Enterprises today no longer question whether or not they should move to cloud.
CIOs, CTOs, IT directors and executives need no convincing about the benefits that cloud solutions bring. Economy, efficiency, flexibility, redundancy, scalability and even security is now seen as a significant advantage to cloud adoption.
In fact, the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that a whopping 85% of enterprises will commit to a multi-cloud architecture model by 2018.
Instead, enterprises are faced with a myriad of decisions around their cloud adoption strategy.
They know why they want to migrate the cloud. Now it is a matter of what the architecture, configuration and overall environment should be the cloud enablement.
What Is cloud enablement?
Multiple definitions for cloud computing and enablement exist. However, the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers the most comprehensive and widely accepted definition: “Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g. networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. “
When defining cloud enablement, Techopedia offers the most practical breakdown: Cloud enablement is the process of creating, deploying and operating some or most of an organisation’s IT infrastructure, software and resources through the cloud. Cloud enablement shifts in-house IT to a public, private or hybrid cloud environment. Cloud enablement service is delivered by cloud enablers or cloud service providers.”
To put it simply, cloud enablement is the process of converting internal IT resources to a public, private or hybrid environment.
Moving to the cloud
Migration is not as easy as flipping a switch. As previously mentioned, cloud enablement is a process. Before the process can even begin, enterprises need to: understand their current IT environment, business needs to goals and objectives while remaining centred on the final user experience for all the stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers and partners. After all, there is no point of migrating if the end solution is unusable.
Once those parameters have been established, it is easier to determine what the final composition of the end solution should be. This involves deciding on the appropriate cloud service models: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS) or a combination thereof. Deployment models could also be a combination or exclusive use of public or private clouds.
All of these steps present organisations with an overwhelming amount of considerations and decisions. The bulk of which come from selecting the providers and/or third-party resources required. Here, service levels agreements, reliability, access, locality, speed, support and redundancy are scrutinised to ensure optimal operations and sustainability.
It all hinges on one vital component
At the end of the day, no matter how a company executes their cloud enablement strategy, there is one massively important component needed which can make or break successful adoption of cloud services.
To truly exploit all the benefits that cloud technology can offer, access to the cloud is paramount. Not availability of servers –while that is, of course, important– but the actual connection to reach the cloud.
The entire premise of cloud computing rests on utilising the Internet for access.
Commuting is as important as computing
Cloud computing allows businesses of any size to harness the power, speed and flexibility of the most sophisticated, up-to-date technology a considerably lower cost. However, it means relying on a continuous Internet connection.
The Internet connection needs to be as available, reliable and fast as the chosen cloud solution to achieve the best possible experience.
Turbulent connectivity will do nothing but undermine the benefits that the world of cloud computing presents.
Every cloud has a silver lining
The technological revolution has brought with it the advent of fibre optics, and data can now be transmitted at the speed of light.
Fibre is capable of transmitting a large amount of data at virtually unlimited speeds. It is invulnerable to electromagnetic interference, severe weather conditions and is less vulnerable to theft. It is by far the most suitable medium for connectivity to the cloud.
What really sets fibre connections apart is the service provider behind the connectivity. Optimisation of fibre’s performance relies on how various Internet service providers (ISPs) configure their business fibre packages.
Tier 1 providers not only light the fibre, they offer complete control of the networks – delivering on uptime, speed and other service guarantees. They are also able to detect and resolve faults much faster than other providers. More often than not, they have reliable millisecond failover solutions in place.
Businesses also reduce the chances of delay-by-finger-pointing when dealing directly with such providers, as they (the ISPs) are the ultimate responsible party for the connection.
The final word
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure your ISP can commit to the same levels of service you expect from all other providers in your cloud solution.
* This article was contributed by BitCo