Contributed

Cloud On-Boarding - The True Story

Contributed Article.  Author: Dotan Horovits, Senior Solutions Architect at GigaSpaces
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Cloud On-Boarding - The True Story

 
 
Everyone wants to be in the cloud. Organizations have internalized the notion and have plans in place to migrate their applications to the cloud in the immediate future. According to Cisco’s recent global cloud survey:

Presently, only 5 percent of IT decision makers have been able to migrate at least half of their total applications to the cloud. By the end of 2012, that number is expected to significantly rise, as one in five (20 percent) will have deployed over half of their total applications to the cloud.

But that survey also reveals the fact that on-boarding your application to the cloud “is harder, and it takes longer than many thought”, as David Linthicum said in his excellent blog post summarizing the above Cisco survey. Taking standard enterprise applications that were designed to run in the data center and on-boarding them to the cloud is in essence a reincarnation of the well-known challenge of platform-migration, which is never easy. But why is there a sense of extra difficulty in on-boarding to the cloud? The first reason David identifies for the extra difficulty is the misconception that cloud is a “silver bullet”. Such “silver bullet” misconception can lead to lack of proper design of the system, which may result in application outage, as I outlined in my previous blogs. Another reason David states for the extra difficulty is the lack of well-defined process and best practices for on-boarding applications to the cloud:

Is All Virtualization Destined for the Cloud?

Contributed Article.  Author: Mike Thompson, SolarWinds’ director of business strategy for virtualization and storage
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Is All Virtualization Destined for the Cloud?

 
 
It seems that the message to the millions of virtualization users is that if you are not either working in a cloud environment or moving to a cloud environment, you are behind or you have yet to be enlightened.
 
Vendors, press and analysts publish maturity curves that often show the progression through which IT professionals should be moving to achieve cloud enlightenment. Often, the typical virtualization user would be in the “immature” portion of these maturity curves with a long road ahead of them before they get to cloud “nirvana”.

Illuminating the Cloud for Increased ROI

Contributed Article.  Author: Sharon Wagner, CEO of Cloudyn
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Illuminating the Cloud for Increased ROI

 
Whenever I speak with CIOs and IT professionals about the benefits of cloud computing, I encounter a wide range of responses – from enthusiasm, to guarded optimism, to even outright skepticism.
 
While it’s clear that the cloud is playing an increasingly central role in IT, both the opportunities and challenges inherent therein, can be tricky to navigate. This has created a situation where efficient and economical use of the cloud is not all that common.
 
By clarifying some of the major issues swirling around cloud computing, I hope to equip the business community with knowledge and insight that will allow them to better maximize their IT investments.  

Office 365 Migration: Plan for the unknown

Contributed Article.  Author: Ron Robbins, Product Manager at Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Office 365 Migration: Plan for the unknown

 
Since Office 365 is a relatively new platform, it stands to reason there are a few things customers face in their migration projects that blindside them. Things come up that they did not expect that really throw a wrench into the project plan. Here are just three that I see most often:
 
Speed – Let’s face it, Microsoft throttles the speed at which you can migrate data into Exchange Online. They do this to make sure that no one tenant uses all the resources at once, to protect the service performance for the other tenants. This tends to slow down migrations, and really puts the scheduled date for completion in question when moving through a large migration project. At times, this is a surprise to customers, as they see their timelines extend. There are several ways to work around this. With a third party tool like Quest’s OnDemand Migration for Email you can run a migration with several hundred concurrent threads. All it takes is multiple accounts to gain access to the target mailboxes, and it will increase the number of mailboxes that can be migrated to simultaneously. This will help mitigate the risk of extended project timelines.

Enterprise Cloud Best Practices: Setting High Standards Early To Simplify and Standardize IT

Contributed Article.  Author: Derick Townsend, ServiceMesh VP of Product Marketing

CloudCow Contributed Article

In this article, we'll discuss the importance of leveraging cloud to greatly simplify and standardize your enterprise IT service offerings, and why it's important to design from the beginning with this goal in mind.

IT Complexity = Tremendous Burden

When describing cloud computing benefits, we often talk about improved business agility and cost savings. One of the most profound and impactful ways to achieve these benefits across the enterprise comes from the pursuit of IT standardization and simplification, which is an important cloud computing objective that deserves more attention.

Think about the hundreds or thousands of different IT technologies and processes that exist within an enterprise IT organization today. If you inventory just one enterprise data center, you'll see scores of hardware vendors, platforms, and operating systems assembled in unique combinations to support a sprawling assortment of heterogeneous apps.

