Tag Archives: Cloud

Integrate your Systems if you are Moving to the Cloud

Moving to the cloud is not a simple three-step process that it is made out to be. If you have very little data, you may follow the steps and get on to the cloud. But, most organisations have voluminous data and there is a lot of work to be done with the data before you can take the first step towards the cloud. Your systems must be integrated if you are moving to the cloud.

What does integration mean?  Integrated systems are pre-configurations of data, storage, networks, applications and their management, to deliver optimal performance in the cloud.  The process involves understanding the different system components and how they work together before configuring them.  Workloads may be identified, optimised for each application, and a broad range of infrastructures may be requisitioned for obtaining a specific pre-defined, level of performance.  Capabilities for managing the application and the workload will have to be clearly set out.  Thereafter, different application requirements may be fine tuned, balanced, until realistic performance measures are obtainable and available.

The pre-configured data centre exported to the cloud then creates the environment for speedy delivery of applications and resources. Flexibility and scalability are automatic, allowing the business to expand infinitely, bringing in more customers, and adding more information to their digital repositories.  Multiple operating systems can be hosted and applications can be shared among a large number of users, wherever they are located, and these applications can be deployed on a variety of devices that may be used to connect to the enterprise account.

Service portfolios can be expanded to include a wide range of business services that induce confidence in the company.  These benefits alone are enough to validate the need for pre-integration and fine-tuning of enterprise applications and systems before cloud migrations.  Add to this the cost savings that occur and all arguments against pre-integration activities must cease to be voiced.  Of course, the success of integration will be in direct proportion to the willingness of the organisation to spend the time and effort required for the process and the level of standardisation that they are eager to implement.  A healthy services centric view and a felt need for effective Service Level Agreement (SLA) management will act as catalysts that help transform legacy data centres into efficient cloud data centre, humming with activity and delivering performance.

Get Yourself Scalable Storage!

If your data is burgeoning and your volumes are becoming unmanageable, it is time to get yourself some scalable storage.  Virtualisation, no doubt is a first step, but it is just that—the first step. You need to take the logical next step and move to the cloud.

The cloud is designed to handle unstable workflows.  The peaks and troughs in your data flow need no longer bother you. You can scale up your storage when data volumes peak, and scale it down when your data volumes dip, and you need to pay only for what you use!  If you pause and consider the implications of this, you will appreciate the flexibility you gain thereby. Your legacy systems never allowed you to enjoy this luxury.  They were designed for unchanging workflows and you had to spend hours anticipating the peaks and troughs in workflows and provisioning for the same. You had to maintain redundant resources to ensure that you did not find yourself short when peaks were encountered.

Die-hard fans of legacy systems will be quick to point out that there must be some kind of trade off involved. Perhaps, scalability will be provided at the cost of performance?  Well, no.  It is the legacy systems that create trade offs with performance. Legacy systems have monolithic controller architectures. When resources are shared, all the applications try to hog the available resources, creating noise and performance dips.  If resources are to be dedicated to performance sensitive applications, a management nightmare is in the making.  Resources will have to be hard wired to specific applications while other applications are starved for resources.   The process can also result in storage fragmentation.  Cloud architectures are designed to dedicate and release resources on demand.  This results in optimum utilisation of resources and makes the resources available for other applications, as and when the demand is made.  Storage fragmentation is never an issue as storage is never fragmented or permanently dedicated to any one application.

Cloud resource scalability extends to security scalability.  Data is always encrypted, isolated and in synchronisation with standard security requirements. Comprehensive security can continue to be provided even when hardware resources are scaled up or down. This is in distinct contrast with legacy systems, where security cannot be scaled up or down on demand, and additional security can only be provided if physical resources are added to the data centre.

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