Herman Rensink – Datacenter & Cloud Architect / CISSP
This article describes in a number of key themes that are related to each other and outlines the direction which Data centers and Cloud are going.
- Delivery models
- Deployment and provisioning
C-level executives realise that ICT is constantly increasing in importance and complexity. They look for new ways to cope with the demand for effectiveness and efficiency. The adage of C-level management is outsourcing the entire ICT or parts of it. This trend and the accession of new provider creates a diversity of services. The transition to the Cloud has started and to anticipate this rising transition a variety the customer has to choose between many delivery models such as Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud and Community Cloud. These new models promise to be more economical, safer, more resilient and flexible furnishing.
In the eyes of some Cloud providers, economical means working offering large volumes or in other words offering “economy of scale” at a low price per unit. This is especially applicable to the infrastructure or IaaS and this is partly determined by hardware that is used as a commodity (x86 and JBD). Offering volume will help to ensure that providers implement simplification such as rationalisation, standardisation, virtualisation and automation.
Other Cloud providers seek higher up in the stack and they offer PaaS and SaaS, where a lot of expertise is required of the applications, information systems and especially the business. In order to be more economical and survive the flood of new coming providers, the current PaaS and SaaS providers are combining forces with large IaaS providers or PaaS/SaaS providers themselves combine their platform with IaaS offerings.
Due to the increase of transition to the Cloud new players arise in the market known as Cloud Actors like Cloud Auditors and Cloud brokers or Cloud Orchestrators who act as a “middle man” and trusted adviser between customers and providers.
Going to the Cloud requires a different governance. Regulations and legislation are important. To meet the requirements of the laws and regulations as well the demands of industries and companies services like frameworks, architecture and policies becoming increasingly important with emphasise on coherence and security – data protection and data privacy. But also contract – and service management get a heavier meaning. Furthermore, depending on the degree of outsourcing (complete or partial) you get a split between strategy and operation or between operations of the customer and provider. This other thinking and contracts and especially vendor management gets more difficult. This requires other type of specialists who are more concerned with the overall business and they posses conceptual knowledge of ICT and cost management or they turn to the new players such as Cloud Brokers,Cloud Orchestrators or Cloud Auditors.
TECHNOLOGY AND CONNECTIVITY
Partly by technological developments such as hyper converged – and policy driven infrastructure but also by VM-centric solutions, they all create an upward pressure as related to knowledge and integral thinking. Solutions such as OpenStack and Azure are comprehensive and very complex to explain and to oversee. This requires a different approach. A shift is needed in terms of expertise where ICT should more focus and respond to the customer experience and business needs. ICT technicians, Service Managers and ICT managers not only should see the technical advantages but rather more see the business the benefits and therefor in my opinion technology should be increasingly pushed back to the background.
But containerisation and (micro) segmentation and virtualisation further change the landscape of infrastructure drastically thereby reducing specialisation. Deployment and provisioning, to be able to quickly deliver what a customers wants, security and applying “practical” architecture are becoming more and more important.
More and more ICT takes place outside the traditional data center. The “new way of working”of years ago and the evolving Mobility and Mobility development, the numerous network connections and RFID technology, put an increasing pressure on the management of ICT because it is hard get everything under control is The number of front-end devices such as phones, laptops, notebooks increases exponentially and requires new functionality. There is a higher need and emphasis on Remote Access / Security and monitoring. The number of routes, connectivity and high concentration of infrastructure (volumes) makes it more attractive and easier for the criminal outside the data center to attack the “ICT”. Security such as IDS / IPS, and many other security applications are crucial. Awareness programs are becoming in the coming years increasingly important and this requires other specialists with thorough knowledge of security.
DEPLOYMENT AND PROVISIONING
Deployment and provisioning at various levels, such as technology and services are increasingly playing an ever fuller role. We must always deliver and vulnerabilities should be solved faster and more flexible than ever before. Provisioning is delivering technologically oriented but also providing services like software and patches or fully functional information systems. All this requires an efficient and standard deployment street and self-service systems, plus portals for the application of ICT services and settlement of the ICT consumption.
To ensure the principles of the Cloud, the operations theme is also important. Operations ensures what governance regulates. Change management is one of the processes that are crucial to the operations. Now you can see a shift from discreet to “continuous movement”. It is a constant and smooth transition in order to avoid discrete transitions. In a smooth transition knowledge is constantly moving along with the transition and investments are incremental. This avoids too much strain on the operation. Another process that is important, is Life Cycle Management (LCM). Not only acquisition of new technology or services are important also formulating a proper exit strategy as well is important to avoid legacy and a complex none standardised environments. At last but not least security and particularly security controls should be applied immediately and transparently.
Other articles about the Cloud are:
- Cloud features explained
- Cloud Comparison BIG 3 Azure, AWS and Google
- Commonalities and differentiators Cloud providers