Creating a realistic Cloud Strategy

Cloud Strategy

The ubiquity of the Cloud and its utility needs no introduction. Several companies around the globe are actively adopting cloud technology to leverage the extremely useful benefits that cloud computing offers. According to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cloud computing is a model that enables convenient, ubiquitous and on-demand network access to a pool of computing resources such as servers, applications, services, networks and storage that can be configured as per requirement and can rapidly be provisioned with minimal effort and interaction with the service provider. Now the real challenge lies not in actually adopting the cloud but in deciding as to which applications need to be migrated to the cloud and which provider to choose — cloud strategy. There are myriad of service providers offering cloud services and it is very important for you to carefully formulate a cloud strategy before migrating to the cloud.

The pertinent questions that you may possibly encounter include what is the approach required to migrate to the cloud? Which vendor to trust? Which particular elements of the systems should you move to the cloud? It is important to identify which elements of a system can be migrated to the cloud. Any element that can be moved into the cloud must have some the attributes listed below:

  • Respect Layers: The element or the resource in the system shouldn’t mingle with the computing layers. For instance, a program that combines business processing in a monolithic design with network protocol is typically not layered. An application which waits directly for a  message through a TCP/IP interface and displays the data onto a memory-mapped screen comes on to mind.
  • Allow Virtualization: The resource wishing to be migrated should have the capability to run in a virtual environment. In the practical sense, it means that the software shouldn’t be able to use deprecated libraries, make undocumented operating system calls and mustn’t be implemented using languages that are not supported.
  • Modular Design: The function should be modular and shouldn’t introduce inter-mixed relationships or dependencies with other modules. It is safer if you are using Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), but in case if you are using legacy systems that improperly call other applications or a system that implements business logic then you have a problem. Legacy reporting applications that call database for data, process fields and then print them to a particular printing device are examples of systems that pose a challenge. Not all applications can be migrated to the cloud and it is suggested you follow “best practice standards” to fix them.

The obvious reasons that need to be factored while formulating a strategy include cost, scalability, agility, and portability. Cost, of course, is a major determinant but let’s focus on the other aspects as well. It is always safe to move to the highest level of cloud service to enjoy all the benefits. SaaS occupies the top spot followed by PaaS that is better than IaaS. Another suggestion is that it is always better to move either to a public or an external service provider than internally operating in-house that entails significant costs and manpower. From the three major service models that include PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS. Depending on your need and dependencies, you can choose major service providers that provide on-demand scalability, are agile and offer ultimate computing flexibility.

These service providers to provide you with a hybrid approach that helps you in leveraging the technological capabilities of the vendor to run your applications in the cloud. You can use a hybrid approach even for single applications. Define your strategy judiciously to maximize the potential of the cloud. Making your applications cloudable is the investment that you would definitely entail but defining the priorities and choosing the suitable environment is of vital importance. It is important to segment all the levels of technology in your system to permit maximum operational and cost efficiencies when they are moved into the cloud. Now to the cost part, it is always suggested to prefer an external service provider or a public cloud. Service providers have the expertise to handle huge amounts of data and provide you with on-demand services while cutting down on the costs you incur. When you have a clear idea of what components operate on a given platform, it becomes easier for you to negotiate with multiple service providers for the exact requirements that you need.

DoubleHorn is a leading cloud-based Managed Services Provider, founded in January 2005 and based in Austin, TX. We specialize in delivering Cloud Services, Managed Communications, and Consulting to the Enterprise, Government and SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) sectors. If you are new to the cloud and not sure how to get started, contact us for a complimentary initial assessment at solutions@doublehorn.com or (855) 61-VOICE.

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