September 27, 2012 | Written by: Maamar Ferkoun
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While there is great appeal for moving to the cloud, you might want to be on the lookout for some of the following considerations. While these are the top ones, they do not constitute an exhaustive list.
1. Monitoring: can I see what I have and monitor it?
This is an essential part of assessing how your cloud environment is performing.
Providing reports on how the services are performing, what the availability of these services is and in return, how are the service levels affected would be testament to the business value.
2. Security: moving outside my total control
This has certainly been of the most concern when it comes to hosting applications and data in a cloud environment and comprehending the risks involved can be challenging. While there are numerous technologies that would address all facets of the security spectrum, the often-neglected part of the equation is the process handling of the information that is now being entrusted to someone else and how to enforce one’s company security policy. A typical representation of this would be the fact that data residing in another country might make this data accessible by the local jurisdiction. Another issue would be how the hosting organization staff is handling and accessing the information and what are the processes regulating access to the information.
3. Performance:, can I expect the same from the cloud?
Your users have been accustomed to the speedy applications performance when the servers are only floors away, now that they are basically out of sight, light years away in a remote data center, this might not be the case anymore and performance issues might crop up.
One does need to grasp the implications of application performance in a cloud environment and how this can meet the expected outcome in terms of response time, latency, resiliency and scalability in a more complex environment and how these can be measured and projected to determine the optimum hosting scenario.
4. Vendor lock-in: the hostage situation
This is the dilemma facing every customer: What is the best solution out there for me? While some vendors will be providing you with an open platform that supports different types or hypervisors (VMware, KVM, Zvm) and a pledge to supporting open standards, others will invariably be keen to enter into a vendor “lock-in” solution where turning to an alternative solution can be painstaking. Your choice is therefore between “all options are open” or “this is my only choice for the foreseeable future.” While the last option might accommodate your requirements at the time of your decision, you might also consider giving yourself alternatives as it might prove a painstaking experience switching to the alternative once you are engaged with the vendor.
5. Migration: moving applications to the cloud
Last but not least, while few contest the agility in porting one’s applications to the cloud, not all are good candidates for migration. You might check whether these applications are web supported, what type of database is being used, whether it is itself supported and how easy it is to migrate these applications back from the vendor’s infrastructure; the financial aspect of the endeavor should also be looked at as it might be a costly option.