Five Mistakes Companies Make in Their Cloud Strategies
Learn how to capture the full potential of the cloud.
There's obviously a lot of confusion these days about the distinctions between public and private cloud computing, managed hosting and managed services. In fact, it's not all uncommon for IT organizations to start investigating cloud computing only to discover what they really want is some form of managed hosting or managed service.
The reason for this comes down to concerns about data security and the nature of the application workloads that the IT organization wants to run. In an ideal security world, many IT organizations don't want to have their applications running on multi-tenant systems where not only is security a potential issue, but where events such as "noisy virtual machine neighbors" can have unexpected consequences for the applications they have running on shared IT infrastructure.
John Engates, CTO for Rackspace Hosting, says that IT organizations are discovering that what they really want is a managed hosting solution under which an application is securely hosted and managed by a third-party provider or a managed service on their premise.
Of course, others will opt to run a private cloud on shared infrastructure managed by companies such as Rackspace, while others just want access to share infrastructure in a public cloud at the lowest cost possible. Thus far, Engates says companies have been opting to use cloud computing services to handle spikes in processing demands for applications that run mainly on premise or for tasks, such as application development, that are only going to run for a short period of time.
More confusion in the cloud is also caused by the use of the terms "infrastructure-as-a-service" (IaaS) and "platform-as-a-service" (PaaS). Given the fact that the major difference between these terms is whether you want cloud computing services to come with or without software, it's likely that over time the narrow distinction between IaaS and PaaS will simply dissipate into the larger cloud computing conversation.
All of these options, of course, are collectively going to be used in concert with one another to create a variety of hybrid cloud computing scenarios, which Engates says is one of the reasons that Rackspace is seeing so much interest in the open source OpenStack cloud computing management platform. IT organizations are unsure about what application workloads are going to be running on what virtual machines in the future. But they need a cloud computing management framework today that spans multiple virtual machine platforms. OpenStack makes it easier to manage hybrid cloud computing scenarios, and the fact that it supports multiple virtual machines, including VMware, helps companies get out from under what many are starting to view as onerous licensing terms for VMware management tools.
Once all the fog surrounding cloud computing lifts, all the conversations about the variations should give way to a more precise discussion about what types of application workloads should be run where and when.