Companies today are looking for solutions that offer better traction for their IT budgets, while providing agile, innovative and automated IT services both inside and outside of their organisations.
One such solution to dynamically scale enterprise workloads and to create a competitive advantage in a challenging marketplace is cloud computing, says Richard Vester, EOH Cloud Services.
The cloud is changing the fundamental ways IT resources in data centres are utilised, deployed and managed in a business environment. However, today there are many contradictory definitions of what cloud computing is, as well as what it’s not. There are also as many different definitions of public versus private clouds.
Private clouds are generally defined as a proprietary computing architecture that provides hosted services to a limited number of people behind a firewall. The term “private cloud” can also be used to refer to virtualised cloud data centres inside a company’s firewall.
To sift through the clutter, how do organisations cost-effectively enhance the current infrastructures that they have inside their data centres amidst the evolution of cloud computing business models and services?
The data centre today is an increasingly complex environment, which creates constant challenges for organisations to keep up with while maintaining high levels of availability.
To mitigate this disruptive transition, we believe it is imperative to start by firstly overlaying a management layer, taking an organisations’ virtualisation infrastructure to an on-demand cloud computing model. These layers include software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which sits on top of the IT infrastructure layer.
By implementing a management layer, organisations get a better visibility of the inner workings of their current infrastructures, therefore optimising their current capex investment and allowing them to build different divisions within their organisation.
This also gives them the ability to standardise and templetise their operating systems and applications and do rapid deployment onto the infrastructure to serve the needs of the business.
Importantly, cloud doesn’t mean that organisations lose control of their applications. Many companies do not want to fuse applications into a service provider data centre and onto a managed hosted cloud. By enabling a private cloud infrastructure inside their data centre, organisations get the best of what they could consume through a service provider, but ensure that they are satisfied with the security.
Organisations should start with identifying potential opportunities for a cloud infrastructure by following these simple steps:
* Understanding what the business currently is consuming in the current infrastructure investments;
* Migrating that to a true cloud based infrastructure and implementing the right tools, so that the organisation has visibility on the infrastructure, as well as how the applications are performing; and
* Wrapping the entire infrastructure with the correct management layer, which will allow organisations to consume cloud on a month to month basis, as well as giving them not only visibility, but rapid deployment capabilities.
In order to be able to achieve a true private cloud, organisations need not invest huge amounts. The management layer, as well as monitoring infrastructure, that service providers such as EOH provide to organisations is offered on a month-to-month basis, creating the private infrastructure inside their own data centre.
Additionally, EOH Cloud Services also provides consulting to help organisations move to a cloud based infrastructure.