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Cloud Computing best practice: Understand available Cloud capabilities

Various cloud icons - cloud in center surrounded by monitors, laptops, etc

I’ve posted before about Cloud computing best practices, and I’m doing it again now (and for the next several posts) for a couple of reasons:

  1. Cloud computing continues to (quickly) evolve, and while some Cloud best practices stay more or less constant, others must be adapted to keep pace,
  2. Cloud success depends on adhering to best practices — so there’s no such thing as talking too much about them or the order in which they should be applied.

So I’m starting with the most basic Cloud best practice: Understanding Cloud capabilities, so you can get a sense of which are likeliest to make a difference in your organization. Here’s my list of what perhaps I should refer to as the six wonders of the Cloud world:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — at the heart of any Cloud environment is a comprehensive, integrated Cloud infrastructure that exploits virtualization and autonomic management synergies (automation + orchestration) and provides end-to-end security and virtual machine isolation,
  • Desktop as a Service (DaaS) — enables rapid deployment of desktops on virtually any device with the software, storage, and access that you specify while avoiding the upfront costs and complexity of traditional desktop virtualization,
  • Data Protection/Security as a Service — effectively identifies, monitors, and protects data in use, data in motion, and data at rest, and enforces policies to ensure protection,
  • Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity as a Service (DRaaS) — backs up your data and apps to a safe, highly secure remote location, provides highly available and reliable virtualized data storage with advanced replication and restore functionalities so you can remain operational throughout any disruption,
  • Messaging & Collaboration as a Service —enables real-time collaboration, especially via HD videoconferencing, between participants located anywhere, using a wide range of devices, including tablet and smartphones, often with support for a wide range of other related capabilities, and
  • Application Development/Test as a Service — powers a software development/test environment where real-world conditions can be simulated without compromising day-to-day IT operations or incurring the cost of having to scale up your on-premise infrastructure.

Next time, I’ll focus on what’s involved in doing a Cloud provider feasibility assessment.

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