Cloud computing is a very hot, new trend-it’s so new, in fact, that its definition is as nebulous as its name suggests. Generally speaking, cloud computing offers you the ability to deploy applications, systems, and IT infrastructure as services that reside in a global pool-the “cloud.” You can pull resources from the cloud whenever you need them, and you pay only for what you use. When you don’t need them anymore, you simply release them back to cloud for others to use. Although cloud computing is destined to become part of almost every organization’s IT strategy, cloud computing currently is still very much a new technology. As a result, the market is saturated with conflicting information, causing confusion for organizations that could benefit from this technology. Fortunately, the experts at Enterprise Vision Technologies can help you understand the evolving standards and varied pricing models so you can find your way through the fog of marketing propaganda. For more information, contact us at 310-600-1783 or email@example.com
Why are Enterprises moving to the cloud?
- To reduce costs
- To convert CAPEX to OPEX costs
- For the “pay as you go” model
- For elastic scalability
- For speed to deployment
Major Cloud Types
Cloud Computing Types
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a model for provisioning hardware (compute, storage, networking, etc…) to the end user where management of the underlying fabric is controlled by the provider, but the end user maintains control of the operating system and applications installed within. This system usually includes a metered-by use cost model and allows the end user to expand/contract their use of the infrastructure as needed, usually via self-service portals. Examples include: Rackspace, Amazon EC2, Terremark, and private clouds deployed/managed by IT as service to business units (internal IT’s end-customers).
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a model for delivering complete development platforms as a cloud service. PaaS offerings facilitate development, testing, deployment and on-going maintenance of applications without the cost of buying the underlying infrastructure and software environments. Examples include: Microsoft Azure Platform, Google App Engine, VMforce.com
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model where an application is delivered over the Internet and customers pay on a per-use basis. It is the most common form of cloud computing delivered today. Examples include: Salesforce.com, Hosted Exchange, Microsoft 365, etc.
Building Blocks of a Cloud Infrastructure
The building blocks of a cloud infrastructure include:
Consolidated hardware to minimize power, cooling and space as well as underlying managed components. This is where consolidated infrastructure plays a key role.
With the second building block we layer on virtualization to maximize utilization of the underlying hardware while providing logical separation for individual applications.
If we stop at this point we have what most of today’s data centers are using to some extent or moving to. This is a virtualized data center. Without the next two layers we do not have a cloud/utility computing model. The next two building blocks provide the real operational flexibility and organizational benefits of a cloud model.
To move out virtualized data center to a cloud architecture we next layer on Automation and Monitoring. This block provides the management and reporting functionality for the underlying architecture. It could include: monitoring systems, troubleshooting tools, chargeback software, hardware provisioning components, etc.
Next we add a provisioning portal to allow the end-users or IT staff to provision new applications, decommission systems no longer in use, and add/remove capacity from a single tool. Depending on the level of automation in place below some things like capacity management may be handled without user/staff intervention.
The last building block is security. While many private cloud discussions leave security out, or minimize its importance it is actually a key component of any cloud design. When moving to private cloud customers are typically building a new compute environment, or totally redesigning an existing environment. This is the key time to design robust security in from end-to-end because you’re not tied to previous mistakes (we all make them)or legacy design. Security should be part of the initial discussion for each layer of the private cloud architecture and the solution as a whole.