Sumit Sharma

Archive for August 2010

Cloud Strategy – Private vs. Public or… Hybrid?

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Cloud Computing is for real, and the burning question isn’t whether Cloud Computing should figure into IT strategic planning, but rather on the lines of how Cloud Computing fits into the IT landscape. When approaching this question, one sure thing you need to ascertain is exactly what type of Cloud model is optimal for your organization, public or private? Perhaps a blend of both?

Fundamental to being able to devise a Cloud strategy and understand which delivery model to pursue, it is important to drill down into some fundamental constraints that will power your decision. This should be approached both from a business strategy point of view, as well as from an operational efficiency perspective. Does it figure into your organization’s corporate strategy to be a consumer of cloud services, or a provider of cloud services? What are the types of services in the running to be consumed over the cloud – are they appropriate to be offered via the Cloud – are there specific regulatory and legal constraints that need to be considered? Furthermore, the design of the enterprise application architecture will need to be taken into account, as well as the maturity of your organization’s IT infrastructure. An easily overlooked aspect of ascertaining a Cloud strategy is how effectively can process be automated and governed within the organization – hosting a private Cloud is a paradigm shift, not just technologically, but from a process, organization and skills perspective. Last but not least – the bottom line – does it make financial sense to maintain Cloud infrastructure in house, or to source it externally? As you can see, deciding on what your organization’s Cloud strategy is like looking yourself in the mirror and doing some deep, realistic introspection.

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Written by Sumit

August 26, 2010 at 9:50 am

Posted in Cloud Computing

Why would you use converged server infrastructure architecture for your Cloud?

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In the NIST definition of Cloud Computing, virtualization and elasticity are listed as requirements. Virtualization is made possible by implementing hypervisors on servers, thereby allowing for multiple instances of operating systems to lie on a single server and sort of giving the impressions that you have many many servers available. Before this happened, you’d typically have a single operating system on a single server, and once that server is used to capacity, the only way to horizontally scale (to add capacity) would be to physically add more servers to your cluster.
Adding more servers meant you’d need to connect the other parts of the infrastructure stack, i.e. network components and storage components to the newly added servers – which can be a pain when you are scaling rapidly.

Enter, converged architectures which are integrated stacks of storage, network and servers, with virtualization hypervisors automatically built on top. Their advantage is that when you need to horizontally scale out, you just have the hypervisor automatically govern the resources of the infrastructure stack – think of the power of this for a moment…You have a single point of control which greatly simplifies how you manage your infrastructure, which by the way, results in lower operational expenditures and lower resource requirements.

Read here for a great case study.

Written by Sumit

August 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Posted in Cloud Computing

To be a Cloud, or not to be a Cloud

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I’m currently undergoing a rigorous study of how certain enterprises in a specific industry should become cloud providers. What I am finding is that it isn’t a question of how, but why!
Becoming a Cloud Provider, in my opinion, is a win-win situation. Not only do you modernize your architecture, make it current and scalable for the future, but you gain revenue and CIO mindshare while at it. (The Service Provider market is supposed to be a huge Billions of dollar market in the next few years).
Then … you’ll find all sorts of great things happening – market adjacencies will open up for your company right out of your own backyard. If you were to subscribe to the thought that what makes companies great comes from inside, than by putting in the infrastructure that allows them to share what’s inside, be it a phenomenal customer service organization (P&G), an efficient supply chain system (Walmart), an accurate demand prediction engine (Amazon), an effective design shop (BMW), you’re opening the ecosystems of business to greatness.
It is what the small business web does, by collaborating by sharing core strengths, each respective company helps one another become stronger.

Written by Sumit

August 2, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Cloud Computing