Cloud services are very serious alternative to traditional models of access to IT, and their popularity among companies is growing rapidly. The advantages of such services may be to reduce overall costs, increase scalability, quick to provide solutions and simplifying management. On the other hand, to entrust the key components of technology to another company, then loosen control over them and create a risk that must be managed. The experience of outsourcing has led to a recognized approach to contracting to mitigate risks and maximize the benefits of using external services. However, the provision of services via multiple access cloud platform includes some of the nuances in the negotiation and conclusion of agreements. Therefore, CIOs should consider the following points.
1. Make sure that the terms of the agreement are under negotiation
Although the agreement in terms of the agreement during the negotiations may seem self-evident, many cloud providers do not usually allow you to make changes in its version of the agreement, arguing that the special conditions for various clients undermine model for community access and positioning service providers in the market. This does not mean that companies should not use the services on standard terms. But it is necessary to realize the risks involved.
With flexible terms of service you need to make sure that they are more beneficial than any standard agreement or such that you can only express my agreement by clicking the mouse. And also the fact that an agreement cannot be changed unilaterally. If these conditions are not met, your company must retain the right to terminate the agreement with a significant deterioration in its terms, without bearing any responsibility.
2. Make sure that the price structure does not preclude advantages of cloud solutions
Cloud services offer the possibility of rapid scaling-making, better asset utilization and overall cost savings. But the agreement may impose restrictions on these benefits. For example, providers of SaaS limit the number of available jobs, providers of IaaS – the minimum duration of use of infrastructure. You should ensure that the agreement do not restrict the company’s ability to control costs under proposed models of the clouds. Negotiations on the use of software needs to be carried out in accordance with established practice, and you assume discounts depending on the amount or term of the contract, the differentiation of licenses in accordance with user roles and limitation of price changes in the future.
3. Develop a service level agreement with the light of experience
Service level agreement (SLA), as is the case with any IT service should reflect the full range of services. For example, because the cloud provider will be responsible for Internet connectivity and infrastructure, availability of services should not be determined by monitoring the server in data center. The agreement may specify a particular user interface and query performance, timeliness of the major package of tasks and response time / removal in case of failure.
The goal is to develop a limited set of metrics, which ensures that customer satisfaction is in complete constitute and not a violation of SLA. For each metric should be removed with no clear exclusion criteria (eg, service interruptions caused by the need for urgent repairs, and the concept of “urgency” is not defined). Your company should pay attention not only to compensation for breach of SLA, but also a thorough analysis and eliminate its causes. Ultimately, your company must guard against downtime and have the right to break the agreement in the presence of chronic problems.
4. Consider the impact of collective platform for the company’s work
Your company must assess the impact of providing services through multiple access platform and proactively address potential problems in current operations. For example, the agreement with the provider should provide that your organization will receive a choice acceptable to its break in service for the technical work in advance and will be notified for all actions affecting the service.
Release Management procedures must comply with the company, which will be entitled to use the penultimate version of the software. It should be possible loss of functionality of the release (or a change of software packages as an optional feature) and to mitigate this by determining the minimum period of notice, the right to work indefinitely with the previous version and break the agreement without indemnity provider. Try to pre-assess the needs in the management of releases that may occur as a result of social integration, when agreeing prices for access to test environments. Otherwise, you risk on getting a big bill for reference.
5. Note the shift in the cloud computing and out of it
Deployment in the cloud and the expiration or termination of lease also requires careful attention. As for the transition to the cloud, then you must make sure that the actions of the provider are clearly defined, and agree SLA with installing and configuring applications, as well as the downloading of data. If you receive additional professional services to deploy, should ensure that by default, they were tied to key cloud services. When not to use the cloud provider should help in the organization of migration, including export data and schema in a consistent format. It should also consider the requirement to periodically archive data to mitigate the current or connected with the peculiarities of contract difficulties in the way of an orderly transfer. The best protection is a proven ability to easily switch to another provider at a different decision. CIOs should be aware that a lack of confidence in safe transition to another provider weakens the position of the company in negotiations and narrows the range of options available.
