The commoditization of technology has reached its pinnacle with the advent of the recent paradigm of Cloud Computing. Infosys Cloud Computing blog is a platform to exchange thoughts, ideas and opinions with Infosys experts on Cloud Computing

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August 28, 2013

Getting cloud management and sustenance right -- Part-2

I wrote in my last blog that cloud is real and organizations are embracing cloud with open arms and are rapidly marching towards it. As enterprises embark on their journey to the cloud, it is critical to understand that the adoption of cloud-related technologies is significantly different from managing a traditional datacenter. Cloud is more about integrating existing process, people and technology to adapt to cloud oriented operating model. By moving more and more applications and legacy in cloud, the amalgamation makes it more complex. Post adoption, enterprises may face several complexities that need to be factored in and addressed early to ensure smooth functioning of the ecosystem.

 

The first step in addressing these complexities is to develop a cloud sustenance and management framework. This framework has four key components namely Cloud governance and compliance, Cloud Ecosystem Integration and Orchestration Management, Cloud Automation Management and Cloud Security and Managed Services.

 

With multiple elements and service providers, the presence of Cloud governance framework is all the more significant. The governance function tracks whether the agreed services are being offered and whether the associated service levels are being met. It also ensures regulatory compliance and monitors budget adherence. Further, it handles partner management, risk management, and communication and escalation management. The governance framework should make a strong emphasis on compliance offering a holistic view across silos. 

 

Enterprises need to synchronize their services that reside on multiple clouds. The primary objective of the cloud integration phase is to understand and develop the interaction analysis of existing infrastructure with Cloud. Without such integration, services operate in silos creating inefficiencies and frittering away the benefits of a cloud solution. To ensure effective synchronization, enterprises need a cloud ecosystem integration solution for all offered services.

 

Services in cloud demand high level of integration. Typically, a cloud ecosystem integration solution employs available application programming interfaces (APIs). These are offered by CSPs to ecosystem integrators. The essential components of cloud sustenance services are Managing the integration solution, Adding/ removing/ modifying integrations based on future needs,  Monitoring and fine-tuning integration performance, Ensuring appropriate authentication and authorization mechanisms are in place to manage information security

 

It is also equally important develop a performance optimization and monitoring framework as there are high possibilities for impacts due to application and data volume. Therefore, it is critical for organizations to constantly monitor and optimize performance of integration services as part of the cloud sustenance and management framework. In my next blog, I will talk about cloud automation management and managing cloud systems and their security

August 27, 2013

You can't compete with the clouds, but you can embrace and succeed!

 

I take my inspiration for my blog title from Forrester's James Staten who recently wrote about "You can learn from the clouds but you can't compete". James Staten talks about how data center operations can help achieve levels of excellence and success and prescribes that standardization, simplification, workload consistency, automation and maniacal focus on power and cooling can help one setup and run the best data center operations.

 

However, I think there is more to these large cloud providers than just learning some best practices. I was talking to an important client of Infosys earlier with whom we are currently enabling an cloud enabled IT transformation and she mentioned something that clarified to me what the real value of these cloud providers means. She said her aspiration is to set up and run a trust cloud ecosystem for her enterprise with a single point of accountability.  In spite of the sheer scale and magnitude of their investments, the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Windows Azure, these giant behemoths of industrial scale infrastructure with their infinitesimal compute power, derive respect from the sheer agility and speed with which they are able to respond to their customer needs.

 

Of course, this happens because of a phenomenal level of simplification, standardization, automation and orchestration they run their operations with. Now imagine, how it would be if these principles of IT governance and operations management were extended to an enterprise. Vishnu Bhat , VP and Global head of Cloud at Infosys keeps saying "It is not about the Cloud. It is about the enterprise" and towards this if an enterprise were to simply focus on learning from these cloud leaders and work towards establishing an ecosystem of cloud providers, a hybrid setup, where their current IT is conveniently and easily connected to their private cloud, and public cloud setups. And this hybrid cloud environment is managed with the same level of agility and speed as an AWS is, that is when the possibility of true success and value from cloud starts to emerge.

 

Imagine a hybrid cloud within the realms of your enterprise that functions with the same speed, agility and alacrity of an AWS. Imagine exceptionally efficient levels of optimization of costs on a continuous basis by bringing in levels of automated provisioning of enterprise workloads, integrated federation and brokerage with on-premise core IT systems, extensibility with public clouds available for spikes, constant optimization through contestability and optimization, control and governance through single enterprise view, metering, billing and charge backs to business, clear points of accountability with easy governance of SLAs and liabilities, secure management of the cloud and compliance de-risking in keeping with the laws of the land. And all this from one ecosystem integrator with one point of responsibility, accountability. That's cloud nirvana at work!  I am eager to keeping telling clients on how to get to this state, how to learn from the cloud providers and contextualize these to an enterprise.

 

In my next blog, I will talk about an important aspect of cloud success - contestability, but before that, I would urge you to read my colleague Soma Pamidi's blog "Getting cloud management and sustenance right - Part 1". Till then, may the clouds keep you productive!

August 21, 2013

Getting cloud management and sustenance right -- Part-1

I have been in Australia in recent weeks as I work with a major client of Infosys' to help devise  the   cloud transformation for them. It is exciting, and all this effort in planning their transformation enablement with cloud only reaffirms a long time belief I have had - to get value from Cloud, one needs to get their cloud management and sustenance right. In this 3 part blog series, I will try and cover that. My secret hope is that it transpires into a model we can help clients with.

 

The promise of Cloud is that it just does simply reduce costs but also delivers business agility with flexibility. While enterprises are ramping up for the journey to cloud, achieving proper integration and delivery is of prime importance. It marks the steps to transition from 'asset-centric IT' to 'service-centric IT' in a systematic and progressive manner. It also presents a robust Cloud management framework that, with the right implementation partner can help the enterprise reap a rich harvest of business benefits.

 

Organizations are in various stages of consolidating their information technology (IT) infrastructure to a single or few centralized datacenters along with vendors and suppliers.  While such datacenter consolidation has yielded performance efficiencies and cost optimization, there has also been exponential growth in demand owing to the evolution of cloud solutions. Compared to traditional datacenters and hosting, cloud services offer higher elasticity, rapid scalability, on-demand pay-per-use models, and other innovative out-of-the-box, ready-to-use services. Today's enterprises are entering a new world where businesses are facing increasing pressures to offer efficient services, ownership and decisions are restricted to the services they consume.

 

Today's enterprises recognize that Cloud technologies are transforming IT and business models. With Cloud, organizations realize that it calls a new operating model which comes with its own set of challenges.

 

The increasing IT complexity makes it impossible to achieve desired benefits from a single cloud provider. The demand for superior services is forcing businesses to opt for multiple CSPs, transforming the existing IT landscape into a complex, hybrid cloud enterprise. This poses several challenges such as higher governance overheads, absence of a single point of accountability, complexity in managing SLAs, lack of standardized processes, tools and reports. In my next blog, I will speak about cloud governance and compliance and integration and orchestration management.