Clouds Live in the Sky
The fact is that there’s a lack of understanding as to what Cloud Computing actually is, what value it has, and what the clear path is to the stated benefits.
“Cloud Computing.” Those words may draw excitement, pique curiosity, open confusion, or make eyes roll. The fact is that there’s a lack of understanding as to what Cloud Computing actually is, what value it has, and what the clear path is to the stated benefits.
Regarding definition, what is referred to as Cloud Computing can actually be categorized into three different models:
Public Cloud – This represents leveraging a third party shared data center for complete or isolated capacity loads or applications.
Private Cloud – This model yields consolidation, virtualization, and automation strategies within your own infrastructure to provide a more adaptable and efficient data center.
Hybrid Cloud – This hybrid model embraces the best of both Private and Public Clouds.
This includes building an internal data center based off of optimal and strategic usage, and leveraging extended cloud services and/or third-party Public Clouds for additional capacities or specific infrastructure/software-as-a-service functions. The challenge is that every IT service provider today lays claim to having Cloud Computing services. Some are operating purely as a Public Cloud offering, while many are merely rebranding their legacy hardware and selling models as Private Cloud Computing.
The elite are operating as something different. Kory Billingsley, a senior architect with PDS, talks about the value of a service provider extending beyond Cloud offerings. “The real value comes in bringing Clouds together, to work in harmony to provide optimized data center capabilities.”
Essentially, it’s acting as the “Sky” – a place and service model that unites Clouds. A vendor will take more of an approach for positioning isolated solutions, but not necessarily a path to the right overarching Cloud/Sky strategy for your current and future needs. A partner will be able to address the complete journey … the needed foundational steps to a more rewarding outcome for you. It’s understood that moving to a Hybrid Cloud model requires a journey to a sound Private Cloud model initially. Gartner and other analysts have witnessed and stated that organizations will invest here first.
Within that first journey, solutions need to map toward consolidation, virtualization, and automation. This puts you in a ready step to move toward a Hybrid model which can leverage direct Cloud extension services that appear and act as part of your organization, and ultimately allows you to potentially leverage aspects of the Public Cloud within your stated goals. It also future-proofs your organization to adapt to emerging cloud models, including “community” offerings such as analytics or other high-performance computing services. A partner will be able to identify not only these stages but, additionally, the journey between them. It’s about more than technology – it’s about people, it’s about process. It requires evolutions of job descriptions. It requires universal management systems. It requires educating the IT staff and those leveraging self-service functions.
When it comes to selecting a Cloud partner, it’s less about the products of Cloud Computing and more about the path. It’s less about IT and more about the impact to the business. The right partner will be able to guide you in this journey to drive outcomes versus simply providing Cloud offerings.
The right partner will leverage the best of all offerings by bringing Clouds together to optimize your data center and provide you the agility you need. The right partner will help you build your Sky strategy.