The concept of cloud computing is Quite fashionable today and it is treated differently. It is the image of computing in which IT resources with a high degree of scalability are provided to users in the form of services through the Internet. A pool of managed computing infrastructure with a high degree of scalability is the provision of paid services on the placement and implementation of client applications.
And as per Wikipedia “cloud computing treats simple Technology Data Processing, in which software is made available to the user as an Internet service”.
In fact, “cloud” is a metaphor for a remote data center computing, to which access is given on the basis of payment for pay-as-you-go (pay per actual use of the service computation). Thus, the software is actually provided to the user as a service. Cloud computing user does not need to worry about any infrastructure, nor on the actual software, “cloud” successfully hides all hardware and software components.
And Intel shares the concepts of architecture and cloud-services. The first category includes the components of a dynamically scalable capture of resources, based on virtualization technology or software environment with horizontal scaling. The second – as a rule, paid services that users receive via the Internet. “Cloud” architecture can be constructed within the local network. Unlike traditionally distributed or service models, cloud computing is based on a dynamic architecture and the user pays only for the functionality, which really enjoys. The scope of cloud computing may be different – this, for example, online mailboxes, social networks, specialized search engines, online financial services cloud computing and other applications of Web 2.O.
Despite the fact that cloud computing is the concept that is still relatively young, already made projections of its future development. In the first (2007-2011), there will be many pioneers, and their new development will ce launched in the market rapidly. Further, roughly from 2011 to 2013, will begin a consolidation phase – some vendors leave the market, while others merge with more successful competitors. And in 2013 comes the “golden age” cloud computing.
Among the pioneers of the market of cloud applications and services, including quite large manufacturers, such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, etc. Microsoft last fall announced a platform for Windows Azure, based on Windows 2008 Server.
Along with additional services, including Windows Live, a portal solution to SharePoint, this OS will be a comprehensive solution for creating and deploying applications for online computing. A similar system along with cloud web hosting services is introduced by ESDS - its Virtual Data Center Operating System platform create and manage the data center.
A number of solutions (both hardware and software) in the cloud computing is based on the architecture of Nehalem. The Dynamic Power Node Manager, and Data Center Management Interface, allows not only to optimize power servers, but also reduce the cost of managing data centers.
Communication products supporting virtualization and cloud computing is delivered by Cisco. Cisco Nexus family of switches replenished Nexus 7000 Series, 5000 and 2000 models. Model Switch Cisco Nexus 7018 chassis is equipped with 18 slots and supports up to 512 ports Ethernet. Nexus 5010 also supports Ethernet, and Fibre Channel, and the model of Nexus 2000 is to expand the bandwidth of a server farm.
Many IT experts say that in the near future, cloud computing will be included in the top list of technological trends, and certainly could become a very profitable service for those companies that will seriously deal with them and constantly develop them for better benefits.
We are in December and we have seen a lot of discussions on Cloud Computing, I believe that a short summary of what is in 2010 and what will be there in 2011 sounds to be the good topic for this post.
For me it became very clear that 2010 was a year where I spoke with the people who were interested in knowing a little more about cloud that will support their decisions whether to adopt the concept in 2011 or not. In my opinion, we will see, many pilot projects, the famous POC (proof-of-concept) being put into practice next year.
Some POC projects in the cloud development and testing environment as well as experiment on email and collaboration will be practiced. Interestingly, many tests done globally, clearly show that large companies choose to take its first steps toward clouds via small and medium private cloud that tends to go straight to public clouds.
But I am fully convinced that the cloud market tends to accelerate. Cloud is a new computational model, fully sustainable, which will gradually replace the current paradigm, the client-server model. As it is better understood, we see that cloud will significantly change the way where technology is purchased and consumed. It will create new models of engagement between technology providers and their customers.
A recent IDC report points in this direction. According to this analysis, in 2009 the market for public clouds covered only 4% or 1 / 25 of total spending on comparable products, the traditional model. In 2014, this number would be 12% or 1 / 8 of spending in the traditional model. We’re talking about a 27% growth year on year!
