Finding the Right Level of Cloud Computing

Michael Vizard
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Deploying Applications in the Cloud

While there's more talk than actual use of cloud computing in the enterprise, a Zeus Technology survey looks at the beginnings of a major shift under way. Clear expectations and planning can improve your experience and near-term success.

On the face of it, building a cloud computing architecture on which multiple applications can dynamically scale using a common pool of IT infrastructure should be a pretty straight-forward proposition. But in reality, IT organizations are struggling with cloud computing decisions ranging from simply deciding what applications should run in these environments, how to secure the data in these clouds and even finding the right tools to manage the overall environment.


All too often the end result, says John Treadway, director of cloud services and solutions for Unisys, is a fragmented approach to cloud computing that results in only a handful of minor applications being deployed on a cloud computing architecture.


In an effort to help accelerate cloud computing adoption, Unisys today launched a new Hybrid Enterprise Framework built around a new Unisys CloudBuild Services effort that is anchored by an "eight-track" methodology that helps customers determine what types of applications to run in a cloud environment and, just as importantly says Treadway, which ones to not run in the cloud. Treadway says that not all applications are meant to be run on top of shared infrastructure, so determining what applications can be successfully deployed on an internal or external cloud computing platform is critical.


Treadway notes that when it comes to cloud computing, too many organizations are overly focused on the shared infrastructure aspects of cloud computing, rather than the benefits of the elastic nature of applications in the cloud and the ability to create self-service portals. It's those two aspects of cloud computing that ultimately provide the most benefit to the organization; otherwise, cloud computing is little more than tantamount to replicating a traditional symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) environment using inexpensive x86 servers.


Until all these issues are resolved and understood, Treadway says that IT organizations are reluctant to put any mission-critical applications on top of cloud infrastructure. As a result, IT organizations wind up with limited cloud computing deployments versus striking the right balance between cloud computing environments and traditional dedicated application infrastructure that will define enterprise computing for years to come.



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