Define the Services and Requirements


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Define the Services and Requirements

The first module of the course focuses on the big picture and requirement collection phase. Topics discussed include:

  • How to identify services that have to be offered by the data center infrastructure
  • Identifying the reliability and recovery requirements
  • Multi-DC considerations
  • DC placement (on-premises or colocation)
  • How to collect the infrastructure requirements

1:09:31 Start the Planning Process by Collecting the Requirements

Before you start designing cloud infrastructure, or even selecting the products you want to use to implement it, you MUST know what services you want to offer, who your customers are, and what workloads you’re expecting.

Introduction 12:45 2019-09-07
High-Level Decisions 12:52 2019-09-07
Build or Buy 18:39 2019-09-07
Technical Guidelines 14:05 2019-09-07
Collect the Requirements 11:10 2019-09-07

29:00 Requirements Collection Q&A

We discussed requirements collection at length in Autumn 2016 Q&A session

Collecting the Requirements 29:00 2016-09-07

1:47:53 Network Complexity

Russ White started the 2018 course with a presentation on a topic that should be mandatory for anyone claiming to be a network designer or architect: understanding and managing network complexity.

Understanding Complexity 21:40 2018-04-26
Complexity in Network Engineering 20:02 2018-04-26
Complexity and System Failure 26:35 2018-04-26
Data Center Examples 16:53 2018-04-26
BGP in Data Center Fabrics 22:43 2018-04-26
Slide deck 1.5M 2018-04-21

1:18:48 Impact of Open Source in Data Centers

Open-source software is becoming a vital part of data center infrastructure. In this section, Scott Lowe described the impact of open-source on data center design and data center infrastructure, touching on a variety of subjects ranging from Linux & Linux networking to OpenStack and Docker.

This section should help you understand open-source products might fit in your data center design (if at all) and how they would impact other data center design aspects.

Impact of Open Source in Data Centers - 2017 513K 2017-03-30
Open Source in Data Centers 9:04 2017-03-31
Linux 13:08 2017-03-31
Containers 23:04 2017-03-31
OpenStack 9:30 2017-03-31
Open Source - Conclusions and Questions 24:02 2017-03-31

Free items Focus on Business Needs, not Technology

As engineers we love to dive deep into technology challenges without considering the real business needs driving the requirements - a topic I explained in several conference talks.

What Really Matters Is Your Business (PLNOG 2013)
From Traditional Silos to SDDC 1.5M 2014-09-14

Design Assignment: Define the Services and Infrastructure Requirements

In this assignment you'll define the services and estimate infrastructure requirements for a new data center.

Design Assignment: Define the Services and Requirements 154K 2018-08-13
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Sample Solutions from Course Alumni

ACME (VDI deployment) 225K 2018-08-09
Kinoma (global retail company) 238K 2018-08-09
Umbrella Corp (an e-commerce company) 66K 2018-08-09

Optional Self-Study Materials

Related Blog Posts

These blog posts published on provider more details on topics discussed in this module.

Typical Enterprise Application Deployment Process is Broken
Long-Distance vMotion, Stretched HA Clusters and Business Needs

2:08:34 Whiteboarding and Live Q&A Sessions

In the live Q&A sessions we covered a variety of topics including:

  • Inevitability of lock-in
  • Viability of CloudStack, ODL and ONOS
  • VMware Integrated Openstack and VMware Cloud on AWS
  • The role of server CPU speed in requirement gathering phase
  • Estimating storage requirements
  • What is "mid-sized enterprise data center"?
  • Does Huawei matter in data centers?
  • OpenStack versus ODL versus ONOS
Lock-In 47:21 2016-09-07
OpenStack 27:36 2016-09-07
Generic Questions and Requirements - Whiteboarding 53:37 2017-03-31

5:40:00 Designing a Private Cloud Infrastructure

Even though you don't need more than the planning phase section from Designing a Private Cloud Infrastructure webinar at this point, you might want to watch the whole webinar before proceeding.

2:42:00 Enterprise IPv6 - the First Steps

If you’re not familiar with the basics of IPv6, I’d strongly recommend watching the Enterprise IPv6 – The First Steps webinar even if you don't plan to introduce IPv6 in your data center.

1:04:00 Sizing the Network

There aren't any simple algorithms to determine link bandwidth sizing. The result is that links are often grossly over-capacity, which wastes money. This webinar describes methods you can use to determine link utilization and size the links in your network.

1:20:19 Creating a Great Presentation

It doesn't help if you have the best ideas in the world if you can't present them, so I asked Marjan Bradeško (NIL Data Communications) to explain how to create a great presentation.

Creating a Great Presentation 4.1M 2016-09-06
Creating a Great Presentation 80:19 2016-09-07
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
Confessions of a Public Speaker (Scott Berkun)
100 Things Every Presenter Needs to Know About People
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

Further Reading Recommended by Course Attendees

Course attendees and instructors recommended these external resources they found useful in their requirement gathering and planning process.

Don't size your workload in cores and GHz] (recommended by Harindha Fernando)
AWS Application Architecture Center (recommended by Michele Chubirka)

Excellent starting point if you're looking for requirement specification, server/VM sizing and application architecture blueprints

Negotiating services SLA (focused on negotiations with SalesForce)

This document is behind a Gartner paywall, but probably well worth the $195 they're charging (recommended by Michele Chubirka).

Availability and Different Ways of Calculating It] (recommended by Jon Radel)
System Reliability and Availability

How can you calculate overall system availability from component availability (recommended by Jon Radel)

Scalability Rules book

Awesome book focused on application scalability. Includes chapters on increasing availability by decoupling failure domains throughout the whole application stack (recommended by Ivan Pepelnjak)

These webinars describe topics related to this module. Some of them have been included in the recommended or optional self-study materials; you might want to watch all of them.

Designing a Private Cloud Infrastructure 5:40:00
Data Center Infrastructure for Networking Engineers 10:40:00
Sizing the Network 1:04:00
Enterprise IPv6 - the First Steps 2:42:00
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