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).

The Death of PaaS 1.0 – Why the Cloud Will Change Forever

Contributed Article.  Author: Sinclair Schuller, CEO of Apprenda
CloudCow Contributed Article

Cloud really started off as the availability of applications via a browser over the internet – Software as a Service (SaaS). Cloud has evolved well beyond that, and has reached the point where one can source entire data center components – servers and all – online. Dubbed Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the promise is that anyone can source enterprise grade infrastructure at a button click through a browser. Need a Linux or Windows infrastructure? No problem, fire it up - virtually. Despite this amazing ability, however, a lot has remained the same when it comes to using IaaS because it’s typically just OS instances. Fundamentally, IaaS solves infrastructure problems but doesn’t address the ever-increasing complexity of managing and writing modern applications: no frameworks, libraries or APIs that tackle sticky application engineering topics. To deal with this, the market spun out Platform as a Service (PaaS). I was fortunate enough to be a co-founder of PaaS vendor Apprenda and to be surrounded by the industry’s best talent. When we set out on our journey to change computing, we envisioned a world where PaaS became the new runtime layer of the future – the cloud “operating system” in the realist sense of the term. This meant that PaaS would take over nearly all of the heavy lifting as it relates to building large, web scale distributed applications, and would also provide high levels of value through APIs and frameworks that give apps access to powerful cloud architectures.

Costing the Cloud

Contributed Article.  Author: John Kendrick, Principal, Enterprise Business Services at Fujitsu America

CloudCow Contributed Article

Traditional IT projects have followed a "Define-Design-Develop-Deploy" mindset, where most or all of the computational resources were owned, operated, and maintained by the developing organization. Cost estimates for system acquisition were often wrong, and virtually always unrealistically low.  Some of the reasons for the inaccurate forecasts included: Changing requirements; cost increases from system production changes; and cost increases from changing hardware and software suppliers. The emergence of the cloud enables the same practitioners to consider a "Source-Integrate-Manage" framework were computational resources can be assembled across an ecosystem and selected based on specific needs. Regardless of the system employed, the proper framework for cost considerations should not change.

System Engineers have visualized total life-cycle costs using an "Iceberg Model". The Iceberg Model consists of nine components that are relevant to total Cloud life-cycle costs:

Five Reasons to Move to the Cloud in 2012

Contributed Article.  Author: Herb Hamblen, Director of Sales, Mosaic Technology

CloudCow Contributed Article

Gartner, Inc. recently highlighted the top 10 technologies and trends that they feel will be strategic for most organizations in 2012. Things like in-memory computing, next-generation analytics and app stores are all extremely relevant, but at Mosaic, we think that cloud computing is the real forerunner here.

Interestingly enough, many companies have still not made the move to the cloud. In a 2009 survey of IT and business executives, many expressed concern about moving to the cloud, citing security, availability and performance as some of their main reasons. The facts, according to Gartner, show that the cloud is a disruptive force and has the potential for broad long-term impact in most industries.

We believe that while the cloud offers a lot of business opportunities, what will happen first is the move to the private cloud otherwise known as virtualization. Throughout 2011, we talked a lot about the benefits of migrating to a virtual environment. There are also a number of Mosaic customers that were willing to provide a behind-the-scenes look at what virtualization did for their business. All that said – while cloud computing is what every marketing person wants to discuss, it is virtualization that many businesses are seriously considering in 2012...