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Argon Systems Blog

Microsoft Private Cloud Experts

Proof-of-Concept in a Box

After engaging with a lot of new cloud customers, it was clear practically every customer wanted to try and test a private cloud solution before buying. They wanted a “Proof of Concept” cloud system in their datacenter. Building out a test cloud was an expensive proposition.

Cloud customers typically have an operating environment which has been running for years. Decades in some cases. These are business critical production environments. Most customers are only partially virtualized, which makes testing cloud also labor intensive.

Virtualized environments are different. What runs on a physical host may not perform the same in a virtualized environment, and potentially not work at all without some (or a lot of) work. This requires software upgrades and reinstalls. Cloud environments add another layer of new technologies and unknowns into this mix.

The proof of concept phase may last many months.

What Customers Want and Need

Customers really need to stand-up a test cloud environment, and begin the process of testing their services in a cloud environment. The cloud environment will include technologies like:

  • New Storage systems including autotier technologies with SSD drives and HDD drives
  • Multi-tenancy and Virtual Networking Isolation
  • Hyper-V server virtualization and the layers of technology involved
  • System Center and its various components and system services
  • Azure Pack for Self-Provisioning and management
  • Just setting up this hardware and software infrastructure can take months at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars even at the smallest cloud configurations.

The Argon Cloud Jumpstart

To make this conversion less expensive and we created the Argon Cloud Jumpstart.

This product is a complete Microsoft Private Cloud solution with all the servers, switches and hardware products from 13 hardware vendors and dozens of software systems to create a cloud-in-a-box solution. The entire system is self-contained in a mini-rack. To use this product, plug the power cord into the wall and power it up. All the software is pre-integrated and ready to use.

The system looks and operates like Azure, but is sitting completely in your own facility, and completely under your management and control. Log into the Azure portal and begin spinning up Virtual Machines.

From there you can launch Windows or Linux VMs, and start the process of testing your own application environment inside your own cloud. It is important to test how your IT environment will behave inside your own cloud. You can make sure you applications perform well.

Move to Production

Once your tests are complete, and your services work inside your new cloud, Argon Systems has an upgrade path to production. The JumpStart can then be the deployment and management head for your new cloud infrastructure. Argon Systems provides additional compute modules which grow you infrastructure one block at a time.

Another option is to begin the process of creating your new cloud infrastructure and using the Jumpstart as a test and training environment.

Now there is a new option to help get you through the validation phase faster and get your cloud infrastructure up and running in less time. Cloud infrastructures can be quite expensive, and even the Proof-of-Concept projects can cost a small fortune, but this does not have to be the case.