It is not a one-size-fits-all world today. Enterprises face a diverse array of challenges that require an optimal combination of solutions. The art is in determining the optimal mix while the science defines various solutions. This is true for applications or infrastructure components and is thus applicable to cloud computing as well. Enterprises need to determine the optimal combination of cloud-based solutions that best fit their needs aligning with their business objectives and IT strategy.
Here are top 5 steps that enterprises can take to position themselves to best determine the optimal mix of cloud-based solutions:
1. Common Reference Architecture. It is vital that enterprises zero in on a common reference architecture that applies across all types of cloud computing-based environments. At the end of the day, enterprises have the overall ownership for the solutions deployed end-to-end including key areas like security as I outlined in “Guess who is responsible for Cloud Security?”
2. Service Provider Rationalization. The ecosystem of cloud service providers is likely to be rationalized to a finite number of 10+ global, interoperable providers over time. In alignment with this trend, it behooves enterprises to work with a well-defined set of cloud service providers in order to streamline interoperability and governance across their IT landscape. While a single service provider may be idealistic, enterprises must exercise control to prevent a proliferation of service providers.
3. Cloud Interoperability Standards. Service-oriented principles provide a strong foundation to the Cloud paradigm. A key principle in this space is interoperability. Just like service orientation standardized the interface between diverse platforms and technologies, the different types of clouds must be interoperable. Enterprises should ensure that the appropriate standards are in place across cloud environments and service providers. Service providers who provide a comprehensive array of cloud deployment options are more likely to have appropriate standards in place to facilitate interoperability.
4. Cloud Guidance Matrix. The criteria that determines the applicability of private, public, managed or hybrid clouds to applications varies by enterprise. Enterprises need to define these criteria for themselves and apply it to their applications as well as their subsystems. Consistency in the manner in which these criteria are exercised is vital to ensure that the right applications are deployed to the Cloud.
5. Extra Enterprise Governance. While the Cloud Guidance Matrix provides the criteria, the Extra Enterprise Governance ensures consistency in the definition, deployment and sustenance of the solutions deployed. The governance must be exercised across the team of stakeholders from the Enterprise as well as the finite set of service providers. Federation across the different types of clouds is effective only with the appropriate levels of governance in place.
As I mention in one of my earlier posts, enterprises require a well-balanced combination of the traditional, private and public clouds. But finding the right mix for any given enterprise is not unlike moving to a new house. As referenced by Patrick Thibodeau in his InfoWorld article, Forrester Analyst James Staten says, "Users have become particular and are more likely to keep some applications in-house or acquire them as services through a software-as-a-service provider, said Staten. "We see selective sourcing," he said."
HP’s Converged Cloud lets customers manage hybrid, private, managed private, and public clouds. As mentioned by Dana Gardner in his Briefings Direct, “HP's arrangement of products and services [enables] a hastened path to hybrid computing values, built on standards and resisting lock-in, with an apparent recognition that very little in cloud's future will be either fully public or private.”
In his Info World posting, Patrick Thibodeau weighs in with “Instead of an expanding universe of hundreds of diffuse clouds, the world's economy will one day settle with … cloud providers that can be counted on to be interoperable and meet certain quality of service levels.”
With HP Enterprise Cloud Services - Private Cloud, enterprises can access IT capacity that rapidly adjusts with business availability, paying only for the resources that are consumed and nothing more. With access to HP cloud experts and methodologies, enterprises can deploy private cloud faster and less expensively; HP’s managed private cloud service provides cloud reference architectures, expertise, knowledge, processes and standard methodologies for the client, along with trained staff to deploy and maintain the environment.