Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

What kind of Cloud is right for you?

How to Choose the Right Cloud Service Provider

By now, you’ve no doubt heard all about public clouds — those cast-in-concrete, one-size fits-all services to the general public or a large industry group. This is what many people think of as Cloud Computing — a monolith.

But Cloud Computing is far from monolithic. In fact there are many types of Clouds. Here I’m focusing on the three major approaches to Cloud Computing …

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What’s holding back the shift to Cloud Computing?

Factors Impacting Cloud Migration

By any measure, Cloud Computing represents a big change in how IT does things — and by definition, change carries a friction quotient. What’s the friction quotient when it comes to Cloud Computing? Here are a couple of takes, where you’ll notice a few common themes:

This one, from IBM’s 2011 Tech Trends study, shows that concerns about security are top-of-mind for those moving to Cloud Computing …

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What Cloud Computing can deliver — Part 3, beginning with mobility

How Cloud Computing Delivers Mobility

By 2015, market researcher IDC reported late last year, more U.S. Internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireline devices.

This kind of mobility in business is unquestionably a game-changer. And the fact is, it can’t happen without a Cloud infrastructure. And once mobility and Cloud infrastructure team up, the effect will — and, indeed, is fast becoming — far-reaching.

Here’s what I see coming fast:

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What Cloud Computing can deliver — Part 2, on better security and compliance

How Cloud Computing Delivers Improved Security and Compliance

The centralization of apps, data, and management that’s an essential part of well-conceived and well-managed Cloud environments also helps make them more secure. Why? Because security policy is easier to enforce, threats to apps and data are easier to detect and address.

Since Cloud data and apps are centralized in a data center, it’s actually easier (as compared to traditional siloed IT infrastructures) to establish effective security policy, monitor compliance, and intervene quickly and often preventatively when there are issues

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What Cloud Computing can deliver — Part 1

graph on an iPad

In the right Cloud environment, IT performance goes up while IT costs go down.

Here’s how IT performance goes up:

  1. Applications are hosted on centralized virtual servers in a data center, so …
    • Each department or end-user no longer needs their own copy of the app,
    • There’s just one version of the app, designed to be sufficiently flexible and customizable so all can use it on a variety of devices, and
    • Services are easily scalable, more secure, and more reliable.
  2. Applications can be quickly and automatically provided on demand wherever they’re needed, so …
    • IT resources are optimized,
    • The entire IT environment is more responsive and flexible without adding work or cost, and
    • Access to resources improves without new implementation/deployment risks.
  3. And end-users and their departments — as well as trusted partners — can be networked far more cost-effectively, regardless of location, via a standardized platform that enables integration and process automation between internal departments and partners.

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Welcome to the brave new world of hybrid IT

Not so long ago, I came across a press release from Gartner, the analyst firm, which quoted one of its vice presidents saying:

“IT organizations that do not match the request for IT as a service run the risk of internal customers bypassing the IT organization and consuming IT services from the external cloud, thereby placing the company at greater risk.”

It turns out that the analysts at Gartner see a world of hybrid IT architectures. Their view is that IT organizations are becoming brokers of IT services, some of which are hosted internally, some of which reside in externally hosted Clouds.

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Cloud Computing’s payoffs — Part 2, or why Cloud Computing is inevitable

It’s pretty clear that mobility will be a major factor in why organizations of all sizes turn to Cloud Computing. The numbers speak for themselves:

More than 2.5 billion users will connect to the Internet over the next several years via more than 10 billion devices. By 2015, this demand will require 8 times the storage capacity of 2010 as well as 16 times the network capacity and upwards of 20 times the compute capacity.

So here’s how it’ll go…

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Cloud Computing’s payoffs — Part 1

Graph showing the payoff from Cloud Computing

For years, traditional siloed IT has been so rigid that even cast-in-concrete, one-size fits-all cloud services offer important improvements. This IBM study from last year shows where those improvements are: In flexibility, scalability, and efficiency — as well as reducing costs and providing the ability to ensure business continuity in the face of unanticipated disruption.

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What makes Cloud Computing different?

The siloed nature of traditional data center architectures has produced “you-can’t-get-there-from-here” IT environments. Too often applications, data, and storage devices don’t interact, resources are wasted (e.g., one workload per server), and complex management hassles often lead to risky administrative lapses that result in security vulnerabilities.

The result: IT infrastructures that are too unwieldy, too expensive, and too slow at a time when agility and responsiveness are essential for success.

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Cloud Computing, beginning with what it is and why

Whiteboard explanation of cloud services set against a blue sky.

We’re seeing more and more interest in Cloud Computing of late — and some lingering confusion about both what it is and what Cloud options a small-to-midsize business really has these days.

So buckle your seatbelts. I’m going to discuss Cloud, and in the process, I’ll lay out what I see as the benefits of Cloud Computing — especially when it’s done right. (And yes, I’ll get to that, too, so keep dropping by…)

OK, so in the beginning there was Cloud Computing. Last year, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was kind enough to offer up a definition, which has since become something of a standard:

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