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How to test the waters when it comes to cloud computing

Ben Rossi | Aug. 14, 2013
After a period of reluctance, organisations are beginning to trust the cloud, but the decision far from ends at acceptance. Do you go public or private? Or do you go for a combination of both -- otherwise known as a hybrid. The latter is allowing to dip before diving in.

Jumping on the bandwagon
Asides from its ability to ease organisations into the cloud, it is also the ease itself of the model which is encouraging others to jump on the bandwagon.

"Hybrid clouds are much easier to implement and do not interrupt or disrupt the existing infrastructure, and also save a lot of costs in rolling out newer, client-side applications," Joseph says.

"Competition in this also will bring in customer benefits and reduction in the management costs, which are the main costs in running IT."

However, Sullivan thinks of it differently. He believes it is not a conscious choice to go for a hybrid cloud, and that "hybrid cloud" is not even the right term to describe the technology.

"I think you end up doing it," he says. "You're really probably not going to just take everything you've got on Monday morning, or even over a period of six months, and put it on the cloud.

"What I see is you will probably take steps to look at cloud as an opportunity for your corporation to offload you to move to more of an OPEX model, whether that be due to reasons of expansion or new services.

"Hybrid cloud sits a little bit ill with me because really it's a hybrid cloud environment, not a hybrid cloud. Basically, hybrid cloud is simply one of private and one of public. Really, as you've moved one out to a public, you have a hybrid cloud environment."

Once an organisation has settled on hybrid as the best cloud model for them, it is important to define a cloud strategy that clarifies the vision up-front.

"One size clearly does not fit all," says Mahesh Venkateswaran, Managing Director, Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud, Cognizant. "Industries differ, clients differ, business models differ, and so do their requirements."

Such a strategy should include what components need to remain in-house and what can be moved to the cloud, along with the activities and time frames involved in the actual cloud migration.

The migration must be executed phase-wise based on sound methodologies that can maximise the benefits of cloud adoption, as well as ensure efficient migration.

As part of cloud adoption, it is imperative to establish sound governance models that address all regulatory and compliance requirements, as well as operational policies for steady state management of the cloud-based systems after migration.

"In the use of hybrid cloud models, a well thought-out integration strategy, while defining the architecture for cloud-based systems, is critical in ensuring that disparate hybrid cloud components utilising various cloud service models get along well," Venkateswaran adds.

Two of the most important factors when moving into a hybrid cloud environment are the same reasons that held back implementation in the first place; data security and data availability.


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