|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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
Aug. 31, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 399
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.
Aug. 31, 2015 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 448
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 346
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
Aug. 30, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 133
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Aug. 30, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 153
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 223
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Aug. 30, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 291
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 877
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
Aug. 30, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 228
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 442
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 622
The Internet of Things (IoT) is about the digitization of physical assets including sensors, devices, machines, gateways, and the network. It creates possibilities for significant value creation and new revenue generating business models via data democratization and ubiquitous analytics across IoT networks. The explosion of data in all forms in IoT requires a more robust and broader lens in order to enable smarter timely actions and better outcomes. Business operations become the key driver of IoT applications and projects. Business operations, IT, and data scientists need advanced analytics t...
Aug. 30, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 396
A producer of the first smartphones and tablets, presenter Lee M. Williams will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, COO of ETwater, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater.
Aug. 30, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 120
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Aug. 28, 2015 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 210
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.
Aug. 26, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 132
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 553
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 479
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,565
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 279
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,230