Cloud Computing

Cloud computing possesses the following five essential characteristics:

Benefits of cloud computing

When done right, cloud computing lowers cost, increases agility and elasticity, and provides improved geographic coverage. Public cloud shifts responsibility for management and maintenance to a provider, further reducing your cost and risk.

 

Moving to the cloud is not simple

Many factors must be considered in order to avoid missed expectations, security issues, integration problems, performance degradation, and even business disruption.  It is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when you move your first application to a SaaS provider and everything works. As you move more workloads to the cloud you might discover that:

  • integration and identity management become much more complex,
  • network latency is severely impacting performance,
  • your support organization is not equipped,
  • your user community is not accepting the ‘new way of doing things’,
  • one of your key SaaS providers has just gone out of business leaving business-critical data in limbo.

Our consultants can help you to determine where Cloud Computing fits in your business, and help you to achieve the benefits you expect and need, while minimizing your risk.

We can help you to understanding the types of cloud offerings and the risks associated with each.

 

Choosing a cloud offering

Cloud Computing most commonly refers to a combination of three service offerings: SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, deployed in one of three ways (Private, Public, or Hybrid).

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Through automation, IaaS dramatically reduces the time required to provision resources such as compute, storage, and network from weeks to minutes.  This in turn makes scale-up / scale-down to adjust for demand more feasible and granular allowing your business to pay only for the resources you require at any given time (elasticity).

Moving ownership of infrastructure from your business to your cloud provider shifts capital expenditure (CapEx) to operational expenditure (OpEx), when deployed as Public Cloud. At the same time, the OpEx is reduced from the lower cost of managing and operating the infrastructure.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

A growing number of software vendors are hosting their applications on infrastructure they own or lease, providing Internet access to their customers, and charging based on a subscription model.  This has several business benefits for their customers, including:

  • Eliminating the need to procure and apply application patches and upgrades
  • Eradicating the need to deploy and maintain the infrastructure required to support the application
  • Shifting from a periodic capital expenditure to a more constant and predictable operational expenditure
  • Increasing agility
  • Providing elasticity in terms of number of users
  • Improving geographic accessibility

When considering a move to SaaS, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

  • Your ability to customize the application will probably be greatly restricted or even prevented
  • Since access will typically be via Internet, you will not be able to use the application during a network disruption
  • Requests for restore / recovery operations and the length of time to fulfill the request will be dependent on the vendor
  • If the vendor goes out of business, your data could be stranded and your business disrupted
  • Integration, security, and performance will require special consideration

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service provides you with a complete ecosystem in which to develop, test, manage, and deploy applications.  This ecosystem will typically include some combination of infrastructure, O/S, database, middleware, runtime engines, a developer’s workbench, and a web server.  The benefits of using PaaS include increased agility through automated and coordinated provisioning of the whole ecosystem, and improved collaboration between team members.

Vendor lock-in is a particularly important consideration with PaaS, as it can be costly to port an application to a different platform if you choose to change to a different vendor.

 

Capabilities

Our consultants can help you to determine where Cloud Computing fits in your business, and assist in optimizing the benefits you expect.

Assessment

We will apply a comprehensive framework of criteria to your workloads. If you choose the full assessment, we will examine more than 30 areas including your business needs to determine what cloud solutions work best for you, and what requires migration.

  • Organizational readiness
  • Technical assessment
  • Business value expectations

Architecture

We will work directly with your team to plot a path from your current state to a new operational state that meets the needs and business requirements identified in the assessment, including:

  • Design the ‘target state’ architecture that will achieve the results you need
  • Vendor selection
  • Security

Planning

Allow us to assist with moving from your current state to the final planned architecture, including:

  • User migration
  • Data migration
  • Support organization
  • Lifecycle planning

 

Deployment

  • Provisioning of resources
  • Migration of data to cloud
  • Onboarding of users

 

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