Three Steps To Effective Cloud Panning & Design
Jim was debating the architecture of a cloud computing solution for his company. It was clear to him they would need a provisioning engine, a self-service portal, and some mechanism for decommissioning services. However, even before he put pen to graph paper, a few questions were nagging in his mind. Who would all the users of this cloud be? What services would they need — and what options should he provide?
How would this cloud interact with his existing systems? Something told him he’d better take a step back and think through these topics before he started drawing…
Constraining and defining the role of cloud computing in your organization, including what will be internal, what will be external, and what service levels will be expected, is a critical first step in planning and designing your cloud. You are going to have many groups associated with the cloud effort — producing it, operating it, regulating it, and consuming it. Identifying all those who will be affected, whether they are initially engaged or brought in later, will help prevent surprises along the way for all concerned.
Consider how the cloud will interact with the rest of the data center environment. Are there shared management tools? Security requirements? Compliance rules? Or is your cloud an island? Now think beyond your data center. Will you be leveraging public cloud resources, as well? As you answer these questions, you will need to define the requirements, including compliance and security, outline the different options, identify the costs associated with delivering each option, and create an implementation plan.
Key steps to cloud planning and design include:
»» Cloud Service Design — To meet the needs of both your initial users and IT’s broader customer base, it is important to identify which cloud services are needed, how the public cloud might be leveraged, which service tiers and service levels to offer, and how best to create a corresponding “bill of materials.”
»» Cloud Operations Definition — To make sure your cloud will operate at its best, define your cloud reference architecture, map out necessary performance and capacity planning, and determine any operational compliance and security requirements.
»» Cloud Business Planning — In order to ensure your cloud meets not only IT’s needs but also the needs of your business, you must consider your current and future demand, manage cloud service providers, determine service costing and pricing, and guarantee regulatory compliance.