But the challenge is great. For technology providers, it is becoming clear that cloud, at least for now, is not a new source of revenue, but a possible cannibalization of a substantial portion of its sales of hardware and software. In short, instead of buying a new server, companies that adopt cloud using servers available in public clouds, or “cloudify” their own machines, already installed in the internal data centers for colocation web hosting. In the long run, cloud will completely transform the current model of selling hardware and software.
Let’s see the potential impacts in the long run: a model of cloud IaaS can replace the purchase of servers and storage. PaaS can replace the current middleware software sold on-premise to SaaS model can replace the sales of packaged applications like ERP that no longer need to be purchased and installed on internal servers.
The impact on the value chain of the IT industry will be significant. Companies that sell hardware will evolve to be service companies, since the hardware will, itself, be the service. Moreover, IT as a whole will be IT-as-a-service. Already we see companies that manufactured hardware only acquiring service companies and software, giving its first steps to understand and develop new business models. The intermediaries, companies that are mere “box-moving” or being bought cheaply and then resold, the manufacturer will have to redesign their future. Maybe in five or ten years the business of selling hardware as we know, will no longer exists.
The drivers for adoption of cloud are several. One of these drivers that I believe will drive adoption of cloud will be the fastest “time-to-value “, when CFOs recognize that their companies can take advantage of new systems and technologies without capital investment, as in the current model. It is an exchange model for Capex/Opex. As they exchange fixed costs for variable release more capital for investment in other business areas, and allow companies to dynamically adjust their spending on IT with business demands. A CFO is touched when we understand that can redirect their investments in the acquisition of IT assets for activities that generate revenue directly.
Another booster is the best business flexibility, when the company can launch a new product or service more quickly, without waiting for the long waiting time for acquisition and installation of new hardware and software assets.
But this scenario will not occur from one day to another. We still see a lot of misinformation circulating in the market. Today the cloud is used by hardware product or software provider and data center, even though it has absolutely nothing of the basic concepts of cloud, as discussed extensively. The lack of cloud computing knowledge among professionals and executives also acts as a barrier. Another day this knowledge became very clear when one CIO told me that they already have private cloud for most of their virtualized servers. But virtualization is just the first step. Create an infrastructure resilient, standardized and automated, accessed such self-service the feature of data center acting as a private cloud.
Cloud is not a universal panacea and its adoption is not so simple. It demands expertise and adequate planning. Incidentally, cloud can not be bought, but it is built. What you are buying is services and technologies that form the technological base that creates a virtualized environment, standardized and automated – the pillars of cloud.
In the long run, the IT industry will have another feature, different from today. To have a better idea of what could be this scenario, we split a cloud in the relatively well accepted taxonomy, which is IaaS, PaaS and SaaS as well as private clouds, public or hybrid. Each of the variants of cloud evolution dynamics is different both in terms of technology, as in the pace of adoption. Putting everything in one basket makes things very hazy.
Speaking of SaaS, this model will impact the consultants who live primarily to implement and customize applications like ERP. As SaaS is highly standardized, implementation services are faster and less expensive.
Public clouds IaaS model has its own dynamics. It is a mass market service, highly standardized, which demand from their providers a significant scale in order to offer services with a cost-benefit model above the current hosting. In general the margins are small and therefore need to have large numbers of users.
When we speak in private cloud, we have a different scenario. A company that intends to build a private cloud hosting solution model transforms the relationship between their own IT and its users. IT is no longer a cost center and becomes a “service-provider” funded by contributions to its operating costs by its users. For providers of technology, it opens up a large space for the transfer of technology and consulting services that operationalize the private cloud.
Cloud computing means a risk and a challenge for providers and consumers of technology. Disruption in the consumption of IT products and services implies new business models and profound changes in current models.
In coming years, in my opinion, we will see an increasing adoption of IT-as-a-Service, with on-premise model being replaced gradually by the cloud model. The industry as a whole will undergo changes and believe that the “product-centric” pass to the model service-centric. ” The money that will turn the IT industry will no longer be to produce capital goods continued to provide services. The cultural model and governance, transactional and sales incentives will reward for one-time sales for the development and consolidation of lasting relationships with customers. Will be really challenging times for all of us IT professionals.