July 27, 2011 | Written by: David Kwock
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When you think about using public cloud solutions for key pieces of business functionality consider several things prior to moving the workload to a public cloud.
First, consider the application integration requirements with workloads that exist in the traditional data center. This means selecting the right workload for the public cloud environments. Organizations should engage in a formal planning process, which includes adjusting the model for governance and having defined roles to manage the cloud infrastructure. This planning process includes considering the effort of building a team to help migrate the existing workload to a public cloud environment. I have found that even if the workload is considered a completely new workload, many times integration with existing workload can add a tremendous amount of effort and time to the project.
The next consideration, prior to implementing a public cloud solution, is whether customization is needed so that the cloud public offering meets your business needs. This consideration includes, for example, reviewing size, complexity, and specialization, based on the workload that is being considered for the public cloud environment. Depending on the public cloud offering, much customization might be needed to build a complete solution. For example, an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution might provide you with agile base operating system environments, but if your end workload consists of several application components that need to be deployed in conjunction with the base operating system then many times the public cloud solution only solves part of the desire for self service and quicker time to a solution being ready for production use. This also factors into the overall cost of putting workload into a public cloud. Depending on how the public cloud provider charges for workloads in their public cloud will in large part determine if the workload is a good fit for public cloud.
Finally, security must be considered when deploying solutions into a public cloud. This consideration includes reviewing security compliance requirements of the application and critical data that is required for the workload. Security in public cloud solutions is probably one of the biggest concerns for companies today regarding public cloud solutions. Organizations must consider where their data will be physically residing and who has access to this critical data. I have found that security can play a determining factor in what makes sense to put into the public cloud.
When considering public cloud solutions to satisfy business requirements, three aspects must be considered. First, consider the characteristics of the workload to determine if it is a good fit for public cloud depending on the potential required data integration with existing workloads. Next, consider the total cost of ownership of a public cloud solution, including reviewing the development and training cost of implementation of a public cloud solution. Finally, consider the security concerns of the workload to ensure the data security and application security requirements fit the ecosystem of a public cloud.