In his latest book, titled “Architecting the Cloud: Design Decisions for Cloud Computing Service Models,” Mike Kavis, a seasoned chief technology officer and IT architect, shows how cloud proponents can map out their cloud plans.
Mike identifies the six key questions that are essential to cloud architectural planning:
1) Identify the problem statement (why): “The single most important question to answer,” Kavis observes. While cloud is a no-brainer for startups, more established enterprises need to evaluate how cloud will benefit the business. Ultimately, a cloud-based solution may focus on one specific business problem where existing systems aren’t delivering satisfactory results. An enterprise may end up with numerous cloud models to address varying requirements.
2) Evaluate user characteristics (who): “Users may be people or systems,” says Kavis. “Identifying the actors helps discover what organizations interact with the overall system.”
3) Identify business and technical requirements (what): Such requirements “describe how the system, application, and service should function,” and include points such as what data the system must process, how the screens should operate, how the workflow operates, system outputs, who has access, and pertinent regulations.
4) Visualize the service consumer experience (where): Just as building architects need to understand the laws and conditions of where they are building a house, cloud architects “need to become familiar with the laws and regulations that pertain to their business and their data.” Local and national data laws may affect how the cloud is built and managed. Another consideration:
Like it? Share it!
For a concept that seems so surreal, cloud computing is surprisingly ubiquitous. It is almost impossible to surf the internet without interacting with it in one form or another. Webmail services such as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Hotmail are a well-known example of cloud computing at work, as are streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube. You’ve probably bumped into the concept at your workplace in the form of Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google Apps.
Do you watch TV? Well, cloud computing is very similar to the system used to deliver content to the svelte LCD in your living room. While your favorite show or sports program starts its life in the bowels of a media company, clouds begin by companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple building data centers to store and process huge amounts of data.
Television programs get to you via cable, satellite or over-the-air transmissions. Similarly, an Internet connection is needed to link you to the cloud. Sometimes, this is the same infrastructure that delivers TV programs to your living room. This makes it possible to access a service like YouTube on a compatible television.
To access TV programs, you need to buy a cable box, an antenna or satellite dish and a television. Similarly, you need an Internet-enabled device such as a smartphone or a laptop to visit the cloud. Please note that you may need to install an application and set up an account before accessing the system,
Like it? Share it!
What’s the next big IT trend? Businesses want to know how they can leverage these trends, as well as how they can address any challenges. These trends, including the explosion of data, cloud computing and the multitude of personal devices on the corporate network, are fast changing the way organizations traditionally manage their business. The challenges and opportunities are more apparent than ever before, and look set to drive IT and business decisions in the coming year.
These themes will become even more relevant in 2014 as we encounter further impact from cloud computing, BYOD, social media, big data analytics and security.
1. One Cloud does not fit all
In the past, most organizations jumped on the cloud computing bandwagon, adopting cloud services with no regard towards their company size or nature. However, cloud computing has reached an inflection point, and as Forrester predicts in its Cloud Computing Playbook, enterprises today recognize that they need a comprehensive strategy before partaking in the cloud.
In 2014, organizations will increasingly realize that one cloud does not fit all. There will be more interest on the options available, including the type of cloud – public, private or hybrid, as well as how to ensure the security of data moving in and out of the cloud. Security will naturally remain a primary concern, especially with employees leveraging free cloud services and social media sites to transfer corporate files.
2. CYOD, the new BYOD
Enterprises have been experimenting with the concept of
Like it? Share it!
The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend, according to Gartner. 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.
“Overall, there are very real trends toward cloud platforms, and also toward massively scalable processing. Virtualization, service orientation and the Internet have converged to sponsor a phenomenon that enables individuals and businesses to choose how they’ll acquire or deliver IT services, with reduced emphasis on the constraints of traditional software and hardware licensing models,” said Chris Howard, research vice president at Gartner. “Services delivered through the cloud will foster an economy based on delivery and consumption of everything from storage to computation to video to finance deduction management.”
“In India, cloud services revenue is projected to have a five-year projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.2 percent from 2012 through 2017 across all segments of the cloud computing market. Segments such as software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) have even higher projected CAGR growth rates of 34.4 percent and 39.8 percent,” said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner. “Cloud computing continues to grow at rates much higher than IT spending generally. Growth in cloud services is being driven by new IT computing scenarios being deployed using cloud models,
Like it? Share it!
Cloud computing is the use of computing resources that are delivered as a service over a network such as the internet, removing the need for physical storage and applications.
From my experience working with academies, shared cloud services are the new de facto standard for federations or groups of schools working together, and this is being mirrored more widely across the UK education sector.
For schools wondering what level of cloud computing would work best for them, a good idea is to start with the outcomes and work backwards, as it is very much solution-led.
Our physical teaching spaces, preferred methodology and school vision for learning all go towards creating learning environments, each variant with specific IT needs.
In my experience, people rarely consider the impact of these things and how the IT is affected. For instance, schools with large open-plan learning spaces containing many students and teachers require a different ICT solution to those with classrooms built around the more traditional instructional model with the teacher leading at the front of a room.
What is important to consider is that IT should be an enabler, removing situations where an agile teacher who wants to use tablets is stuck in a classroom with a fixed computer and 30 PCs facing the front.
There are three key factors schools should consider when looking at cloud computing – cost, agility and the third millennium learning network.
With capital funding from the government decreasing, if schools are
Like it? Share it!
Cloud computing offers businesses the opportunity to outsource their IT services, reducing both time and cost efficiently. This is highly attractive, as businesses do not need to understand the devices they are using, but do companies really understand the implications of outsourcing their business services to a cloud computing service?
Cloud computing is the next stage in the Internet’s evolution, providing the means through which everything can be delivered as a service, wherever and whenever you need. Businesses, such as Google and Amazon, already have most of their IT resources in the cloud so they can eliminate many of the complex constraints, including space, time, power, and cost. Yet, for all its advantages, cloud computing still makes some businesses a little uncomfortable, as it requires them to think about data in a different way, specifically regarding safety and the trustworthiness of third-parties handling the information.
Selecting your cloud computing provider
Trusting an outside company with something as important as data can be a difficult step for many businesses. But if you choose your hosting company carefully and undertake a formal due diligence exercise when choosing a supplier, then you will be entering into the contract with the right knowledge and expectations.
The most important thing to remember when you are working with your cloud computing provider is that you own your data and it still remains your responsibility to ensure it remains secure. The provider should manage the infrastructure and application availability, but they should
Like it? Share it!