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Cloud Computing is no different than any new technology that is introduced, along with the advantages showcased and later hyped, there are some disadvantages attached to it too. Interesting part, however, is that disadvantage is not exactly the real problem. It is the lack of knowledge and understanding coupled with the pressure to keep up with competing enterprises for adopting the technology and the urge to adopt.
Some common questions that most businesses have are; How do I implement it? Where do I implement it? Which companies do I check for superior services? These may not be the correct set of questions if you are still in planning stages of adopting cloud, They may require to be answered in the strategizing phase maybe. The questions that you want answers to are, Should I move to Cloud? How will it prove useful for me? Where will it be most useful? How will it help drive efficiency? How will it help save money and yet provide good returns?
The Cloud Computing Hype
We all have read a lot of articles and also heard it from a lot of influential people around the globe emphasizing on how essential Cloud computing is and how you should start adopting it. Of course the technology lives the hype and to an extent, many points which are highlighted during the course of hype are accurate. Sooner or later, all the organizations, no matter how small or large are bound to adopt it but not everything will be or has to be in the cloud.
Here are some points below which will help you in understanding where the cloud computing model works and where it doesn’t.
Where Cloud works
IT organizations today need to spend huge sum of money to build up and maintain their ever-growing infrastructure, the large networks and storage, a considerable space consuming data centers in some cases, the expense of which is also equally high. Not to forget the need and compulsion to maintain and improvise on the efficiency and the man-power required to look after it. The returns against these investments vary from company to company. Cloud Computing provides a solution to these problems, in many ways enhances efficiency and if strategized accurately, may significantly improve the returns.
A proper cloud model is the combination of Public cloud and Private cloud, also known as Hybrid. With the clear plan and a proper strategy, any organization, irrespective of how large it is, can make a smooth transition to Cloud Computing and impact the Return Of Investment (ROI) in a positive way . Incorrect and irregular planning will not only magnify the existing problem, but may even jeopardize the transition, and your company will still face the same problem even after moving to cloud.
A Cloud model offers these characteristics:
Unpredictability: The workload can be unpredictable, but cloud takes the benefits of shared resources and can anytime adjust the resources whenever the workload increases.
Variability: Some workloads have inconsistent demands. A workload may require a lot of resources in its initial phase but its demands may reduce later, in such cases, the shared resources can be used for other purposes.
Repeatability: Some services may be required to be provided and rolled out time and again within the organization.
Singularity: Some services don’t need to be integrated into other enterprise applications.
New Applications: Many new applications are developed to specifically take advantage of the cloud model and its services.
A proper goal and plan to implement cloud within any organization will help them in improving their services, along with added benefits like flexibility, cost-effectiveness, speed in delivering services, building new services based on demands.
Where Cloud doesn’t work
There are still services which don’t require cloud computing model. If some application requires a specific hardware like a specific chip or driver, the service can be affected if the cloud provider changes or upgrades the hardware in future. The investment which was meant to cut down the cost could backfire. In such cases, Private cloud can be a solution as you would have control over everything unlike Public Cloud.
You should carefully consider if you require implementing the Cloud Computing model within your enterprise and if you do, evaluate which services do you need, how much will it cost, how can they benefit you overall, and most importantly the ROI has to be positive.
In a Private Cloud, the resources are firewalled for outside network and are only available for people within the company; the infrastructure may or may not be located within the company but the company still has complete control over it.
In Public Cloud, the entire infrastructure is provided by the cloud service provider which may be located across the globe. It usually works on pay-per-usage basis.
In a Hybrid Cloud, you get the best of both the worlds. The control and the convenience that comes with Private cloud and the cost-effectiveness that comes with Public cloud.
Cloud Computing is definitely worth all the hype. It brings flexibility, efficiency, scalability and makes resources available and adjusts them as per the demand. Cloud is meant to make the IT management simpler. Inaccurate or lack of understanding will only make the management more complex and thereafter, even more difficult to solve. A step-by-step approach will allow you to meet your objectives and save more money.
Please note: This article is based on a research paper by HP.