In contrast to its name, cloud computing technology is far from fuzzy. There are as many workload categories and infrastructures as there are desktop applications. The term ‘cloud bursting’ has arisen to address the increasing environments now available, ranging from those that keep data under strict lock and key to those that shrink to fit the most amorphous infrastructures. It’s unlikely that your entire corporation will operate smoothly under a single class, given that much of your data will need to be kept on premises, much of it needs enough versatility to operate dynamically, and some processes are computer-intense enough to require both on-site and cloud databases. The motley crew of service providers offers everything from software to spam filtering, and, as with most management practices, deciding how to migrate each segment of your portfolio should be approached rationally and methodically.
Pain, Gain, and Everything In Between
Some deployment models are so painless that you’re probably using them already without being aware that they fall under the cloud. The most obvious examples are Google Apps and Zoho Office. Others transform pain into gain, needing application rewrites, complex interconnections, and heavier investments in exchange for a higher degree of security and a more agility.
The Art of Technological Deployment
There is no question that your corporate portfolio will need to be chopped to fit applications based on their individual needs but this can be approached from two angles. The typical business manager tends to attack the problem by assessing the functionality of software and how well it fits in with segments of his portfolio. This slant fails to jump the hurdle that workload migration demands. Instead, application feasibility needs to be looked at according to stack-based paradigms, and their level of standardization. By breaking the process down into three subsections, these elements morph into a slick and savvy system that fits your needs more precisely:
1) Migration: Applications that offer multi-tenancy options come with lighter price tags, while standalone workloads that come neatly packaged in isolated components overcome the limitations of multi-tenancy. A simple lift and shift migration is apt for data and applications that need little more than a basic infrastructure that already exists in the cloud.
2) Rebuild. To exploit capacity and flexibility, letting go of all previous applications in preparation for a full resurrection in the cloud allows you to give your neediest processes everything they require to function optimally.
3) Transform. When facing workloads that are computing intensive, need an entire restructure under a multi-tenancy model, and have complex logging and transaction needs, transforming existing architecture for the cloud is economical and allows enough room to alter services oriented architecture and API models.
- Local hosting: Your own on-site cloud may cost more, but it gives you all the customization and security you could wish for.
- Managed Services: Servers are bought in portions so that security and availability are improved.
- LaaS: Known as a utility model, LaaS offers dynamic scalability and on-demand access. Companies can customize their applications and use their own hardware, maximizing efficiency at the cost of some security. This is resolved through private, on site LaaS applications.
- PaaS: Lightning quick deployment, combined with cost savings, offer rented resources only when and if they are required. A hybrid ecosystem offers agility and scaling-- along with plenty of control. Private PaaS amps up your security by keeping data on-site.
- SaaS: One browser-based application supports multi-tenant architecture at a low cost, generally without upfront expenses. To merge these benefits with tighter security, private SaaS offers on site ownership with no need for customization.