5 Things to Know about Always On Considerations When Adopting the Cloud
MartinKeen 1200007VU3 Visits (9204)
Contributed by Bertrand Portier
The cloud offers speed and a flexible cost model where you only pay for what you need. In fact, the benefits of the cloud are such that in the ultra competitive environment we live in today, business survival is predicated on the ability to leverage the cloud.
Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) marketing literature and their published or unpublished Service Level Agreements (SLAs) have raised people’s expectation for the cloud to be always available, or “Always On”. These heightened expectations have created a gap in the market place where the reality is that CSPs or another partner or vendor you rely on do experience planned or unplanned outages, preventing your solution to be Always On.
The burden of ensuring Always On falls on the solution owner. As such it is critical that the solution owner ensures that his and the CSPs’ operations and procedures support Always On principles. Establishing a shared responsibility model between the solution owner and the CSPs will help ensure that the expected level of availability is being realized. Here’s what you need to consider about achieving Always On in the cloud:
1. What is Always On?
You may look at Always On as a journey as opposed to a destination. Regardless, users today are conditioned to expect solutions to be always available, anywhere, any time. Not only that but the rapid rate of mobile application updates have raised expectations for rapid delivery of updates and innovation. Always On means totally preventing outages. Also known as Continuous Availability, Always On lies in the ability to:
New business models are emerging where innovators from one company make use of other companies' APIs, hosted in the cloud, to provide services to their customers. The importance of user experience makes it so that companies who fail to keep their APIs up and running, all the time, will simply be ignored and not part of the new economy. To some extent, companies that fail to update and rapidly innovate their own APIs, while keeping the availability promise, will be left behind as well.
3. Enterprise roles and responsibilities need to evolve to support Always On in the cloud
Many organizations are not suited to achieve high levels of resiliency in an operating environment that includes the cloud. In fact, enterprise roles and responsibilities, as they are defined today, tend to be an impediment to achieving Always On while leveraging the cloud. Unless these roles and responsibilities evolve, organizations will only be able to derive limited benefits from the cloud or experience short-lived successes until the next outage.
4. Achieving Always On in the cloud requires specific capabilities
While many organizations have instituted strong practices to strive to achieve Always On in their own data center environments, how well does this translate to an off premise cloud environment? How can an organization institute these practices in an off premise cloud environment when they do not have control of the full application stack? We assert that it can be done, but it is essential to understand the key capabilities necessary to achieve Always On when working with off premise cloud providers. A set of necessary key practices and capabilities are necessary when trying to achieve Always On in an off premise cloud environment.
5. The cloud adoption trend will continue and with it comes a need for improved Qualities of Service
Traditional organizations will continue to adopt cloud computing for more and more of their critical workloads. Cloud is already the dominant option for startups. The API economy plays a key role in aiding the development of core business models between newer and more established organizations. There is strong evidence this trend will continue. With a dependency on cloud computing as the foundation of the business, comes the realization of the importance of the necessary capabilities to create an Always On cloud environment at the infrastructure, operations and application layers of the solution.
For more information and details, please refer to Redguide: Alwa
Additional materials on Always On include: