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It’s time to rethink Cloud Management

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By Jim Darragh, CEO of Abiquo

We’ve all heard of ‘Cloud’ we all understand it and know the benefits it can bring, so I’m not here to preach to the choir, but what I will do is challenge you; I want you to take a good hard look at your current Cloud offering and start asking yourself some difficult questions.

Here begins your Cloud therapy.

So where does Cloud begin?

It’s safe to say most, if not all organisations have virtualised at some level. The truth is Cloud is a natural evolution of your virtualisation strategy, an extension that builds upon the benefits you hoped to gain from virtualising.

It is necessary for organisations to migrate their existing legacy processes, not just the technology in the cloud but to truly optimise all their resources – organisations must do both. Enterprise governance is key in the context of who owns the hardware – where is it, who can access it, how is it secured, what patches need deploying into what environment.

However, what about the machine or lifecycle management or capacity planning for that matter or workflow and Business Process Management? All of these need incorporating too as their legacy is already processed from what they inherited for the old business and the customer would like to automate them into a true cloud offering. That’s precisely what Abiquo provide.

…has your virtualisation strategy worked and are you in control of your virtual environment?

So let’s start here, you need to ask yourself some questions; has your virtualisation strategy worked and are you in control of your virtual environment? Do you have the mechanisms, management and control to ensure that you are getting the utilisation you wanted?

It’s also worth thinking about how you plan to leverage your current virtual environment to offer the next level of agility, flexibility and usage model. If you have control of virtualisation and the levels of usage you can begin to accurately plan for future capacity needs, you can also begin to plan which workloads require what level of capacity, compute, storage and network. In doing so, you are then also able to control where the capacity resides and how to ensure you have a higher level of efficiency and utilisation.

Assess your options; what is available to you? Can you begin to combine your own in-house infrastructural resources with “rented” options from public sources?

Do you have the ability today to manage both as a common ubiquitous set of resource that is available to you when your plan says you need it? Do you fully understand the cost implications and potential benefits of mixing your own resources in your data centre, and that you can procure “on demand” from public cloud providers whilst maintaining the control and processes that you have for your organisation?

You probably also want to consider how you can control and manage a mixed set of resources, whilst maintaining the processes and management systems? (i.e. the tools that essentially keep your IT running smoothly and in a framework of control and compliance).

Can you keep those robust systems and processes but now apply them to an infrastructure that is both highly utilised and flexible, and consists of elements you own and rent?

Can you give your users the speed and flexibility that they can freely procure outside your organisation?

Your consumers are now accustomed to procuring resource over the web with a few clicks of the mouse, but they will invariably do this outside of the control of IT and the governance of the business, unless IT can provide the same experience from within.
Your consumers are now accustomed to procuring resource over the web with a few clicks of the mouse, but they will invariably do this outside of the control of IT and the governance of the business, unless IT can provide the same experience from within.

It can be achieved, your users can be given access to self-service resource, but governed by you and the policies you have for where workloads should reside, approved by your organisation and using the underlying infrastructure and applications that you deem appropriate.

It is important to have a long hard look at your Cloud offering, is it delivering what you had hoped and are your customers or users finding it as accessible and valuable as they should?

Indeed, what do you want your Cloud and IT process to look like in the future?

Abiquo will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum in June, visit stand 4080 for your FREE Cloud Health Check.