|By Robert A. Clyde||
|May 29, 2012 10:30 AM EDT||
Some people might think of cloud adoption as a marathon: a set distance to a clear goal, where keeping focus and maintaining a steady pace will ensure a winning outcome. While there is an element of truth to that, I consider the implementation process more of an obstacle course, with traps and pitfalls that can easily deter a careless competitor. I have seen all too many businesses jump into the trend of cloud computing without taking the time to make a plan outlining what they want to achieve in the short term while also keeping an eye on the future. The ideal cloud computing system will suit an organization's current needs while also providing flexibility for changing circumstances.
It's no secret that the cloud offers a tremendous variety of benefits to businesses of all sizes. It changes the static, inefficient data center into a dynamic service provider while providing high availability, scalability and better compliance with regulations. With constantly changing business requirements, and the rapid evolution of technology, that makes the cloud an ideal technology.
Whether you are just beginning to consider cloud implementation or are currently taking advantage of the benefits it has to offer, you should always take the opportunity to plan your cloud deployment intelligently in order to improve your service delivery and create a dynamic IT environment.
Planning for Agility
One challenge organizations face is the delivery of services, particularly new services for customers. Traditionally, IT services can take weeks, if not months, to deliver, which can be too late when responding to current market conditions. In order to quickly address the needs of employees and customers by delivering services automatically, you need to develop an agile service delivery environment to provide needed resources to users as quickly as possible. To successfully achieve this foundational step in a cloud implementation, you should strive to meet these goals:
- User self-service: One of the most important, measurable benefits of the cloud is the speed the self-service catalog portal offers in creating new services.
- Adherence to best practices for provisioning: Virtual machines need enough resources allocated to ensure availability without creating inefficiencies.
- Optimized service placement: Lower capital costs are a key cloud objective, requiring intelligent policy-based placement of services to optimize resource utilization and available capacity.
- Automated provisioning: Automating repetitive IT tasks minimizes human error to ensure consistent performance while speeding service delivery.
- Administration dashboard: Employing central controls and reporting across the cloud lifecycle makes it easier for IT to address issues as they arise and simplify reporting tasks.
- Automated showback or chargeback: Tracking and showing the value of or even charging back for service usage supports better decision-making and capacity keeping pace with needs.
Efficiency Through Automation
With the infrastructure foundation laid, the next step is to refine the system. Inefficiencies in the environment can arise, causing difficulties in keeping up with service requests. Automating repetitive tasks reduces operating expenses while improving service delivery. Creating and maintaining the policies and templates used to automate ongoing service and resource management is the next step to an efficient cloud. You should keep the following benefits in mind when implementing this automation:
- Automated workload consolidation migrations: Continual evaluation and automatic migration of hypervisor VM workloads through policies maximizes resource utilization based on actual usage and demand, eliminating VM sprawl.
- Power management: Policies can be created that allow the system to automatically shift workloads to minimize power usage.
- Automated incident response: With the right policies in place, the cloud system can set custom actions based on specific events, improving response time and reducing operational costs.
- Auto cloud resource reservations: To onboard new groups to the cloud, support critical service SLAs, and avoid service disruption for maintenance, you need a future reservations capability to guarantee resources and auto place or migrate other services away from them at specific times.
Adaptability for the Future
With an automated and intelligent cloud initiative deployed, the final step is to improve adaptability. Today's cloud will not necessarily meet tomorrow's needs, and you don't want your system to become a liability as business needs continue to evolve and change. While a static cloud environment might be easier to implement, service levels and high utilization will need to be maintained despite fluctuating requirements. In making the final transition to a mature, effective cloud deployment, you should look to implement these capabilities:
- Automated workload-balancing migrations: Ongoing monitoring of service performance and policy-based auto migration of hypervisor VM workloads ensures SLAs are met as usage and demand changes for services.
- Resource flexing: As service demands change, it's important to increase and decrease resource allocations, to continue meeting SLAs.
- Cloudbursting elasticity: If resource demands exceed current capacity, an overflow needs to be available to handle additional requests, whether through additional internal cloud resources or outside services. As the demand drops, the system should automatically migrate workloads back to local cloud resources.
- Self-healing ability: In the event of a service failure, cloud policies need to be able to respond by auto-migrating workloads before the disruption becomes severe enough to impact SLAs and even auto re-provisioning or rebooting the resources to repair them.
To create an efficient, robust cloud implementation, your organization needs to ensure that it can quickly provision resources as needed, efficiently handle tasks while minimizing the need for manual interference, and retain the ability to adjust resource allocation as needed. Take a logical approach in setting up the system, and create intelligent policies that allow the system to automatically respond to events. You should ensure you have end-to-end cloud management platform that provides a range of workload optimization policies, a self-service catalog, automated provisioning, usage show back or chargeback, service resources monitoring, a cloud operations database, and reporting. This will speed time-to-value and enable the cloud to not only streamline operations, but actually improve ongoing efficiency while reducing costs and preparing for future needs.
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 09:30 PM EST Reads: 1,277
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 9, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,016
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, discussed recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model for ...
Dec. 9, 2016 07:45 PM EST Reads: 711
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effici...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:45 PM EST Reads: 5,142
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
Dec. 9, 2016 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,763
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 2,367
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:30 PM EST Reads: 479
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,468
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 9, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,887
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,313
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 9, 2016 04:45 PM EST Reads: 1,868
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,244
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 990
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 877
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Dec. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 649
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 9, 2016 02:45 PM EST Reads: 1,049
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
Dec. 9, 2016 02:42 PM EST Reads: 269
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
Dec. 9, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,788
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 9, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 831
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 9, 2016 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,384