10 tips for adopting cloud computing

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Cloud computing is here to stay and change the way we consume IT services. However, chief information officers (CIOs) and chief technology officers (CTOs) often feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available on the possibilities for cloud. There’s also the rushing from the financial people to deal with—all because they heard that cloud is the way to cut costs.

Cloud stormJust keep calm, relax and develop your way to adopt cloud step-by-step. Look ahead and consider these 10 tips for adopting cloud:

1. You don’t need to be completely on the cloud right now. If you can’t get beyond thinking like this, you might never start your cloud journey because looking at all the work needed to move everything to the cloud can be intimidating.

2. Think of cloud adoption as a trip with various stages instead of a non-stop flight.

3. Hybrid cloud models are a great way to adopt cloud if your current applications are not ready for the cloud yet. You can split your systems between public cloud, local private cloud and on-premises models.

4. Analyze your current applications and catalog them by workload. There is no magic formula for this, but you can create something like the following chart of fictional applications:

Cloud applications chart

In this example, you can see that XYZ13 is a public web service and ABC97 is a public transactional system that will be very database and workload intensive.

5. You can start by sending all your public web services to public clouds. This is a natural move because these services are already prepared for strong user access. There are different security services to protect your data (as optional services) and you can start enjoying the elasticity of the cloud right away if you already have peaks in the access to your services.

6. Heavily transactional applications probably won’t be ready for a public cloud yet, but you can bring them life and elasticity if you mount them on a shared private cloud (IBM Cloud Managed Services, for example) or if you mount them on your own private cloud.

7. Think toward the future. If you are going to buy and mount your own private cloud, you will want to use an OpenStack orchestrator. Doing so will allow you to move services to other clouds in an easier and less expensive way in the future. For more on this, see my previous blog post.

8. Don’t be afraid of splitting your applications between different solutions. You will still be able to have integrated views and control of them, and the benefits of the move will outweigh the effort to accomplish it.

9. If you have heavy applications that will not run properly on a cloud environment, don’t just write them off yet; start by planning to change your app architecture to a cloud-centric model step-by-step. In the next 3 to 5 years, the version and hardware of these applications will evolve and you will only have to take advantage of the changes to complete their move to the cloud.

10. If you’re still confused by all the cloud options, you can always contract an experienced managed services provider to help you plan your way to cloud.

In conclusion, don’t feel overwhelmed by the pressure to evolve from “homemade” housing or hosting models to the cloud. Just start with the systems that are already perfect for the cloud. Then make a plan to set up a local cloud (or contract one to a provider) and migrate your other applications over time.

If you want to keep sharing your thoughts and experience about adopting cloud, please contact me through Twitter @diegosonvico.

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