The feedback thus far for the new EucaStart initiative has been overwhelmingly positive. We are grateful for the support and enthusiasm of our internal and external customers as we work to make this a reality. That said, we strive to make sure credit goes where it is due, so I wanted to make sure you were aware of an amazing project Dan Nurmi, a Eucalyptus co-founder and part of the Customer Success team, completed to help make this possible. While I won't replicate all of Dan's work on this blog, I will cover it at a high level and discuss how and where his stages correlate to the EucaStart project:
EucaStart Genesis: The Repeatable Deployment Plan
Over the past four years of the Eucalyptus experience, the company has had a lot of opportunities to build clouds for a number of different customers, many of which are running in production today. When the executive team at Eucalyptus made the decision to reorganize Support, Sales Engineering, and Professional Services into a new Customer Success organization, we decided to take a step back and try to filter out customers who were successful, customers who were struggling, and what the differences were between them. Intense meetings and information sharing sessions between the once separate groups ensued. One of the results of this collaboration was the Eucalyptus Repeatable Deployment Plan and Eucalyptus Reference Architectures, both of which were assembled and authored by Dan Nurmi. The repeatable deployment plan, in particular, was extremely influential in the design of the new EucaStart.
Stage 1: Use case analysis, production timeline, and infrastructure discovery
This stage is driven almost exclusively by Sales and Sales Engineering. Since most of this work is done prior to any formal engagement with Eucalyptus Professional Services, it generally correlates to Stage 0 of the new EucaStart.
- Note: We have been advised that our EucaStart stages not aligning with the repeatable deployment plan stages could cause confusion. We understand, and will address this situation when we have finished fleshing out the EucaStart 2.0 details. In the meantime, we ask for your patience. We're trying to get it finished first, then we'll work on getting it right. :)
Stage 2: Deployment planning
In this stage, Professional Services is heavily involved in making sure the customer has the right level of technical understanding, both we and the customer have a detailed understanding of their operating environment, and a clear plan towards success is laid out, including requirements around software, hardware, networking, and storage. Due to the complexity of setting up and running a private cloud successfully, we actually broke this one stage into three distinct PS stages - customer participation in a 3-day, hands-on cloud administrator training course (EucaStart Stage 1), a detailed architectural design and operational review (EucaStart Stage 2), and a set of deliverables including detailed reference architecture for the deployment, our understanding of how the environment will be configured prior to cloud software deployment, and a bill of materials for hardware and software that needs to be in place prior to the engagement (EucaStart Stage 3).
Stage 3: Infrastructure purchase, physical deployment
Stage 4: Infrastructure configuration and management installation
Although members of the Sales Engineering and Professional Services teams are available to provide support or answer customer questions upon request, these two stages of the repeatable deployment plan are driven entirely by the customer. The expectation on the part of Eucalyptus is that the customer will follow the guidelines presented in EucaStart stage three and bring Professional services back into the picture once the cloud infrastructure and supporting environment is in place. Thus, there is no formal EucaStart activity during these stages of the repeatable deployment plan.
Stage 5: Infrastructure testing
Stage 6: Eucalyptus installation
Stage 7: Eucalyptus testing
Stage 8: Eucalyptus Hand-over
These stages, in order, correlates nearly exactly with EucaStart Stages 4, 5, 6, and 7. We technically inspect and test the infrastructure prior to coming onsite for a cloud deployment (if coming onsite is part of the plan to begin with). We then install Eucalyptus, put it through it's paces to ensure everything is correct, and then before we go perform a hand-off to Eucalyptus Support.
Final Stage: Eucalyptus in Production
While there is no formal Professional Services engagement defined today for a production cloud, it is possible that in the future Eucalyptus will offer more hands-on, ongoing system administration-level support for a customer's cloud environment. We will make this determination based on need and the ability for us to identify partners who can help us support this level of service for our customers that want or need it.
In my next blog, I will talk about the end game for all of this open content development via our blog and discuss our plans to enable both customers and partners to experience technical and financial success with Eucalyptus. Questions and comments are welcome below, or feel free to email me at email@example.com. Thanks!