In our last post, I discussed what cloud is, what it can do, and what you need to know about its service and deployment models. Understand that cloud is a model for delivering services. Cloud shifts control or ownership of infrastructure, platforms, and software to a provider, for a fee. Cloud is a business model, not a technology. Cloud increases certain risks as it reduces others.
- Identify why the cloud platform is being considered in the first place. The top three benefits of the cloud include efficiency from higher computer resource utilization, reduced system administration, and possibly lower cost. Agility comes from fast automated provisioning of computing and storage resources. Innovation arises from examining service performance and functionality to identify potential improvements cloud can deliver.
- Understand the five key feature characteristics of cloud computing. Consider each one carefully as each has its pros and cons. Your success depends on you understanding how cloud offerings function. Not every existing application you provide will be a good fit for the cloud.
- Realize that each cloud service model offers differing levels of costs, controls, and security. Which cloud service model you choose depends on the levels of security, control, and costs that work best for your business. Each model also suits certain tasks.
- IaaS provide virtual computers, storage, network, and other basic computing resources. IaaS users create, install, monitor, and manage platforms for services and applications deployed on an IaaS cloud. IaaS consumers are billed according to the CPU, storage, and network resources consumed. Tasks for IaaS include IT facilities, hosting and other services, storage, etc.
- PaaS provides consumers with cloud-based tools and infrastructure to develop, test, deploy, and manage the operation of applications hosted in that cloud. PaaS users are application developers. PaaS consumers are normally billed for the number of PaaS users in addition to the CPU, storage, and network resources. PaaS tasks include application development, data, and workflow; security services (single sign-on, etc.); and database management and directory services.
- SaaS provides full applications accessible via a network. The consumers of SaaS can be organizations that provide their members with access to software applications, end users who directly use software applications, or software application administrators who configure applications for end users. SaaS consumers are normally billed a fixed fee per user for a fixed service level. SaaS tasks include Internet services, blogging, surveys, social networking, knowledge sharing, email, collaboration, productivity tools, resource planning, etc.
- Examine each cloud deployment model to be sure you fully understand each one. For example, a private cloud is dedicated to one organization where workloads are known and controlled. A public cloud has many tenants and unpredictable workloads. Workload is only one consideration. You need to determine your own considerations using a risk assessment.
- Get started now by creating a cross-functional business and IT cloud computing team to consider the models outlined in this brief. Determine how cloud characteristics, service models, and deployment models affect your current operations