IT decision makers need to architect the cloud model effectively to ensure performance needs are met, besides deriving greater value
Most CIOs and their teams agree that during the journey towards enterprise cloud implementation, the IT team’s task is much harder after the cost-benefit analysis has been approved by the senior management and after the budget is approved. Hence, the team’s priority would be to meticulously architect the cloud solution to meet the performance as well as the cost targets to reap maximum benefits and derive greater value from the cloud.
It would be an understatement to say that cloud is here to stay. In fact, it has permeated our daily environment and everyone experiences it--in all likelihood—in daily chores, for various utilities, games & apps, etc..
Some examples that come to mind are:
If you use Dropbox for maintaining your digital assets across multiple devices, you are using the services of one of the cloud Infrastructure service providers
On the other hand, if you use Apple iTunes, there is another service provider at the backend. Besides these, there are enough instances of organisations using consumer apps and platforms that have moved to cloud infrastructure.Armed with all such data and case studies, selling the idea of cloud to your senior management has become a lot easier, if not a cakewalk. Also, it is a proven method of doing the cost-benefit analysis for choosing cloud vs. on-premise options. That should guide you to choose the right option and present the benefits to the senior management.Then, where lies the challenge?
The biggest challenge crops up when the cloud project is approved and the associated budget has been sanctioned. The IT team is at the threshold of making or breaking. Since it is a new area and technology, the team has to learn the tricks of the trade the hard way and find ways to tide over challenges as they come.Based on the experience of implementing cloud infrastructure in a financial organisation in India, sharing a few tips would help.Before recommending the best steps, it is critical to know the assumptions made.
The basic assumptions are:
There is already the buy-in from the management towards the cloud journey.b. One has done the math on arriving at a CBA towards cloud.
Against this backdrop, there are five compelling steps one should look at 5 steps for effective cloud implementation
Step 1: To decide whether will have non-production environments or production environments on cloud infrastructure. This is a key decision factor in defining the cloud strategy for your organisation. This will also define the enterprise security strategy, redundancy, and overall cloud architecture. Put most of your time into this aspect before you move to the next step.
Step 2: The next important choice to make is between pushing new applications vs. theexisting legacy applications. If you are moving your new applications to cloud, you should talk to your application vendor to factor that in the architecture. The horizontal scalability is a must for this. If you are planning to move your existing applications, the complexity is of a different order.
Step 3: Choosing cloud instances is often tricky. You need to choose them wisely. If your cloud infrastructure service provider shares instances with pre-configured specs only, you won’t be able to create an instance of any combination of Core and RAM specification. In such situations, you are generally tempted to choose the safest option by going in for the peak size requirement. But here you need to be a bit more innovative and take the best of cloud into consideration. Choosing the right instance is critical for meeting the performance norms as well as keeping the cost in control.
Step 4: Once you have chosen the right instances, it’s time to consult your IT Security team. You need to be very sure about the security policies to be deployed in your cloud infrastructure. Please ensure that you are getting your cloud instances reviewed via CISO to avoid any untoward experiences.
Step 5: Last but not the least, train your system administrators on the chosen cloud platform immediately. The criticality of the system administrators continues even after you have moved to cloud, as they need to manage and monitor the instances and also to jump into action mode whenever there is any emergency.
By Subhamoy Chakraborti, Enterprise Mobility, Cloud Solution Architect & Enterprise Architecture at Magma Fincorp