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Realistic strategies for a successful cloud

T.C. Seow | May 28, 2012
CIOs are being pushed to go beyond infrastructure, maintenance and operations to optimising delivery of business services for innovation and growth.

Six Core Competencies
The CA Technologies approach is based on our Business Service Innovation (BSI) roadmap -- a common set of guiding principles and disciplines that CA Technologies advocates to deliver any innovative business service. When applied to cloud computing, Png further suggested CA's Business Service Innovation (BSI) roadmap as a guide, since it outlines six core competencies that enterprises and service providers alike should adopt to responsibly use or provide enterprise-grade cloud services.

It also includes the core basics of delivering a cloud, such as virtualisation and automation. However, it (appropriately) starts earlier in the process with essential elements of planning, modelling, and assembly of complex hybrid IT services before they are delivered. It also progresses forward to encompass on-going security, assurance, and management for complex services after they are delivered.

The six core competencies are described as below:

1. Model and simulate cloud services before you invest. "First, you need insight into your current service portfolio and your upcoming development projects," Png explained. "You need to know what cloud options you have, and what will actually help solve your problems. You need to know whether software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), private, public, or hybrid is the answer for any given service." He added that CIOs need to model, simulate, and test before they invest to ensure a smooth and cost-effective transition. Only then can they make objective and effective decisions on how, when, what, and why to move to cloud.

2. Assemble cloud services from internal and external sources. "Cloud choice is often haphazard and ad hoc, resulting in unproductive, costly, insecure, duplicated, and non-compliant 'rogue cloud'," Png said. "Instead, you should intentionally assemble the right cloud choices to create a functional hybrid service environment. This too must start with objective insight into current service definitions and requirements, available service offerings, and possible service providers. Only then can you evaluate cloud options and assemble the right combination of infrastructure resources and/or pre-built services, to deliver the complete cloud service that business needs."

3. Automate manual activity across diverse systems. According to Png, cloud computing assumes "on-demand self-service", so automation is essential to accelerate the complex interactions of virtualisation, self-service, resource measurement, chargeback, and service delivery. "Large enterprises especially must consider how to orchestrate complex services across cloud and traditional platforms; how to automate processes and workloads across public and private clouds, whether IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS; how to integrate element managers and fabrics like VCE Vblock, NetApp FlexPod, or Cisco UCS; and how to automatically manage non-IT resources like power, cooling, and facilities. Enterprise cloud needs unified orchestration capabilities that can automate manual activity across all these environments as one, not just one or two proprietary platforms," he said.


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