With cloud computing, the decision about what to move in and what to keep out really comes down to two things
Farmington Hills, MI (Vocus) October 20, 2010
Many organizations are beginning to explore ways to use cloud computing in their businesses, but deciding what types of computing activities to move into, or keep out of, the cloud can be confusing. To help its customers and other IT professionals get a better handle on these issues, Logicalis, an international provider of integrated information and communications technology (ICT) solutions and services, has put together a list of what to move in, what to keep out, and what kinds of things are on the fencepost when talking about moving company data and applications to the cloud. Logicalis has also developed a series of cloud computing resources.
“With cloud computing, the decision about what to move in and what to keep out really comes down to two things,” says Mike Martin, director of cloud computing for Logicalis. “First, you have to understand your application requirements and how those requirements impact your business. And second, you have to understand the requirements around the movement of that data – the regulatory requirements, if any, and the business-critical nature of the data you intend to move.”
Cloud Computing: What to Move In, What to Keep Out -
1. Test/Dev Solutions: Move ‘em in! The biggest concern IT managers have about moving anything to a true public cloud offering is security. When people first started testing the waters with virtualization, they started with things like test/development applications and solutions that were not business critical. As IT pros test the cloud, we’ll see similar types of moves – leveraging things like test/dev as a way to get comfortable in the cloud with the least risk possible.
- Want to learn more? Read “Cloud Computing: How to Make Your Own Silver Lining” at http://www.us.logicalis.com/PDF/Cloud-Computing-Feature-Story.pdf.
2. Disaster Recovery: In it goes! When people talk about a “killer app” for the cloud, it is usually something centered around disaster recovery. How to handle disaster recovery preparedness is a big challenge for many organizations. Restoring from a cloud provider in a disaster scenario can be much faster and easier than restoring from tape stored off site. It’s certainly easier to test and often the cloud is one of the most convenient and user-friendly options available for disaster recovery as a service.
3. Non-Regulatory vs. Regulatory Applications: A tough call. For industries that are highly regulated with a lot of compliance requirements, the cloud presents a particular challenge. There are certainly benefits, but when data has to meet compliance specifications, it is the client’s responsibility to know what their cloud hosting provider is doing to protect that data, how that provider can help them meet their specific compliance requirements, and what the cloud provider does to allow them to change or remove data as needed. Not all cloud providers are able to meet the needs of industry-specific regulatory requirements, so IT pros may be wise to carefully screen a cloud provider, choosing the best partner for exactly their kind of compliance requirements. The other option is to utilize a private cloud solution, which will provide the efficiencies but keep this data close to home.
4. Non-Virtualized Applications: Keep out! One of the key benefits of the cloud is its ability to leverage virtualization, driving capacity and shared resource efficiencies across the data center. But if you have an application with a very high CPU usage or a database with a lot of I/O performance requirements, those same characteristics will be carried forward into the cloud. As a result, that kind of non-virtualized application – for example, a database that runs hundreds of thousands of transactions per minute from a dedicated server – may not be a good fit for the cloud because you will still be governed by the same hardware limitations for running it in your own data center.
5. Heavy Network-Related Applications: Not the best fit. If you have a “chatty” application, before you move it to the cloud, you have to be sure you have the right network capacity in place to achieve the responsiveness you expect. If you’re accessing the cloud over the Internet from a large international wide area network, for example, the latency you experience while waiting for a protocol acknowledgement can be significant, impeding smooth transmission of data and making that kind of application unsuitable to move into the cloud without the proper network appliances in place to prevent long wait times and a degradation in the quality of service experienced by the user in the end.
- Cloud computing challenges us to change how we use technology and creates an opportunity to rebalance IT priorities. Learn more about enterprise cloud computing.
“The simplest advice? If an application is core to your business, keep it in-house within a private cloud solution and if it’s a commodity or non-core service, move it into the public cloud,” Martin says. “I think you’ll see more things going into the cloud than not, but it’s not something you just do overnight. A strategic cloud roadmap will help you develop a big picture approach. You get the most value from cloud when you figure out how to utilize private and public cloud options together based on your business needs.”
Logicalis is an international provider of integrated information and communications technology (ICT) solutions and services founded on a superior breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center optimization; application development and integration; and outsourcing and managed services.
With its international headquarters in the UK, Logicalis Group employs over 1,900 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of over 6,500 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM and Microsoft.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues in excess of $1 billion, from operations in the UK, US, Germany, Latin America and Asia Pacific, and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications service providers, specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, a $4.2 billion revenue business listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges (LSE/JSE: DTC).
For more information about Logicalis, visit http://www.us.logicalis.com.