Click here to close now.

Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White

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 time is ripe for high speed resilient software defined storage solutions with unlimited scalability. ISS has been working with the leading open source projects and developed a commercial high performance solution that is able to grow forever without performance limitations. In his session at Cloud Expo, Alex Gorbachev, President of Intelligent Systems Services Inc., shared foundation principles of Ceph architecture, as well as the design to deliver this storage to traditional SAN storage co...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry. Resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, broke down what we've got to work with and discuss the benefits and pitfalls to discover how we can best use them to d...
"We have seen the evolution of WebRTC right from the starting point to what it has become today, that people are using in real applications," noted Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President and Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy and Ecosystem at GENBAND, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Enterprises are turning to the hybrid cloud to drive greater scalability and cost-effectiveness. But enterprises should beware as the definition of “policy” varies wildly. Some say it’s the ability to control the resources apps’ use or where the apps run. Others view policy as governing the permissions and delivering security. Policy is all of that and more. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Derek Collison, founder and CEO of Apcera, explained what policy is, he showed how policy should be arch...
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Com...
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at th...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Harbinger Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Harbinger Systems is a global company providing software technology services. Since 1990, Harbinger has developed a strong customer base worldwide. Its customers include software product companies ranging from hi-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley to leading product companies in the US a...
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the...
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
"CenturyLink brings a full suite of services to the table and that enables us to be an IT service provider," explained Jeff Katzen, Director of the Cloud Practice at CenturyLink, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, 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. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises ar...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, it is now feasible to create a rich desktop and tuned mobile experience with a single codebase, without compromising performance or usability.
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
In the midst of the widespread popularity and adoption of cloud computing, it seems like everything is being offered “as a Service” these days: Infrastructure? Check. Platform? You bet. Software? Absolutely. Toaster? It’s only a matter of time. With service providers positioning vastly differing offerings under a generic “cloud” umbrella, it’s all too easy to get confused about what’s actually being offered. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Kevin Hazard, Director of Digital Content for SoftL...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Malicious agents are moving faster than the speed of business. Even more worrisome, most companies are relying on legacy approaches to security that are no longer capable of meeting current threats. In the modern cloud, threat diversity is rapidly expanding, necessitating more sophisticated security protocols than those used in the past or in desktop environments. Yet companies are falling for cloud security myths that were truths at one time but have evolved out of existence.
Even as cloud and managed services grow increasingly central to business strategy and performance, challenges remain. The biggest sticking point for companies seeking to capitalize on the cloud is data security. Keeping data safe is an issue in any computing environment, and it has been a focus since the earliest days of the cloud revolution. Understandably so: a lot can go wrong when you allow valuable information to live outside the firewall. Recent revelations about government snooping, along...