Considerations for every type of cloud implementation

Considerations for every type of cloud implementation

It’s difficult to have a discussion around technology today without looking at cloud computing and where it fits into the data center. Cloud computing is the natural evolution of technologies such as virtualization, service oriented architecture (SOA), autonomic, and utility computing. They’re combined in such a way as to enable on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal human interaction. The promise of cloud computing comes from the way in which it can provide computation, software, data access and storage services that don’t require the end user to know the configuration of the system that delivers the services.

Key Concepts

Cloud computing is dependent on several concepts. The first is virtualization, which provides the capability to share resources between servers and LPARs for many customers and clients. This allows for flexible scaling up and down and enables flexible usage-based pricing. The final concept is the one that provides much of the savings: manageability. Service-automation techniques enable on demand rapid provisioning and reduce human intervention. Additionally, it provides for services that can be delivered over the network on any platform.

These characteristics are critical to the ability to provide an agile, low cost cloud environment that’s reliable, scalable and well performing. Device and location independence are also integrated into the cloud and software transparency is provided via the use of APIs. It should be noted that automation is a critical component of a cloud environment. It provides standardization and scalability while reducing manual intervention and potential errors. It also assists with audits and process governance.

For most companies there are three reasons to consider going to a cloud environment.

  • Resources are only paid for when they’re used, so it’s possible to reduce both capital and operating costs.
  • Managed clouds allow companies to refocus their personnel into the business rather than maintaining the hardware and software.
  • The scalability of clouds enables clients to easily scale their environments both up and down to meet business needs.

Jaqui Lynch is an independent consultant, focusing on enterprise architecture, performance and delivery on Power Systems with AIX and Linux.

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