I'm new to cloud design and infrastructure.
We build complete self-contained systems on ESXi for our customers. Typically 12 - 20 vms. I've been tasked with a feasibility study into a virtualised engineering environment for our systems team where we can build complete systems for testing, development systems, replicating on-site issues, etc. We may want to run identical systems side by side for testing different versions or scenarios - so maybe vApps? We're also looking at medium term storage and long-term archiving of systems - lots of ideas on this ranging from the Facebook storage box type of thing (lots of cold storage options appearing now) to tape archiving. We want to be able to pull a system out of cold storage and fire it up reasonably fast if there's a major problem.
I did look at OpenStack but since our software is certified for ESXi I'd prefer to stick with that. I've been looking at vCloud Director but I don't really know where to start. Also, can anyone recommend good resources - websites; books; journals or otherwise where I can get further info?
I'm doing the capacity planning at the moment looking at what we have now and looking to project that into the future. We need to be able to expand and grow the system easily. I have looked at hosted solutions but they don't give you access ti the underlying hypervisor, which is a deal-breaker unfortunately.