Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Lori MacVittie, Sandi Mappic, Esmeralda Swartz

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Blog Post

The Essential Cloud Considerations

How assessment, planning and preparation can lead to avoiding a potential Cloud nightmare

Cloud Computing Expo on Ulitzer

Thinking about jumping on the cloud? True, I’ve had no qualms in showing my skepticism towards the marketing of ‘cloud computing’ and it being the mere repackaging of solutions which have existed for years, but the fact is it still addresses a concept and reality that exists and one which holds numerous benefits.

Indeed abandoning an existing on-site IT infrastructure for a cloud provider that most often or not can’t offer the same level of security, control or performance is not an easy decision but one which CIOs and IT executives are seriously considering when weighing up the economic benefits. As with any change though, a move towards the cloud necessitates a sound and comprehensive assessment to avoid the trap of a short term benefit turning into a long term nightmare.

Integration Considerations
Firstly your company should assess its business strategy and whether a cloud computing infrastructure could integrate with it. With all the convenience that cloud offers, the risk of data residing beyond your company’s vicinity still presents a significant security risk. Hence depending on your company, whether that be a startup, small, medium or enterprise an assessment of how much risk you are prepared to take in order to cut costs will initially be the first factor in deciding which data / applications to outsource to the cloud. This is what often leads enterprises to be content with using the cloud for archival while smaller business find it easier to go the whole nine yards. Once that’s decided your design for integration should first evaluate each process and system and determine the number of simultaneous requests that need to be handled. As always availability of information also needs to be paramount, regardless of whether the information resides internally or on the cloud. Thus the key for enterprises is to not think of the cloud as a substitute for their processes, policies and security but rather an extension of their existent architecture.

Choosing the Right Cloud
If your company needs access to e-mail, e-commerce, gaming applications, etc. with cost reduction being the primary concern over security and availability then the public cloud provides the service to access such applications via a thin device with minimal financial overhead. Here the start up business can thrive but companies with an already substantial customer base and Tier 1 applications such as OLTP should think otherwise. In such an instance a hybrid cloud may be most suitable wherein the Tier1 application data remains in house with the cloud being utilized for backup, archiving and testing bringing in the consequent cost savings. Enterprises on the other hand with strict Sarbanes Oxley and security controls on customer data and service levels may outweigh the risk of information access control over cost and leave the cloud altogether, that is until security in the cloud becomes further enhanced.

Testing the Cloud with your Existent Virtualized Infrastructure
The balance of scales will always alternate between the reliable and secure nature of data centers with the far cheaper ‘pay as you use’ option of cloud computing. Therefore a way to get a taste of the cloud and assess its suitability to your environment is to utilize the virtualization that is already taking place within your data center. If you are one of the few archaic infrastructures that has not already moved towards the virtualization of applications and infrastructure then you are already missing out on immediate cost benefits which could be existent within your own data center or what the marketing teams tag ‘the internal’ or ‘private’ cloud. With the independence of applications from their physical infrastructure, your in house virtualisation already provides the gateway and flexibility to cloud offerings which are based on external virtual infrastructures. By choosing a non-core application to experiment with such as your e-mail archiving you can quickly set up a test environment and get a feel of the bottlenecks, security, performance and billing procedures of the cloud. Upon sufficient testing and having gained an idea of the metrics you required, you will have a better idea and peace of mind on how best to deploy more mature applications to the cloud.

Choosing the Right Applications
Choosing the right applications is also a serious precursor as not all applications are best suited for the cloud. If PaaS and IaaS are a consideration then a migration may be a necessity if the cloud may not support your application especially if there are incompatibility issues between the platform software and your application. Another issue is related to applications that require real time response that can’t be put at the risk of potential network latency, congestion or bandwidth clogging. Tight backup windows, graphics intensive applications or applications handling large I/O would need serious consideration and investigation of the SLAs provided by the cloud prior to any migration. On the flip side applications linked to your non core business operations may be ideal for deployment such as a marketing campaign website or a standalone application that doesn't require much interaction with other applications. Again applications which are used for testing purposes can easily be deployed to the cloud with minimal costs and risks to the business especially with many cloud providers offering free trial periods.

To conclude, while network latency, data availability, security and application support are all valid concerns for customers thinking of utilizing the cloud, a sound approach and pre-analysis could easily alleviate them, bringing in major cost savings to your business. In other words jumping on the cloud bandwagon without the right assessment might see you falling straight through from the sky; but making sure the cloud you do jump on is substantial enough to support and sustain your company could also be the soundest business investment you’ll ever make.

More Stories By Archie Hendryx

SAN, NAS, Back Up / Recovery & Virtualisation Specialist.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money! Speaker Bio: ...
Compute virtualization has been transformational, yet security policy implementation and enforcement has lagged behind in agility and automation. There are a number of key considerations when implementing policy in private and hybrid clouds. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Holland Barry, VP of Technology at Catbird, will discuss the impact of this new paradigm and what organizations can do today to safely move to software-defined network and compute architectures, including: How normal ope...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: S...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff hap...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accel...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customiz...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...