Friday, September 30, 2011

Is Cloud Right For You?

Is Cloud Right for You? Focusing on Fundamentals and Shedding the Hype…

There continues to be huge hype in the press and from analyst houses regarding the “power of the Cloud” and how the Cloud will “solve a plethora of IT challenges” faced by data center professionals.
These silver bullet statements are interesting because the challenges facing data center professionals have not changed  over the past decade:  Availability (outages, redundancy, human error), Efficiency (centralized IT access, minimal energy requirements, TCO), Capacity (inventory control, planning, modeling) and Compliance (control, log and physical access, energy standards).

The Real Question … Will Cloud Help Me Solve Any of These Problems??
Maybe.  But there are so many non-Cloud solution options.  To explain, let’s first define what Cloud is:
Cloud  is a pool of computing capacity, public or private, that can be provisioned on demand by end users. This pool can expand or contract based on need and can be measured by the capacity used.
Or put another way:  Cloud is just another computing methodology.

But that dull definition will never be embraced by anyone. Why? Because we are in the middle of “TheCloud Perfect Storm,” a convergence of events—from enhancements in virtual infrastructure to the rise of social media and the continued improvements in networking –that have forced firms to consider Cloud asthe only answer.

So is Cloud right for you? Just apply these “Five Rules for Determining if Cloud is Right for You.”

Rule 1: Don’t Buy into the Hype
In 2010, CRN published a list of cloud predictions such as “2010 is really theyear of Platform-as-a-Service,” “Public vs. Private becomes irrelevant,” and “Cloud will truly enable social networking, disaster recovery, WAN optimization.”  Bottom line: Avoid the hype and follow rule #2.

Rule 2: Rely on Fundamentals
·         Define the problem and the strategic need.
·         What is the opportunity or pain that may be addressed by Cloud?
·         What is the existing (broken) use case and potential better use case?
·         What is the opportunity cost?

Rule 3: Assess Thyself
·         Do you have the critical infrastructure?
·         Do you have the network infrastructure?
·         Do you have the server infrastructure?
·         Do you have industry standard security?
·         Do you have the technical expertise?
·         Do you have the human capacity?
·         Do you need a partner?

Rule 4: Assess Your Partner
·         Partner reputation, financial stability
·         Partner security capabilities, data, physical .
·         Infrastructure / configuration capabilities in relation to your use case.
·         SLA’s, back-out costs, penalties

Rule 5: Leverage Vendors
·         Vendors can dramatically expedite the assessment process…
·         Leverage Cloud assessment providers.
·         Work with existing vendors to complete self assessment.
·         Leverage the Cloud providers to provide ROI, implementation do’s and don’ts and project  management expertise.

Shed the hype, know that Cloud is one of many options to address IT related issues, provide strategic opportunity and focus on the fundamentals to assess any possible solutions..

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