If you have decided to build a private cloud desktop, these are the five steps that you should take: standardization, consolidation, virtualization, automation, and orchestration. All the thorough planning during each stage will improve the structure of your Cloud Desktop and help you find weaknesses as you move forward.

Standardization is the foundation and most important part of building private clouds. During this stage, you decide on the hardware and software components and simplify your infrastructure. Having a disparate structure will add more complexity and cost you more. It would be nearly impossible to justify multi-vendor products in your system. When going over the budget, avoid considering just the capital cost, instead look at the total cost, including the operating cost of multiple systems.

A common practice is to first build infrastructure in a pod design. This allows you to get results in a predictable cost model. With this approach, you can compute, and storage with a specific capacity is designed, along with cabling, rack layout, connectivity, and other aspects.

Consolidation is done once you have understood the system you are trying to build. This phase is simply about limiting the amount of managed equipment. Replace any outdated or low-performing equipment with advanced systems that match your needs.

Virtualization can be in terms of design and delivery model. Virtualization is required by almost every model, but not all of them. For instance, when working with the PaaS model, you don’t need server virtualization because the platform handles resource allocation by itself. SDN, a network virtualization technique, can be used to offer flexibility to your resources.

Keep the TCO in mind during the standardization phase, and not be fooled by the CAPEX arguments.

Automation shifts your concern from choosing the right system to modifying IT processes. The goal is to automate the repetitive tasks of your system. It frees your IT staff so they can focus on more important tasks, such as development and deployment. The toolset you choose will impact the consolidation and standardization phase.

Not every product will work well with the hardware, and this is where your standardization will pay off. The more standardized your environment is, the less you worry about custom integration points. In some cases, proper standardization can eliminate custom integration points altogether.

Orchestration is the last stage of setting up a private cloud desktop. It provides the concept of “self-service” in a cloud architecture. There are two important things that you would want, a service catalog and a self-service portal. The orchestration product you choose should offer the trackback feature as well.

Most orchestration products come as a complete suite rather than a single product. These separate components can be due to the multiple acquisitions by the vendor or were developed by businesses, or they might have recently started working together as a complete system. Before purchasing the product, assess its maturity and integration.

Hardware and software are a part of building a Cloud Desktop and could be the easiest phase, as some people say. But, outlining an approach can keep them this way. As you move forward, don’t leave behind people and process as a part of your deployment.