Microsoft Corporation have made available three substantial documents for consideration when constructing private clouds. The Fabric Architecture Guide ( Adam Fazio, David Ziembicki, Joel Yorker Infrastructure-as-a- Service Product Line Architecture, Fabric Architecture Guide, Microsoft Corporation, May 2013, 112pp). The document scope: “The scope of this document is to provide customers with the necessary guidance to develop solutions for a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure in accordance with the reference architecture patterns that are identified for use with the Windows Server 2012 operating system. This document provides specific guidance for developing fabric architectures (compute, network, storage, and virtualization layers) of an overall private cloud solution.” covers a number of infrastructure patterns: continuous availability over SMB (server message block) storage (several variations SAS/SAN/SMB storage with transparent failover), converged infrastructure pattern (shared network topology), non-converged infrastructure pattern (traditional SAN). These designs are oriented toward enterprise and hosting provider implementations (6-64 hosts, up to 8,000 server VM). The second volume: Fabric Management Architecture Guide (Jeff Baker, Adam Fazio, Joel Yoker, David Ziembicki, Infrastructure-as-a-Service Product Line Architecture, Fabric Management Architecture Guide, May 2013, 69pp.
The scope of this document is centred around Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), “This document provides specific guidance for developing a management architecture for an overall private cloud solution.”. The document deals with fabric management (hardware integration, storage and network integration and management), fabric provisioning, virtual machine management, resource optimization, service maintenance, service monitoring, backup and recovery, security, service chargeback. It provides a useful overview of fabric management considerations to be projected in a solution archictecture. The fabric management rests upon the Private cloud reference model.
The concluding volume in this set (Jeff Baker, Adam Fazio, and Joel Yoker, Infrastructure-as-a-service Product Line Architecture, Deployment Guide, Microsoft Corporation, May 2013, 343pp.) spells out in detail how to install, configure and deploy the private cloud infrastructure. It covers host and guest installation, SQL Server failover cluster, and various System Center components and tools.
These documents should be read in conjunction with the guidance “Cloud Services Foundation Reference Architecture Overview” published in June 2013, especially the section Cloud Services Foundation Reference Architecture – Principles, Concepts, and Patterns which is especially useful to solution architects. There is also extensive solutions and design guidance available on Microsoft’s Cloud and Datacenter Solutions Hub