The time and cost to manage this complexity is tremendous, and the chaos it creates places a significant burden on those charged with keeping IT running smoothly. In addition to support, there are redundant costs and waste associated with building solutions on top of this complex ecosystem including different overlapping tools, platforms, and processes. That's one reason why enterprise IT budgets tend to follow an "80/20 rule", where 80% is consumed in maintaining the status quo, and just 20% goes to new projects that directly add business value.

 

Do You Know A Cloud Skeptic? Everybody does...

Contributed Article.  Author: Michael Tweddle, Sr. Director of Product Management at Quest Software

CloudCow Contributed ArticleThe cloud has changed the way technology is viewed – there is no denying it. No matter what the service is, many IT organizations are looking to move to the cloud, but, along the way, run into “cloud skeptics” within their organizations who don’t trust the cloud and are not open to investigating the idea. In my role at Quest Software, I often encounter cloud skeptics who have concerns about moving their on-premises messaging and collaboration environments to Microsoft’s new Office 365 service.

There are many reasons someone might give as to why they are skeptical about moving IT services to the cloud, including lack of control; business continuity and recovery; security and compliance; data migration; and data protection. These are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed as you evaluate cloud vendors, but, I believe there is more to a cloud skeptic...

Best Practices for Evaluating Migration Tools

Contributed Article.  Author: Greg Jones, Manager of Solutions Architecture at Quest Software
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

Best Practices for Evaluating Migration Tools

 
When you are moving to Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud offering, choosing the right migration tool to help you get there is very important. It’s a good idea to evaluate third-party migration products that provide the extended functionality, support, and the capabilities necessary to ensure success.
 
Every organization might not require help from a third-party vendor, but, it’s a best practice to calculate the benefits a migration partner might bring to your project and compare them to the needs of your organization. I must caution you, however, to choose your vendors wisely, and be absolutely sure you’re getting the functionality you need.  

What is Cloud Bursting?

Contributed Article.  Author: Nati Shalom, CTO of GigaSpaces Technologies
CloudCow Contributed Article
 

What is Cloud Bursting?


Cloud bursting is an application deployment model in which an application runs on a private cloud or datacenter and bursts to a public cloud when the demand for computing capacity spikes. A burst is a specific amount of data sent or received in one intermittent operation when a threshold is reached. The advantage of such a hybrid cloud deployment is that an organization only pays for extra compute resources only when they are needed.

The Business Impact of Cloud Bursting


Neal Sample the former CTO of X.commerce at eBay gave an interesting talk last year on the economic benefit of Cloud Bursting. Neal pointed out eBay traffic statistics and showed some real numbers of the business impact of bursting peak load activities using on-demand cloud resources as presented in the diagram below.

Get your house in order before moving to Office 365

Contributed Article.  Author: Michael Tweddle, Director of Product Management at Quest Software and Author of Office 365 Migration for Dummies
CloudCow Contributed Article
 
If you are seriously considering migrating to Office 365, it is important to weigh all of the pros and cons and understand exactly what you are getting into. One key thing to remember is that the cloud isn’t a product, it’s a service. This means there should be a shift in the way you look at your email and collaborations solutions. Not only will moving to a cloud-based solution such as Office 365 change how your users will use the service, but it will also have a big effect on what you need to do to prepare for your migration and how you manage the new environment after your migration project is over.
 
In the recently released Office 365 Migration for Dummies book, I state “Regardless of the deployment model, migrating to Office 365 is a multi-faceted decision making process requiring careful planning and preparation.” I can’t stress that enough – the  key to a successful migration is preparation and using the right tool to migrate your users and data to the new platform. So, if you are serious about making the move to Office 365, please consider learning as much as possible about the new platform through analysis and reporting to create a pre-migration plan to ensure its success. In order to prepare properly I have a few tips that should help get you on your way.
 

Seven Steps on the Path to the Cloud

Contributed Article.  Author: Jon Reeve, Senior Director of Product Management, SolarWinds
 
CloudCow Contributed Article

While there have been discussions around private cloud definitions, there hasn’t been as much discussion on how success is measured for private cloud initiatives or, in particular, the skills or characteristics necessary to get there.

Typically, private cloud initiatives get boiled down to how IT services are provided that meet target goals for:
 
  • Cost (shared, metered by use)
  • Quality (of service)
  • Agility (self-service, elastic)

Specifically, agility (time to react to business requests and needs) is a key driver and yardstick to measure the success of a private cloud implementation. When we speak with customers who have a private cloud initiative underway, they are typically highly virtualized (80% or more). This naturally leads to the question, “What is the difference between an environment that is 90% virtualized and a private cloud?” The answer almost always comes down to some combination of agility (and self-service) coupled with chargeback or showback (which is changing how IT services are consumed).