Cloud Computing

With the latest trends in cloud computing and its forecasted evolution, it seems the next hurdle is finding a way to create an ecosystem that includes all disparate cloud computing providers.

This ecosystem needs to find a way of fitting into the existing IT infrastructure of an organisation. The magnitude of the task is put into perspective when one considers that each of these private cloud computing services has their own management APIs, service catalogues and technology stacks.

Cloud Computing:  at the core of SME’s bread and butter

It is already a generally accepted notion that cloud computing is almost indispensible for SMEs. Jim Cramer of CNBC deemed it as one of “the holy trinity of tech”, i.e. social, mobile, and cloud. This is particularly true for public cloud computing, which can be used without the high cost, technological complexity and need for staff to support the virtual infrastructure that comes with private cloud computing. It has levelled the playing field allowing even the smallest of enterprises to influence their market by allowing them to respond to real-time market conditions and bring services to market without delay. 

Latest trend

One of the latest trend in cloud computing is to implement a hybrid cloud. In such instances an organisation might use a public cloud service for, as an example, archived data but continue to maintain in-house storage for operational customer data. This hybrid approach, which is also known as hybrid IT, allows an organisation to reap the benefits of public cloud computing without the vulnerability of risking exposure to mission-sensitive information. 

Hybrid Cloud difficulties

The issues to address in ensuring an effective management strategy of hybrid cloud deployment would be configuration management, security, fault management, budgeting and change control. The primary goal of a hybrid cloud operation should always be to minimise change.  Design differences will inevitably exist, despite how similarly public and private clouds are matched. Depending on how great the difference between the cloud environments, an organisation will face a degree of difficulty in managing multiple clouds as a single entity. 

Teething Issues

Due to the difficulty in integrating, only one third of respondents to Information Week’s Cloud Computing Survey don’t even venture to try hybrid clouds. IT operations teams face quite a challenge trying to manage a hybrid infrastructure and deploy applications across a multitude of clouds while ensuring the service levels remain the same. It’s understandable that this would result in such difficulty. The notion of comprehensive cloud service that manages heterogeneous environments is still in its infancy.

Latest Reports

Latest report by State of Cloud Computing Survey reveals that there has been an increase of 7% since 2011 in the number of users of cloud computing, putting the number at 40%. According to the Uptime Institute’s annual survey of 1,000 data centre facilities operators, 28% use public cloud services, with smaller ones half as likely as large companies to be adopters. Gartner predicts that the global cloud services market will grow by more than 18% by the end of this year. 

Biggest hurdle in the near future

Hence, the next hurdle in cloud computing is finding a way to link all disparate cloud services into an ecosystem the can fit into the existing IT infrastructure of an organisation. 16% of tech pros according to Information Week believe half or more of their IT services will be conveyed from the cloud within the next two years.

Hybrid Cloud Computing tips

Information Week recommends the following steps:

  • Investigate the capabilities already available in your software.
  • Build a cloud management and process automation strategy.
  • Make products that can abstract entire multitier applications a priority.
  • Look at commercial cross-platform orchestration products.

On golden commandment for Hybrid Cloud

The most important recommendation in my opinion is to remember that the cloud is all about streamlining application delivery. In order to do that, an organisation must bring in application developers, DevOps teams and application owners into strategy and evaluation process. It can’t ba unilateral IT Responsibility. 

Granted hybrid cloud computing is still in its infancy, but with forecasted trends and current reports it’s clear there is a need to form an ecosystem to manage the ever growing numbers of cloud computing users. It will be a daunting task it can be done.

Author BIO

Submitted by Charles Black, CEO at Nasstar Plc London. Nasstar is  one of the leading cloud service providers in Europe and the current European Citrix Service Provider of the Year.