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Cloud, Your Solution(s) In Motion

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.


"Cloud, Your Solution(s) In Motion", correlated to the right strategy!!!

This post provides an in-depth while simplified overview of Cloud Technology and Services from which I hope will provide organizations and or individuals a platform from which to drive valuable insights as well as the establishment of a strategy of engagement related to the Cloud.

Cloud, Your Solution in Motion” from my perspective and correlated to the right strategy, can help organizations derive tremendous benefits for their business.

As background for my post I recently had a discussion related to Cloud with a friend of mine who coincidently is also named Eric. Eric runs a small business and like every other organizations looks to the Cloud to help enhance productivity, revenue and at a minimum curb cost. Eric has remained successful thru the years due to his excellent business acumen in terms of brick-and-mortar day-to-day operations, marketing, sales, supplies and demand. Inherently Eric also understands that the time has come to use technology to expand his business online from which would allow him to reach new audiences.

Eric Account Rep (AR) had told him that he could fix all his problem with a one word, “Cloud”. Eric started the conversation by announcing that his company would move its primary LOBs (Line of Business) to the Cloud within 90 days. Eric brimmed with excitement, he was moving to the Cloud and could finally take advantage of Cloud Technologies and Services. Obviously a buzz word does not constitute a business objective. 

Obviously a buzz word does not constitute a business objective.

I felt that the best way to help Eric was to create a simple but concise overview of Cloud Technologies and Services offerings focusing on Cloud key aspects without diving into the gritty details of the technology.   First and foremost, what is Cloud Technology? At its core and with the most basic definition, Cloud provides access to globally distributed, always available, on-demand computing resources. I believe that it’s also important to denote that the Cloud computing paradigm consistently evolves as new technologies emerge.  

The following set of tables covers Cloud Technologies characteristics, services and deployment models from which will help you derive a better understanding of the benefits of Cloud.  

Cloud Technology Primary Characteristics:

Characteristic

Value Proposition

Self-Service

Self-provisioning of computing resources by client

Network Delivered

Availability of computing resources thru thin or thick client

Pooled Resources

Computing resources are pooled using a multi-tenant model

Elastic

Unlimited Computing resources are scaled based on demand

Measured

Computing resources are provided based on a metering system

 

Cloud Technology Deployment Models:

Deployment Model

Value Proposition

Private Cloud

  • Provisioned for exclusive use by a single org for multiple consumers
  • Managed or operated by the Organization or third-party

Public

  • Provisioned for open use by the general public.
  • Managed or operated by a business, academic or government organization

Community Cloud

 

  • Provisioned for exclusive use by a community of consumers from organizations that have shared interests including but not limited to business objectives, data integration, security, policy and compliance

 

Hybrid Cloud

  • Combines two or more cloud infrastructures (private, community or public)
  • Use the same technology that provides data and application availability

 

Cloud Technology Service Models:

 

 Value Proposition

 

Service Model

Vendor manages or operate

Organization manages or operate

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

  • Applications
  • Data
  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • O/S
  • Virtualization
  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Networking

 

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • O/S
  • Virtualization
  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Applications
  • Data

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

  • Virtualization
  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Applications
  • Data
  • Runtime
  • Middleware
  • O/S

 

As the aforementioned shows, Cloud provides a breath of Technologies and Services to suit any type of business needs. In most cases, your primary interest will rest in the set of Cloud Services offering and how they can better meet your business requirements.

As such SaaS primary value resides in the fulfillment or support of an LOB objectives such as CRM, Helpdesk, Marketing, etc… PaaS on the other hand lends itself very well in the support of development, implementation, and testing of applications. DevOps activities in PaaS are all the rage these days as it provides rapid and unaltered access to computing resources. IaaS is an extension of PaaS except you get more control over the Runtime, Middleware and O/S, great for testing third-party integration of data and systems.

Additional considerations must take place related to how the vendor supports Service Level Agreement (SLA), Security Policies and Procedures (SaS Type I & II, SAE116, etc…), Performance guarantees, Network Speed, Disaster Recovery (DR), BCP (Business Continuity Planning). Such considerations are lengthy from a review stand point from which I will discuss in my next blog.

Cloud Technologies and Services has matured in recent years and is now a viable platform for you to conduct your business. Furthermore the primacy benefit of Cloud rest in the fact that an organization is no longer tethered to a traditional IT vendor due to the pay-as-you-go business model that most Cloud Vendors have embraced.

In closing, we are at the beginning of the Cloud Technologies and Services era and big Cloud vendors in the like of IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Rackspace are investing tremendous of amount of time, money and resources to expand their current capabilities knowing that today’s requirement is to support business objectives but tomorrow objectives will requires the Cloud to support, collect, aggregate and analyze the Internet Of Everything (IOE) for which is the networked connection of people, data, process and things.

This article was written by Eric Saint-Marc and originally published at: http://ericsaint.blogspot.com/2013/09/cloud-your-solutions-in-motion.html

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