November 29, 2011 | Written by: Martin Menzel
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Within my previous article in this blog about the term of cloud computing in general, I mentioned that cloud computing comes in different flavors depending on how you look at it, and what is in it for you. Ah – let’s stop here – so what really is in it for you? That’s a good question! Depending on whom you ask, you often would hear something like “you can turn your captial expenses into operational expenses (CAPEX to OPEX),” or “you can decrease your time to market by leveraging rapid deployment of needed infrastructure for your projects,” or “you can optimize your server utilization,” or, or…
Now, all of these answers can be correct – but as usual, it depends how correctly they are applied to your current situation and tasks you have to deal with. First, because cloud computing is not a product (although some vendors would like to make us believe it is), cloud computing is a new paradigm of leveraging IT – consuming IT as a service. Whether such a service is run out of in-house data centers (private cloud) or provided by third-party service providers (public cloud) already has a big impact on whether the former mentioned questions can be answered in your favor. And second, if you consider starting to explore and leverage cloud computing within your IT environment, you have to make sure that it fits all requirements to support your business. Not only all it’s functional requirements, but also non-functional requirements such as availability, backup possibilities, resiliency, licenses, network speed, and so on.
So in case you are not in the very fortunate position of being able to build and explore cloud computing on the greenfield, a proper strategy and concept of how to approach, build, migrate, and run certain cloud services within your overall IT can help you to avoid losing money and time when you start moving towards cloud computing. But why am I telling this – shouldn’t that be the normal approach?
Unfortunately from my experience, it isn’t. In contrast, very often the most important first step is missed or skipped totally, whether it’s because of pure lack of time that parties want to spend on “just talks,” or both parties think they know what the other wants or can deliver. This kind of situation always remindes me about the Nick Lowe song (“What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding”). If everybody could apply this pattern, the world would be much different than today. And I believe it could be easily applied to cloud computing.
Especially as complex cloud computing might get – if all parties would take more time up front to explore and share their ideas, a lot of cloud computing projects would run much smoother from the very beginning. What’s so funny about trust, insight, and understanding? Nothing funny at all – it’s the necessary base for successfully exploring, transitioning, and finally leveraging cloud computing within your IT.