An Application’s Journey to the Cloud – Part Two
In this second blog in the series – An Application’s Journey to the Cloud – we’ll look at cloud computing solutions and their perceived benefits.
For a clear view of cloud computing, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) just issued a new publication that explains cloud systems in plain language. The final version of Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations (Special Publication 800-146) is NIST's general guide to cloud computing.
NIST defines cloud computing as a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Examples include networks, servers, storage, applications, and services that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
Cloud computing is a rapidly developing area with many strengths and some weaknesses. Each organization has to determine which set of cloud technologies and configurations will meet its requirements. Cloud Computing Synopsis and Recommendations explains how clouds are deployed, what kind of services are available, the economic considerations, the technical characteristics such as performance and reliability, typical terms of service, and security issues. It also offers recommendations on how and when cloud computing is an appropriate tool, and indicates the limits of current knowledge and areas for future research and analysis.
So, what do ‘cloud delivered’ IT services mean to your infrastructure, application and business unit teams? For business units, it could be financial goals or business continuity. For application teams it could be improving app time to delivery or lower cost. For infrastructure teams it could be lower operation or hardware costs. You may need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What are the mission-critical business processes or services your company focuses on?
- Who are the key vendors outside of IT that support those processes?
- What are your budgeting and governance models for applications? i.e. fund IT infrastructure on a per app basis or something else?
Cloud computing benefits should ideally be quantified. Are you increasing IT response times up to 12X? Increasing operational efficiencies by up to 50%? Increasing application performance by up to 10X? Or perhaps reducing capital expense up to 75%?
Come back shortly and we’ll share the next post in our Application’s Journey to the Cloud and discuss the types of cloud deployment models and where each stands in this journey.
Photo credit to Kevin Dooley.