Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What is a Management Stamp?

Recently, I had an interesting discussion with one of our service provider customers.
As planning to leverage Windows Azure Pack, we had to take a look at the current VMM infrastructure.

The question was: should we use the same VMM infrastructure for our Windows Azure Pack environment, or create a new VMM infrastructure with its own scale units?

To give you a better understanding of the decision here, we had to discuss the real topic here.

What is a Management Stamp?

Stamps and stamp is a new concept we first saw with Service Provider Foundation in Service Pack 1 for System Center.
Ideally, a stamp is representing scale units (networking, storage, compute) and managed by Virtual Machine Manager.
Virtual Machine Manager can embrace your entire datacenter, all locations and consolidate the view and management of each scale unit. So to put it right, a Stamp is actually a VMM infrastructure containing the scale units.
The stamp should also be monitored and secured through compliances and backups

So a stamp is important in this context, as Service Provider Foundation is an endpoint that orchestrate processes through the abstraction layer in VMM through the cloud you configure and presents, that is based on scale units.

A stamp could be representing a rack, a geographical location, functions or different kinds of services.

Windows Azure Pack can create Plans which is bound to a stamp exposed with Service Provider Foundation.

The conclusion

Instead of adding all the new functionality to an existing stamp, like Remote Console, NVGRE, resource extensions in the VMM library (Gallery items in WAP), since especially the logical networks was modeled to support Network Virtualization, we ended up by creating a new stamp which was dedicated to SPF and Windows Azure Pack.
This gave us a lot more flexibility to create public Plans in WAP leveraging the new stamp which was designed for WAP and its tenants, while a private plan was created to meet the requirements for the IT department, for deploying virtual machines within the corporate infrastructure.

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