ask ten people for a cloud definition & you'll get 10 different answers
Despite the hype, “cloud” may be the most overused and commonly misunderstood term in the tech industry today. Let’s demystify it a little before determining how best to leverage it within your organization.
In short, cloud service is elastic (users consume as much or as little of a service as they want at any time), sold-on-demand, and fully managed by the provider. More importantly, cloud computing makes it possible to increase capacity and add capabilities on-demand–without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel or licensing new software.
One of the challenges with the definition above — and this isn’t Latisys’ definition…it’s really a definition established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) — is that it’s broad enough that one can apply the term “cloud” to a variety of service delivery models.
Cloud Myths Debunked
Myth # 1: Cloud Computing = Loss of Control
Quite the contrary. While some are concerned that outsourcing their IT will result in a loss of control, the beauty of the cloud is that it’s really more of a trade-off. When you own and self-manage your hardware, you are obviously in full control over configuration and performance. But as you outsource more and begin to move workflows, applications and data to the cloud, what you lose in direct control over hardware, you gain in complete control over IT resources and usage. The cloud enables you to spin up and down virtual instances on demand, tailoring storage, RAM, CPUs and more in ways you simply couldn’t do easily or as often in a dedicated environment.
- The Truth. You enable your team to optimize the performance of the underlying technology that drives your systems and applications, instead of spending their time maintaining and managing IT assets.
Don't bet on it. Certain applications are clear matches for the "burstability" and elasticity cloud solutions provide: file sharing; social media; testing and development; email; server virtualization; and SaaS. But there are many applications where the answer isn’t so clear-cut. Legacy enterprise commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications require significant due diligence due to the hierarchical nature of their architecture. These applications might be a great fit for the cloud, but traditional managed hosting may be a more ideal solution. More than ever, it’s essential for you to carefully evaluate the costs associated with transitioning to the cloud and be realistic about what you’re trying to achieve.
- The Truth. You've got to know when to hold certain applications back, and which ones to fold in to the cloud.
Subtraction by Addition? While it’s true that in the cloud you pay for only what you need to use—avoiding the need to engineer your infrastructure for peak levels of activity—the additional layer of orchestration on top of a managed hosting environment is just that—an additional software component that providers are delivering deliver to users to enable self-management, faster provisioning and granular control. This means that the same configuration consuming the same amount of resources for the same period of time is going to cost more in the cloud than it would in a dedicated environment. And as Wired.com reports, early adopters of “Commodity Cloud” solutions are finally waking up to this disappointing—and costly—reality. True cost savings are realized by leveraging dedicated hosting for predictable workloads and the cloud for variable workloads. Be sure to fully understand the ongoing usage and access fees associated with the infrastructure you are deploying to avoid any surprise charges. And challenge your vendor to tailor a Hybrid IaaS to your specific needs.
- The Truth. Cloud computing may be the answer, but you'll have to show your work to get full credit.
Take Your Enterprise to the Cloud
Get all the infrastructure you need, the instant you need it, without buying, installing or maintaining any part of it. Ever. The cloud makes it possible. Latisys Cloud Services makes it easy. To learn more, contact Latisys today.
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