|By Kapil Raval||
|September 14, 2011 09:00 AM EDT||
Deploying Cloud infrastructure is not a typical technology project. Success of a Cloud implementation depends on governance, policies, constraints and business relationship management. This article focuses on some basic important areas that cannot be ignored while implementing a Public Cloud solution. To keep it simple, let us focus on green-field implementation of a public cloud infrastructure.
Like any other solution implementation, service providers need to focus on four key areas: Strategy, Business processes, Technology and people skills. Quite often, cloud implementations focus on infrastructure (and forget processes) and then see if the deployment meets their overall strategy or not. Such an approach results in unsuccessful implementations. Investing in business management, people and processes before the technology will ensure success with your cloud computing. Even in a green-field implementation, the right approach is to build and agree on the strategy first, ensure that business processes are aligned to meet the strategy; then focus on technology and people skills aligned to overall strategy. Such an approach ensures that the Cloud implementation meets the overall strategy and results in success. HP has a proven methodology, called Solution Consulting Services (SCS), to help Service Providers get better alignment of strategy, processes and technology while taking such a customer-centric journey. While taking any architectural decisions or at any change in technology, it is beneficial to evaluate impact on the overall strategy and service delivery to customers. For this reason, it is prudent to involve the marketing team during the implementation.
Let us now take a look at these areas and summarize key important points while planning deployment of Public Cloud service.
- Leading the organization: Cloud is a new way of delivering traditional services and to take the organization through this change, leadership and sponsorship of senior management is critical.
- Understand the market, clearly define the desired end state, build a pragmatic roadmap to achieve the goal and rally the organization towards the future goal; communicate the vision and create buy-in throughout the organization; agree on approach to the market
- Build a living strategy document and a road map to achieve desired measurable business outcomes
- Leverage your strengths and strategic assets: Leverage networking, a key strategic asset, which can differentiate CSPs from other services from IT companies by demonstrating end-to-end value and quality of service. The strategy should be to offer bundled services that include typical IT centric services along with communication as a service.
- Understand acquisition and operational costs: Have clear understanding on how to measure agility, cost and quality of service; understand and agree on any compromises in these areas
- Based on market study, clearly define required functionality, scalability etc. to be competitive; Leverage best-practices and lessons already learnt by others
- Avoid vendor lock-in: Standards are evolving for Cloud inter-operability. It is best to go for open architecture based on industry standard products and avoid vendor lock-in
- Define end-to-end Service Delivery: Technology is the easiest component of a cloud deployment. According to a Gartner report, technology is less difficult than the changes required in processes, funding models, organization culture and politics, and service definition and delivery.
- Define Business Policies: Public Cloud implementation requires you to think through and decide on policies, governance and allocation models; the software itself cannot do all this for you. There are software products available in the market to implement business policies. But a lot of attention must be given to define those business policies, charging options, SLAs etc.
- Changing business relationships: Cloud computing brings in automation in service delivery as well as in service consumption; both service providers and consumers will have to change their existing processes to accommodate this. Understand the impact of Cloud computing on operational processes and manage the changing relationship between you and your customers.
The architectural requirements of cloud computing include following key areas:
- Standardize and automate as much as possible from the start to keep the operational costs low
- Customers typically expect the same level of service quality, flexibility and control as in the traditional dedicated physical environment.
- The cloud environment is far more complex and dynamic than the traditional dedicated physical environment. There are many more servers to manage because of the ability to rapidly create virtual servers. Cloud services are continually being created, moved among physical resources, and retired by customers.
o Select products and solutions that give you flexibility, control and automation features needed for today and tomorrow; avoid customized automation
- The automation and orchestration layer turns a virtual environment into a cloud environment. A special focus is needed on automation and efficient use of resources.
- Rapid provisioning; speed of delivery
- Ability to create, launch and terminate cloud instances as needed
- Resource optimization: Manage service levels across applications and a virtual infrastructure, and allocate resources based on business needs.
- Integrated Service Management: Monitor and manage services and not just infrastructure components.
- Service catalogs:
- Self-service portal to present service catalogs
- Transition from an infrastructure-oriented approach to a service-oriented approach for service delivery and management is needed. This includes providing a catalog of standardized IT services and supporting self-service and automated provisioning of standardized services. In addition, it's important to integrate IT processes and tools and be able to support multiple service sourcing options.
o The cloud environment may include services from a variety of external providers, greatly increasing the number of vendors for SP to manage. This also increases risk of software license and compliance violations.
- Identity and subscriber management:
- Privacy and Compliance requirements
- Compliance with security-related issues is very important in the cloud. IT must ensure that information, data ownership, and billing/accounting information are secure. In addition, it is also critical to protect the physical storage of information from privacy and security point of views.
- Charging/Billing: Service charging, billing and integration with CRM: Even in a green-field implementation, we have to have clear understanding, based on market analysis, on how each service will be charged and how CSRs will be able to support customers. Some services are offered at fixed price whereas others are billed based on usage. Each market is different and the architecture should be able to give flexibility to marketing units.
- Industry Standards: Consider standards in areas such as public cloud interoperability, chargeback measurements, service-level definitions, etc. We are in the early days of cloud computing, and there will be new standards defined as cloud computing matures. For this reason, investing in technologies based on open and industry standards is of paramount importance.
- As Cloud computing is a new way to deliver traditional services, organizations and people skills must shift to reflect the changes required in becoming a service provider. New skill sets are required in areas like modeling service architectures, building and testing automation, and scripting interfaces. With increase in level of automation and agility, the emphasis shifts to monitoring utilization, understanding trends etc. for more proactive steps. Training sales teams to sell Public Cloud computing as well as other bundled services cannot be emphasized more.
With the right approach, one can align implementation to meet the long term strategy of the organization. It is worth spending a bit more time planning deployment and understanding its impact on the strategy and end-users.
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
Feb. 6, 2016 07:15 PM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:30 PM EST Reads: 703
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
Feb. 6, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 319
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Feb. 6, 2016 02:30 PM EST Reads: 348
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Feb. 6, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 336
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Feb. 6, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 533
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Feb. 6, 2016 11:00 AM EST Reads: 109
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Feb. 6, 2016 11:00 AM EST
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
Feb. 6, 2016 09:00 AM EST
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Feb. 6, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 326
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Feb. 5, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 767
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
Feb. 2, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 400
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Feb. 2, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 834
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
Feb. 1, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 917
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
Jan. 31, 2016 09:00 PM EST Reads: 713
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
Jan. 31, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 1,134
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,192
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Jan. 31, 2016 10:00 AM EST Reads: 793
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
Jan. 30, 2016 07:45 PM EST Reads: 763
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
Jan. 30, 2016 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,257