When it comes to any kind of negotiation with a cloud computing service provider, many IT organizations start optimistically. But once they get into the details, they quickly discover that they are not altogether comfortable with how their data will be managed alongside other data being managed by the cloud computing provider.
In effect, what many customers want from cloud computing today is the benefits of a multi-tenant architecture when it comes to infrastructure. But they want for their applications that contain their data a single-tenant architecture that isolates their applications while still running on top of the multi-tenant infrastructure. If that sounds like trying to have your cloud computing cake and eating it, too, it is. As technologies such as virtualization evolve and data management becomes more robust and sophisticated, the ability to have your cloud computing cake and eat it too in terms of isolating applications will become more commonly available.
In the meantime, Tom Young, a partner and managing director for CIO services and infrastructure at the IT consulting firm TPI, cautions that many customers have gone down the path of negotiating cloud computing contracts only to discover late in the process that they are not comfortable with how their data was actually going to be managed by the cloud computing provider.
Most cloud computing providers are all about shared infrastructure. Their data management capabilities would best be described as nascent.
The lesson to be learned from that, said Young, is to make sure your organization knows exactly what it needs and wants from a cloud computing provider before everybody winds up wasting a huge amount of time discussing terms of a deal that should never have been put on the table in the first place.