Cloud-in-a-box, also called cloud-in-a-can, is an all-in-one private cloud solution. It’s a way to deploy cloud services quickly with a mix of hardware and software that function as a single appliance. With normal cloud deployments you still have an environment with multiple devices. That’s different from cloud-in-a-box, which is normally thought of as a single product.
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about the benefits of cloud-in-a-box is speed of deployment. One vendor boasts about getting everything set up in just 12 minutes. In the old days that all might have taken weeks or months. And it would have cost a whole heap more.
If you’re like me, you can remember many hours invested racking and installing devices in the data center and getting them onto the network. Even a small enterprise customer might have had a few cabinets filled with blinking boxes (preferably blinking green) and a service level agreement that guaranteed that an army of technicians and engineers were looking after the IT infrastructure.
Fast forward to today. Smart technology buyers know they can now get all that into one box: compute, storage, network, virtualization and management. It’s called superconvergence, and it’s the way things are going.
In the old days of building a data center, there were experts for everything. You had router experts, switching experts, cabling guys, system administrators, operational support system (OSS) personnel – you get the picture. Purchasing orders went out to multiple vendors and all kinds of equipment were received and unpacked and racked and configured. There were switches and routers and firewalls and load balancers and servers and – it’s tiring just thinking about it!
But IT infrastructure is getting a lot easier. I wouldn’t say that any child could set up a cloud-in-a-box, but a smart child probably could. Experts are no longer required to get your solution into operation. A generalist with basic IT knowledge could do it.
A cloud-in-a-box comes with pretested software and fully integrated components. The compatibility and interoperability issues of the old way of doing things have disappeared.
And not only does it have all the benefits of a superconverged, unified infrastructure, it has all the benefits of private cloud computing along with it.
Eliminating layers of complexity, improving performance and reliability, increasing scalability and overcoming other problems associated with a multiple-device infrastructure are all part of the concept of a cloud-in-a-box solution.