Heat impact points are costs that are continuous and never stop unless you consider the cloud as a way of avoiding them altogether. Costs such as constant upgrades to systems, resources to manage and not to mention the costs of security and licensing. Cloud Computing and avoiding these costs go hand in hand, and it’s just a right decision to turn to the cloud.
Cloud computing refers to one of three architectures: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
• Software-as-a-Service – In this design, the CSP provides the software and tasks of upgrading and load balancing to ensure the software or application is up and running.
• Platform-as-a-Service – in this model, the CSP supplies the platform, additional development tools, such as the development platform, and execution environment.
• Infrastructure-as-a-Service – In this model the CSP provides the hardware and the environment.
Cloud Computing provides an organization to offload small or significant parts of purchasing, managing and mitigating risk. Teams can scale up or scale back depending on the need.
Organizational IT teams must sit down and define what the primary goal is and the actual Delta/versus Benefit of the approach. Below are 10 tips to consider when considering a move to a cloud Infrastructure.
1. The Business and the need – It is important to identify the requirements of employees and determine in detail the business reason and purpose for the move to cloud computing. The analysis and due diligence are essential to the success of the cloud implementation. Set a process and metrics to determine the success of the migration.
2. Define what is you want to move to the cloud (Hardware or Software) – Not all applications such as custom are good candidates to move to the cloud. May I suggest before taking advantage of new applications built and developed for the cloud, it would be wise to start with a low-risk, back office (non-strategic) application before setting your sights on more ambitious targets.
3. Evaluate cloud service providers carefully – Evaluate multiple cloud vendors and look for a test trial, AWS offers free services. Spend the additional time and effort to find a provider that best suits your needs. If it means setting up test labs, spending more money and taking a longer time to implement it’s worth the time to investigate.
4. Identify “real” costs – Cloud is not free, and it’s not less expensive, and CSPs usually require configuration fees, subscription fees, Internet access, end-user support usage fees and training fees. When you’re in the middle of your analysis as mentioned in point number 1., make sure you identify other costs that may not be obvious, such as storage fees, incremental user fees, termination, and cancellation fees.
5. Establish a Committee – It makes good sense to form a committee that includes individuals from all critical functions within your company; accounting, human resources, sales, etc. This approach ensuring senior leadership buy-in and that you’re approaching it from a business perspective and that all critical needs are addressed and met.
6. Study the Fine Print i.e. SLA – The service level agreement (SLA) is meant to identify the capabilities the service provider will offer. The SLA may also influence existing agreements your company has with software licensing, and hardware vendors. The key focus areas are availability, up-time, system performance, security, data ownership and support responsibilities and issue resolution.
7. Get Deep with Security – Paying particular attention to security when evaluating vendors. Focus on what types of security they have in place, how is the data stored, accessibility, what are the layers of security are in place and how are the remote connections protected. Note and point some Vendors require you to be responsible for the security so be careful.
8. DR and Business Continuity – One of the best benefits of Cloud Computing Architecture is the ability to continue to work in a time of disaster. Be sure to ask about Disaster Recovery -Accessibility times, and Business Continuity. Remember this benefit is only as good as the CSP offering the service. Ask, how they are storing the data and what forms of redundancy they deploy and what kind of disaster recovery do they have in place. These are all very pertinent questions.
9. Network and Redundancy Checks – It’s a good idea to have two fully redundant internet connections from two different providers in place to avoid risk, downtime and data loss. Remember to factor the cost of these extra connections in your analysis.
10. Legal Representation – Signing a contract with a CSP you are entrusting them with our organizational information and security. Data is the most critical asset today. It’s a good idea to ensure your legal representation has the experience in negotiating these types of contracts.
In summary there are many reasons to migrate to the cloud, but non more important than the cost saving of the cloud. Be careful, choose your CSP wisely and happy cloud computing.