With a Chance of
THERE ARE CLEAR BENEFITS TO USING THE CLOUD MODEL TO FACILITATE THE
RAPID AVAILABILITY OF IT RESOURCES, BUT IT’S NOT FOR EVERY ENTERPRISE.
By Raymond J. Sun
the project is completed, the IT resources are returned to the
pool for reuse or reallocation. That means companies don’t
have to make capital expenditures to purchase their own IT
resources, which would have to be repurposed once the initial
project was completed in order to continue justifying that
Underlying the cloud computing model is the notion of
automation, which enables self-service provisioning, high
scalability, elasticity and ease of “return” when no longer
needed. This model has been associated with virtualization,
since virtualization is typically required to dynamically provision IT services or resources.
However, cloud computing adds the capabilities of user
self-service request of services and automatic fulfillment
based on those requests. Potential uses range from short-term development, or test projects, to dynamic incremental
capacity for mission-critical, customer-facing Web sites.
AS CLOUD COMPUTING CONTINUES TO ROLL OVER the landscape, many enterprise IT organizations still struggle to resolve questions about its security, reliability and resiliency. These questions come up regardless of
whether companies are considering a public or private cloud.
Enterprise IT leaders are examining the risks, benefits and
issues of this approach, but many feel their judgment is still
too cloudy to make the leap. In discussions at the industry
group SHARE, I T professionals voice concerns about performance, availability, security, resiliency and usage accounting.
Cloud computing is a way of delivering IT services and
resources over the Web, using rapid, self-service provisioning,
while insulating the user of the services or resources from the
management of the underlying IT infrastructure. In other
words, as a consumer of IT resources, you can focus on using
the resources, rather than managing them. So you don’t have
to go through the hassles of procuring and implementing
hardware and software to use IT resources.
The benefits of cloud computing for enterprise IT are
pretty straightforward and well-documented. One of many
benefits is that the cloud greatly reduces the time to market
for developing new software applications. That results from
the significant reduction in IT resource acquisition time—in
many cases, from weeks to minutes.
In addition, if enterprise IT organizations are using a
public cloud approach, they have to pay only for what they
use, without committing to a long-term relationship. When
PUBLIC OR PRIVATE?
The two primary types of cloud deployment have been called
“public” and “private.” A public cloud refers to shared IT services or resources (a multitenant environment) obtained from
a third-party service provider, while a private cloud is usually
owned and managed in-house. In some cases, a third party
provides a private cloud specifically for one company.
Examples of a public cloud include Amazon EC2 (Elastic
Compute Cloud), Google AppEngine, IBM’s Blue Cloud and