augment their Private Cloud environment with a fully managed extension using our
Cloud resources to create a cost efficient hybrid environment. What I’m most excited about are the industry specific Platform solutions we are bringing to customers in the healthcare, government/education and corporate industries through a network of Cloud Extension Centers.
The PDS Cloud Extension Center (CEC) network is a fabric of data centers and infrastructure across the Midwest enabling rapid innovation, scalability and access to compute resources on-demand. Access to the PDS CEC network provides compute resources within a close proximity of their primary data center facility — and to a network of facilities outside of their geographic region for disaster recovery or other types of services.
IT organizations looking for a resource to test emerging technologies prior to investing can leverage a the PDS PoC lab facility as a demo and executive briefing center. The lab is located within the PDS Technology Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Companies wanting to “test drive” technology can demonstrate the following capabilities from the state-ofthe-art facility:
- Advanced infrastructure and application deployment and configuration
- Demo and Proof of Concepts
- Technology and skills proving ground for technologists
- Software Development
- Cloud services and solutions incubation
The PDS lab contains the latest technology and firmware for hands-on interaction and testing giving customers the ability to validate technologies prior to making long term investments. PoCs are able to be completed both remotely or on site. This gives customers the ability to evaluate technology without a significant investment in equipment and time. The PDS PoC lab also contains the latest applications from Microsoft, HP and VMware providing direct access to the latest APIs and plug-ins for early evaluation and testing.
Technology leaders from medium to large sized organizations interested in leveraging the lab can contact PDS directly by 800-966-6090.