Sep 20, 2010

The Cloud - as a computing platform

"the cloud" is a computing platform - it has to be managed on an ongoing basis.

Any comprehensive cloud strategy must involve a complext evauation of costs, benefits, busienss cultureal issues, risks adn coprorate and govet standards.

In future, as well-tested commercial cloud services becoem available, companies will increasingly be able to relay on these services not just for IT cost savings but also for delivering new vaue to the organization.

Companies which strive to provide cloud based services must provide customers with a simple process for monitor busienss process which live enitrely or partially in a cloud environment. An organizations computre dependent business processes need to be constalnly monitored by softward.

Cloud computing business models are essentially baesd on rental arrangements.

Compare two cost models.

Operating Expenses: Paying per month, per user for each service
Capital Infestments: paying a purchase fee plus yearly maintenance for sofware that resides within your organization.

Application Platform Interfaces (APIs) - are an important phenomenon in cloud computing. Vendors develop proprietary APIs for their own cloud computing platforms, so customers are forced to support multiple APIs. For an organization to readily build connections between it's internal data centre and teh cloud, it must use stnadardized APIs and data trrsnasformation capabillities.

Provisioning - is a term whjich refers to immediate requests which cloud computing customers make for resources.

The cloud service provider is resonsible for aintaining anagreedon level of servicesand provisions resources accordingly.

In the case of PasaS or IaaS, customersnmay need to directy requeset additional resources, becuase tin both cases they're directly managing the cloud resources instead of haing them managed by the cloud provider.

Note: One of the immediate attractions of IaaS is that a data center could move its volatile workloads into teh cloud adn pay for addtional resources on demand.

So, hardware use inteh data centre is much more efficient, when a cloud computing option exists.

The cloud itself is a service managment ploatform.Therefore, well-designed cloud service protfolio's include a taight integration of the core service managmeent capabillities and well-defined interfaces.

Biggest Problem which Organizations face when considering moving applicaton systems to the cloud isthe issue of software dependencies. The cloud uses service oriented archietecture approach (based on loosely coupled services).

Sep 19, 2010

Cloud Service Delivery Models

Infrastrucutre as a service: offers storage and compte resources that developers and IT organizations use to deliver custom business solutions.

Platform as a service: offers development envioronments ath atIT organzations can use to creatse cloud-rready business applications

Software as a service: offers purpose built business applications

Infrastructure - as a Service
This refers to teh delivery of computer hardware - including Servers, networking technology, storage and data centre space), as a service. It may also include the delivery of operating systems and virtualization technlogy to manage the resources

Customers can rent computing resources instead of buying and installing them in their own data centres. (it's typically a pay as you use model). the service may incldue dynamic scaling - (bursting up or scaling down).

Key Example - Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Cloud - IaaS)

Organizations can "rent" computing resources - to boost their data centers by renting computer hardware adn appropriate allocations os sservers, networking technloogy, sotrate an data centre space - as a service, instead of laying out the capital expenditure for the maximum amount of resources to cover their highest level of demand, they purchase computing power if and when they ned it.

Platform as a Service
teh platform provider delivers more than infrastructure. It delivers a solutions stack - integrated set of software that profides everthign a developerneeds to build an applicationf for both sofware deevelopment and runtime.

This is an evolution of Web hosting. PaaS - provies lifeecyle managment capabillitys to manage all software delovelopment stages from plannig and design to building and deployment to testinga nd maintenance.

Key benefit: customers can haev sofware development anddeployment capabillity based entirely int he cloud. No mgt or maintenance efforts are reeqired for teh infrastructure.
all aspects of software develoment exist in the cloud. From design stage to build ing adn deployment - everything lives in the cloud.

Key Caveat: PaaS offerings have proprietary elements - so customers are tied to their PaaS providers adn may face high expenses if they choose to switch.

Software as a Service
This phenomenon refers to business applicatons that are hosted by the provider and delivered as a service.

Application Service Providers and CRM applications are the most common categories of Software as a service. (key example -

Advantages: Price of the software is on a per-use baseis, adn invoves no upfront costs from teh service provdier.

initially SaaS offerngs were not implemented over the internet. For the same oof security adn reliability , these offerings woudl normally involve virtual private networks.

Management & Administration - as a factor of cloud computing models.

Cloud computing services are easy enough to explain conceptually - however in implementing cloud services, one has to integrate it into the IT operations of the organization.

Note: Becuaes cloud requires a sel=service capability, it must be edesigned to manage not just provisionoing customer reqeusts but also issues sucah as workload managment, security, meteriing, monitoring and billing services.

For cloud serivces to be safe adn effective, they must measure and monijtor performance.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the next state in the evolution of the internet

The cloud in cloud computing provides the means throughw hich everything from computing power to coputing infrastructure applications, business proceess to personal collaboration, can be delivered to you as a serveice, wheereve adn whenever you need.

Clouds are fluida dn can easily expanda or contract.

This elasticity of the cloud means that users can request qdditional resources aon demand anad jus ast as easily depoirvisiton or release those resources when ytey're no longer needed,.

This elasticitiy is one of the main reasons indivuduals, businesses adn IT users are moving to the cloud.

Cloud computing infrastructures maie it easier for cmpanie sto treat their computing systems as a pool of resources rather than a set of independent environments that eadh has to be managed.

4 Basic Characteristics of the Cloud.

1. Elaasticity and abillity to scale up and down
2. Self-service provisioning and automatic deprovisiioning
3. Applicaton programing interfaces (APIs)
4. Billing and metering of service usage in a pay-as-you-go model

Good cloud services must have a comprehensive approach to service management and a well-definied process for security management.

The evolution of data centre management
over time, it became easier for IT Service Providers to add hardware to the data centre rather than to focus on making the dtata centre itself, more effective. By doing so, IT ensured that critical applications woldn't run out of resources. At the same time, these companies built or bought sofaware to meet their business needs - large cmmoplex applications were built to run in large data centres, and modified to meet changing business needs.

Technlogoy advancements such as virtualization, service oriented architecture and service managment have helped address some of th e needs of companies adn their IT service providers, as they strive to manage huge adn unqieldy business software adn data centre constraints. These technolgoy enablers have helped companies become more efficient adn cost effective - however teh cloud promises to improve their abillity to leveragte what they've bought and make use of external resources, designed to be used , on deamnd.

Note: Some applications wil simply not be successful when thron up on tht ecloud - virtualize adion also ads some performance implications. A database bound application will remain data base bound, regardless of the additional compute resources beneather it.

Important beneft if cloud computing: abillity to add new instratructure capacity quicly and at lower costs. (enables companies to gain IT resources whilst saving time and money. Typical cloud service providers have economies of scale - resulting int eh ability to spread fixed costs over more customers.

Organizations can try out new aplications without having to invest int eh hardware, sofaware or networking capacity.