|By Dave Elliott||
|June 30, 2011 12:15 PM EDT||
Do your homework when it comes to the cloud. Sensible preparation will help you to take the right approach to cloud.
The last thing anyone wants is for their cloud to crash. And after recent hits to major services, it seems everyone has a revelation to share. Some folks have compared cloud to airplanes. The idea is that you're safer in a plane than a car, but when it goes down it will go down spectacularly, and the impact will be more widespread. Statistically speaking that's true, so I can certainly see the correlation.
As with airlines, in using a cloud you're putting a great deal of trust in the service provider. However, you can't select a cloud service provider the way you would choose an airline, where getting the cheapest flight is the driving factor for most people. Before purchasing their ticket, no one ever demands to see the safety record of the airline or the particular plane they're entrusting to get them to their final destination.
But, flip it around and look at the purchase process for an automobile. Before making your decision, you research the reliability and safety features of different models; you look up the safety rating; and you check out what others have said. Now that's where cloud is more like a car - or at least it should be.
Just as today's drivers are much better informed regarding the reliability and safety of the cars they buy, you should do your homework when it comes to the cloud. Sensible preparation will help you to take the right approach to cloud computing, to manage risks and fully realize the benefits that cloud offers.
Businesses worry about losing control and risking more downtime once data and applications move to the cloud. A recent Symantec survey found that the CFO, CEO and CIO are quite cautious about moving mission-critical applications even to hybrid or private cloud environments, citing security, disaster recovery and lack of control, reliability, performance and a fear that meeting SLAs will be difficult or impossible as the main concerns. The fact is most risks associated with moving data and services to the cloud can be managed utilizing the same principles you apply to your on-premises IT infrastructure.
Airlines are strictly monitored by an alphabet soup of governmental organizations - the FAA and NTSB in the US and EASA in Europe. Meanwhile, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), NIST, SNIA , ENISA and others have put forth cloud security and availability standards for cloud computing. However, since there is not yet a universally agreed upon standard metric of confidence for cloud computing service providers, it is incumbent on you, the consumer of the cloud service, to do your due diligence before cutting that check and driving off the lot with your new ‘vehicle.'
Whether you're considering private cloud, hybrid cloud or public cloud adoption, these recommendations from Symantec will help to keep things running smoothly and prevent outages as you leverage the cloud.
1. Know yourself. Be clear on why you are going to the cloud. Improved mileage, better reliability, more room, or simply a sporty look during a midlife crisis - the reasons to buy a new car are wide ranging. You may be looking to be more agile in deploying apps, have an executive mandate, prefer OPEX to CAPEX, or simply be out of room in your data center. Don't kid yourself and be crystal clear on your rationale and objectives for moving to the cloud.
2. Know your alternatives. Perhaps you can work at home, ride share or take the train. Perhaps a used car or leasing a car makes more sense than buying. Know the real costs of delivering services yourself instead of via a cloud service provider - including the costs of compute, storage, network, application and security. Not all services make business sense to move to the cloud all the time.
3. Precious cargo on board. Downtime has consequences. In business, your critical systems are vital to your success; protecting them and making certain they're always available is a big factor. Consider RTO (recovery time objective, or how long you can go without that app being available) and RPO (recovery point objective, or the amount of data you could afford to lose). The lower the RTO and RPO are, the more mission-critical that system is. Hosting less-important services in the cloud will reduce your costs while posing minimal risk of business interruption in the event of outage.
4. Look under the hood. You wouldn't purchase a car without looking under the hood and researching its reliability and features. Don't be afraid to ask cloud providers about the technology behind the service. Make sure you know where your data resides, and what your recovery and backup options are. You will rely on your SLA to resolve issues; make sure you negotiate a favorable agreement and make sure that it has real consequences for failure.
5. Take it for a test drive. If you're looking at a public cloud solution, one of the key advantages of SaaS is that it makes it easy to deploy a free trial, and most vendors offer this to those considering their services. Start small with the trial, and once you're satisfied you can expand the service to include confidential data and other mission-critical systems.
6. Have a maintenance plan. In case there is a failure, be ready. Simply because you drive a safe vehicle doesn't mean you should cancel your roadside assistance. Stuff happens, be prepared with a plan to mitigate a failure. One of the best ways to maximize uptime is by testing your disaster recovery system in advance, to find any configuration problems that leave you vulnerable, just as you should inspect your car regularly to identify impending problems. Non-disruptive DR testing will allow you to identify issues your system has, without interrupting the availability of services for your clients and employees. Implementing a disaster recovery assessment tool is one of the best ways to ensure minimal loss of data and service.
While recent events have affected public perception of cloud computing, and potentially the rate of adoption, they shouldn't send anyone running for the hills. Just as you need to do your homework when buying a car, proper research and planning is vital to make cloud computing as reliable as possible-whether you are implementing a private, public or hybrid cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
Aug. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 229
What does “big enough” mean? It’s sometimes useful to argue by reductio ad absurdum. Hello, world doesn’t need to be broken down into smaller services. At the other extreme, building a monolithic enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is just asking for trouble: it’s too big, and it needs to be decomposed.
Aug. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 332
Early in my DevOps Journey, I was introduced to a book of great significance circulating within the Web Operations industry titled The Phoenix Project. (You can read our review of Gene’s book, if interested.) Written as a novel and loosely based on many of the same principles explored in The Goal, this book has been read and referenced by many who have adopted DevOps into their continuous improvement and software delivery processes around the world. As I began planning my travel schedule last...
Aug. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 509
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Aug. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 118
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Aug. 29, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 435
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 29, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 842
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
Aug. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 176
The pricing of tools or licenses for log aggregation can have a significant effect on organizational culture and the collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. Modern tools for log aggregation (of which Logentries is one example) can be hugely enabling for DevOps approaches to building and operating business-critical software systems. However, the pricing of an aggregated logging solution can affect the adoption of modern logging techniques, as well as organizational capabilities and cross-team ...
Aug. 29, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 365
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
Aug. 29, 2015 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 556
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Aug. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 376
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Aug. 29, 2015 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 346
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Aug. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 479
DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
Aug. 29, 2015 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 338
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Aug. 28, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 451
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Aug. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 181
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Aug. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 283
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Aug. 28, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 347
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Aug. 28, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 188
In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
Aug. 28, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 132
The Microservices architectural pattern promises increased DevOps agility and can help enable continuous delivery of software. This session is for developers who are transforming existing applications to cloud-native applications, or creating new microservices style applications. In his session at DevOps Summit, Jim Bugwadia, CEO of Nirmata, will introduce best practices, patterns, challenges, and solutions for the development and operations of microservices style applications. He will discuss ...
Aug. 27, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 509