Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Mike Wood, Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Optimizing Your Private Cloud for the Collaboration Era

A private cloud is a great choice to host collaboration solutions - if you plan upfront

Collaboration in the cloud is a genius idea. Massively scalable and low-cost infrastructure is just what businesses need to bring seamless communication back to a mobile, global workforce. But the way that cloud has taken hold in most enterprises, via software-as-a-service (SaaS), may be too fast and loose for some of today's enterprise data, which is highly regulated and thus must be highly secured.

Private clouds are growing in popularity as a result. A private cloud provides scalability while slashing IT costs and complexity, all without compromising security. For many organizations, it offers the best blend of public and private network.

As organizations plan their private cloud deployment, they should be aware of the typical issues that they may face. According to a June 2012 Forrester survey of US IT decision-makers that had deployed private clouds at their enterprise, 62 percent encountered problems with security and compliance, while 52 percent faced trouble integrating the cloud with existing tools and apps. Meeting service level agreements with customers and end users was a problem for nearly four out of 10 users, while nearly a third of IT buyers faced problems with software licensing or creating self-service access for users. The likelihood of these issues arising increases if your organization is running high-bandwidth applications such as video collaboration.

As with most IT-related challenges, the key to making your deployment as smooth as possible is to arm yourself in advance. Once you know the likely causes of troubles, you can forge a strategy to mitigate or avoid them. What follows are best practices to combat each of these potential complications.

Issue: Increased security and compliance risk.
Strategy: Holistic evaluation of your security policies.

Over time, security policies tend to stack up. It's a lot easier to add new policies on top of old than it is to go back and eliminate ones that are no longer needed. To combat this, many organizations have made it a best practice to re-evaluate all policies every year. The purpose is to identify and cull older policies that could be an impediment to agility and growth. When adding a private cloud, a security review is more important than ever. Get rid of policies that do not add value to the business and conflict with cloud use. If new policies need to be added, make sure they are fully automated and non-intrusive so as not to impede employee collaboration and workflows - regardless of cloud use.

Issue: Integration challenges.
Strategy: Prepare and train IT staff for intervention.

Few technologies stand alone in today's data center. Collaboration tools, in particular, can involve a matrix of protocols and codecs that can make interoperability challenging. Moreover, most organizations will be using a mix of outsourced software services in combination with internally hosted services, and these will need to connect and interact with one another. As cloud technology matures, standards will emerge to make this task easier. But for the time being, you may need to manually intervene. The sooner you prepare and train your IT staff for this hurdle, the more efficient you will be in responding to demands.

Issue: Unpredictable performance.
Strategy: Protect mission-critical workloads.

The point of cloud is to push up utilization rates to achieve greater efficiency. But adding heavy, unpredictable network traffic such as video can put SLAs (service-level agreements) and mission-critical workloads in danger. Protect mission-critical workloads from performance degradation by isolating new rollouts. This way you can test the performance of applications that are new to your cloud without jeopardizing mission-critical workloads. You can add more applications to this environment over time, once you have a performance baseline.

Issue: Licensing that isn't designed for the cloud.
Strategy: Delay deployment or isolate to one physical server.

Not every application is built for the cloud; applications that require dedicated hardware are usually licensed by the number of physical servers used. Many software vendors have been slow to modify their licensing to make it affordable to run in the cloud, where multiple physical servers share the workload of many virtual machines. Moving these applications to the cloud can turn out to be costly. To avoid a costly licensing hike, identify cloud-unfriendly licenses early on in your planning. Talk to vendors to see if they will renegotiate your license terms. If not, you'll have two options. First, it may make sense to defer cloud deployment for these applications, concentrating instead on software that works well atop an abstracted middleware layer or that observes dynamic resource consumption patterns. Alternatively, you can attempt to isolate the workload, dedicating the specific VMs (virtual machines) on one physical server to the application.

Clearing the Haze
Greater collaboration is a huge gift to your workers. Greater security and control over your applications are key for IT. A private cloud aligns these objectives together, making it possible for you to scale back SaaS use and still deliver the services your employees need to innovate and succeed. While provisioning a private cloud is not always simple, the challenges are predictable. With the proper attention and planning you can flag your trouble areas early, and get down to the business of delivering efficient, affordable collaboration and other software services to your eager workforce.

More Stories By Paiman Nodoushani

Paiman Nodoushani is Senior Director for Cloud Strategy and Products at Avaya, a global provider of next-generation business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, real-time video collaboration, contact center, networking and related services to companies of all sizes around the world.

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 giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
It is ironic, but perhaps not unexpected, that many organizations who want the benefits of using an Agile approach to deliver software use a waterfall approach to adopting Agile practices: they form plans, they set milestones, and they measure progress by how many teams they have engaged. Old habits die hard, but like most waterfall software projects, most waterfall-style Agile adoption efforts fail to produce the results desired. The problem is that to get the results they want, they have to ch...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
Wooed by the promise of faster innovation, lower TCO, and greater agility, businesses of every shape and size have embraced the cloud at every layer of the IT stack – from apps to file sharing to infrastructure. The typical organization currently uses more than a dozen sanctioned cloud apps and will shift more than half of all workloads to the cloud by 2018. Such cloud investments have delivered measurable benefits. But they’ve also resulted in some unintended side-effects: complexity and risk. ...
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.