Cloud Computing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), IaaS, PaaS are all former names of what just was called Application Service Providing. Lots of buzzwords that score high on the Gartner Hypecycle.
Customers all seems to want to join the hype, being part of the Cloud. Today there are so many terms where in everybodies mind the same term has a different meaning or different terms mean the same. You need to reference marketresearchers (Gartner, Forrester, Ovum, IDC, etc) to get a common understanding on what we exactly mean.
I like the three core fundamentals of cloud computing by Forrester as noted in link above:
- A standardized IT capability or service
- Pay per use or metered consumption
- Self-service deployment
Connecting to your Cloud
I like to make a differentiation between 3 types of Cloud Computing:
- Private Cloud
- Public Cloud
- Hybrid Cloud
A private cloud is often referred to when using a private network (i.e. MPLS) to go to a cloud provider (single or multi-tenant). This is the closest to outtasking or outsourcing today and already done on a wide scale.
A public cloud is actually the same but then uses the internet as a transport medium (with appliation security of IPsec).
A hybrid cloud is the combination of both. Actually I would say it is the best of both worlds. You have the security, performance and QoS when you are in the office and you have maximum flexibility when you are working from home or a roaming user.
Sometimes it is a goal by itself to go into the Cloud. IT managers don’t even look at the advantages or disadvantages anymore. Going to the cloud would then be identical to going to a public cloud.
Perceived Advantages of going towards the cloud
- Rapid Deployment
- Pay Per Use
- Often limited or no start up fees
- Limited or no CAPEX
- Generic and Multi-Tenant service
- Little or no customization possible
- Limitied monitoring or reporting capabilities
- SLA’s may not fit the business need
- Sensitivity or Regulatory challenges of Data Storage
- Inability to integrate multiple vendors in one solution (no best-of-breed capability)
Implementing Cloud solutions
It is not uncommon that people see many obstacles in going to the cloud:
- Security => ask for the right certifications of your cloud provider (ISO27001 and SAS70)
- Quality of Service => use a private way of connecting to your cloud provider, so can you can control performance
- internet capacity & peering => it is not uncommon that destinations cannot be reached via the internet (cause internet ISP’s lack certain routes in their routingtables, try and fix this when you don’t have direct contact with this ISP’s.
How to overcome the obstacles?
Organizations need to change to adapt cloud computing. This cannot be done instantaneously, but has to occur in a step by step way.
Less critical appliations first
Start with some applications that are not that critical or time sensitive, i.e. email for certain group of users that are less dependent on this (i.e. factory workers)
Hybrid Cloud support migrating in a low risk pace
When migrating towards cloud services from a multi-tenant cloud provider, it is ideal if you could migrate at you own pace. Not having to redirect all you traffic towards the internet directly, but connect the way you prefer at the time you want.
Any Time, Any Place, Any Where, Any Connectivity