Easing into Cloud Computing

Michael Vizard

While many IT organizations have a desire to move to the cloud, a lot of them don't have the necessary processes in place to make that happen. Everything from figuring out how to migrate server images to actually porting an existing application to a new IT infrastructure environment can present a series of insurmountable challenges.

Given that most journeys to the cloud start with a new application development project, IBM is adding new tools and services to its IBM Smart Business Development and Test service on the IBM cloud. In addition to adding support for Windows Server 2003 and 2008, the update adds support for application virtualization, load balancing, performance testing and other tools that automate the on-boarding process in the cloud.

According to Dave Locke, worldwide marketing director for IBM Rational, since launching the development service in the cloud, IBM has found that some customers need more help when transitioning from on-premise application development to the cloud. In addition, others are interested in changing their development methods to take better advantage of cloud economics.

This latter point might seem obvious at first blush. But it turns out that most IT organizations have created ad-hoc development processes over the years that might not make much sense anymore now that many of those functions can be automated. Rather than bringing outdated processes to the cloud, IBM is suggesting that now is the time to modernize the entire application development process.

Without some fundamental event to drive that process, most IT organizations will never take a long look at processes that were originally developed to deal with issues that no longer exist. So whether you're a fan of cloud computing or not, the one upside is that cloud computing might be the catalyst your organization needs to address antiquated IT processes.

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Nov 1, 2010 9:20 AM Sundar Sundar  says:

Mike, Good article. I think most in IT would admit some of the "antiquated" processes need updating.  I work for Skytap. Based on the 100+ customers I interact with, I would suggest that cloud model actually allows for fast iteration instead of a huge process improvement project. At Skytap, many of our early customers have used the agile IT we provide to improve their software development model, make it more agile and automated. Lately we are seeing large companies go through the same cycle for SAP, Oracle and Lotus applications. Our customers use Skytap cloud for the application development lifecycle including development, test, training, migration and deployment steps. We have seen our usage grow by 500% last years and storage grew by 400% or more.  This tells me cloud is about quick adoption, fast iteration and iterative improvement than the traditional long IT project approach. If you or anyone want to take us for a spin, please feel free to do so at http://www.skytap.com/blogcomments


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