With the change form PC based IT to Cloud based IT, understanding what the cloud is and what it is not can be confusing.
The Cloud is a new way to deliver, and consume IT resources such as applications and services. This changes how these resources are defined. The cloud is the biggest change to IT since the transition from Main frame to client server. With these changes going on for the last 10 years it is defining the next generation of IT.
Even with the cloud movement going on for the past decade, there is a mountain of misunderstanding surrounding the cloud. Organizations are in a “Lost in the clouds” when it comes to knowing how to develop a cloud strategy or to use the technologies that specially built to leverage the cloud. Knowing what the cloud is important, but it is just as important to know what the cloud is not.
Cloud is not a place
Moving to the cloud is often cited as a top priority for organizations today. Most of them fail to realize that the cloud is not a place. The cloud can be anywhere, your data center or an outsourced data center. Most businesses incorrectly think that by moving to the cloud will enable your company to leave behind legacy applications and systems. But organizations must understand that the cloud is a new way of delivering, consuming and adopting IT services in a more agile, efficient and cost-effective manner. The clouds can be a mix of private, public, hybrid or managed. The cloud must be looked at as a whole for organizations to reap the benefits of reduced costs, privacy concerns, anywhere access and overall business needs.
Cloud is not server virtualization
With cloud computing currently being the hot trend many vendors are repackaging server virtualization and calling it a private cloud. When investigating the cloud as a delivery mechanism for IT services we see that server virtualization is only one part of the whole. At GridCSP a company that has built a true cloud infrastructure we see this new approach. GridCSP starts with Citrix Xen Server to virtualize servers, the next layer is Xen App for delivery of applications and desktops and then the Cloud Control Portal which gives assigned users the ability to manage infrastructure across their cloud.
Companies like Google are currently doing the cloud without server virtualization and are deploying clouds on bare metal infrastructure. So keep in mind that server virtualization is important part of the cloud, but is not always needed.
Cloud is not an island
The cloud is not isolated to public or private, organizations need to remember that they have options. Keeping all your critical services in the cloud can have big consecuenses if you ever suffer a outage like the one Amazon experienced in June 2012. The right cloud strategy needs to have a hybrid approach with the ability to seamlessly connect to private and public clouds. NASA recently included Amazon Web Services as a cloud partner even after investing in its own technology infrastructure showing interoperability of multi-cloud environments.
Cloud is not top-down
The traditional approach to IT delivery has been turned on its head. Business leaders are avoiding avoid traditional IT processes and moving to the cloud to let them easily and rapidly go to market. With the cloud all that is needed is credit card to start an account and users have instant access to an infinite pool of IT resources. Within organizations, employees are already using the cloud to test out new ideas, quickly get jobs done or and improve overall work flow. IT Consumerization is driving this change, C-level offices are playing catch up to their employees who are in the cloud and reaping the benefits. To see the effects of the cloud on the total organization officers need to take a serious look at the cloud otherwise their competitors will and be one step ahead.
Cloud is not hype
The more we speak to organizations the more we find misunderstandings with regards to cloud. This is slowing the progression of adoption as organizations are skeptical of the hype and believe the cloud is something that is far off in the future. Although there is a lot of hype around cloud computing many companies are already in the cloud and enjoying the rewards. The cloud is now, Citrix a cloud leader has more than 100 organizations running clouds today, including AutoDesk, Edmunds.com, Nokia, Chatham Financial and others.
For companies considering moving to the cloud, it is important that they take a look at others who have already successfully implemented highly scalable clouds that have transformed the way they consume and deliver IT.
Is your organization Lost in the clouds? Contact the cloud specialists at GridCSP to help clear up any questions you have regarding cloud computing. Contact us today.