The birth of a Private Cloud

After some discussions with my collegues we decided to make a Private Cloud, it is obviously the future of the datacenter, and it's better to lead than follow, easier said than done...

Our private cloud is intended to serve the following purposes:

  • Testing and developing cloud technologies
  • Deliver wholesale virtual machines to our various development departments
  • Showcase for potential clients

SmartOS seems to be the logical choice if you don’t want to go down the path trodden by Oracle, Microsoft, Citrix, VMware and their rather bloated cloud solutions. There are other good reasons why to choose SmartOS, but is better if you read some of the many other blogs covering this issue. So, SmartOS it is!




Since I have access to our own friendly datacenter, I thought it would be quickest to boot SmartOS on some of their Cisco UCS B200 M2 servers. But here we encountered the first problem, apparently the available network drivers are not SmartOS compatible, and the attempt to make SmartOS run was aborted by the hosting techies. Here is the error they showed me:

Instead of wasting more time I decided to procure some hardware that is verified to work with SmartOS from the "Works for Me" Hardware Configurations page.  The decision fell on the following configuration X9DR7-LN4F from Supermicro, 2 x Intel E5-2620 2GHz 6-core, 256MB DDR3 1600MHz, 6 x 1TB SAS2 discs.

Here is a picture of my first server in an old chieftec chassis, stuffed like a Christmas turkey. Note the USB stick in the bottom, I followed the instructions on Creating a SmartOS Bootable USB Key and then SmartOS booted without problems from the USB key.


The stuffing is now in the process of being moved to a SuperChassis 826BE16-R920LPB chassis so that we are able hot-swap the disks.

Being happy with the chosen configuration I ordered a second server with the same configuration, fully assembled and burn-in tested. The costs amount to about €4,300 for this fine server (Anno Domini 2013). So now we have two similar servers enabling us to test in a real private cloud environment.

The next step is to rack mount both servers in our top-secure-redundant datacenter.

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