In our test lab, we operate a powerful server cluster based on the IBM PureFlex system
currently consisting of 12 compute nodes (24 CPU cores, 256GB memory each) and a 24-disk V7000 storage system, which we regularly upgrade and expand. The whole cluster is attached to the university back bone via redundant 10 gigabit network links. Currently, we are upgrading our computing cluster with two new powerful server nodes and additional storage.
We operate this infrastructure as a private cloud that offers IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) and PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) services. For this we use the open source cloud operating system Open Stack to manage, and virtualize, the compute and storage resources. Beyond operating our infrastructure, we use Open Stack as a research subject to develop deployment automation solutions and security concepts for multi-tenant enterprise applications. Our PaaS system offers database instances on demand, that we create and manage with IBM DB2 and a custom automation framework.
Through the use of cloud technologies we can assign our hardware resources to multiple projects at the same time. Our use of a private cloud, instead of public cloud offerings, gives us certain advantages:
- Guaranteed and reliable performance
- Better network connectivity and shorter test/development cycles
- The capability to reconfigure every aspect of the infrastructure. This enables us to closely emulate the target environment for which we develop our solutions