While I was working on a story on the future of the private cloud, an HP spokesperson told me that the cloud management tool set for the BladeSystem Matrix cloud-in-a-box system can only manage about 1,500 "elements." You can use building blocks of Matrix to scale beyond that, but the central management tool limits the resource pool size, which might not be not very efficient if youre scaling to 5,000, 10,000 or more virtual machines.
This reminds me of the limitations of VMwares management tools, which were limited to pools of 5,000 virtual machines just a few years ago. At that time a few leading edge users, such as systems architect Bruno Jennsens at The Hartford, were bumping up against those limits.
Right now, however, even most leading edge adopters aren't anywhere near that scale with internal cloud architectures. From what I'm hearing, most are still in the lab experiment stage.
Qualcomm has a fairly large internal cloud implementation under way, so I asked Matthew Clark, senior director of IT, whether that would be a concern, were it using BladeSysetm Matrix (they are not - Qualcomm developed its own, homegrown system).
In fact, Qualcomm is nowhere near that scale - and he's not worried. "I would assume HP and others will have broken that barrier in the next year or so," he says.
Still, as one moves forward, it's good to know where the limitations may lie.