Creating Your Own Cloud

‘The Cloud’, it’s one of those phrases that is difficult to avoid. I’m sure that, like us, you receive lots of emails telling you how your IT would be easier and lower cost to manage in a public cloud.

The interesting thing is that you may already have many of the components to build your own cloud. As this uses your own infrastructure you could get all of the benefits of ‘the cloud’ whilst still having full control of the data.

Phil Kennerdell, Abtec’s Sales Director, was instrumental in helping Darlington Building Society (read the case study here) centralise its IT infrastructure. He gives us his top tips for creating your own cloud.


  • Audit your IT resources. The first place to start is to build an inventory of all of the systems, applications, hardware and network used in your organisation. Record which users access those resources, and where they physically reside. Review the capacity of your existing data centre, does it have the capacity to take on all of these new resources or do you need some new servers?


  • Once you have your database of resources the next step is to prioritise them. This could be based on how critical they are to the business’ operations. A good tip here is to separate the objective of the technology from the technology itself. For example, each office may need to make and receive calls, but that doesn’t mean that each office needs a telephone system. Next, many of these resources will be working in a virtualised server environment, check to see if the resources can operate in that environment.


  • Creating your private cloud will put extra demands on your network. Do you have the right bandwidth to deliver those resources? Do you need to add quality of service to the network to mitigate potential latency issues with applications? Rigorously planning your network will ensure users will continue to get a great experience when using those resources.


  • Don’t try to move everything over to your private cloud at once. Take a phased approach. Base this on the prioritisation you identified earlier. A good tip is to start by moving the lowest priority items over first. Give yourself plenty of time to test those resources to ensure they work properly in your data centre. Once tested move on to the next phase.