Welcome!

Virtualization Authors: Bob Gourley, Greg Ness, Sematext Blog , David Skok, Noel Wurst

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud Implementation: Ensuring Success

Like any other solution implementation, service providers need to focus on four key areas

Deploying Cloud infrastructure is not a typical technology project. Success of a Cloud implementation depends on governance, policies, constraints and business relationship management.  This article focuses on some basic important areas that cannot be ignored while implementing a Public Cloud solution. To keep it simple, let us focus on green-field implementation of a public cloud infrastructure.

Like any other solution implementation, service providers need to focus on four key areas: Strategy, Business processes, Technology and people skills. Quite often, cloud implementations focus on infrastructure (and forget processes) and then see if the deployment meets their overall strategy or not. Such an approach results in unsuccessful implementations. Investing in business management, people and processes before the technology will ensure success with your cloud computing. Even in a green-field implementation, the right approach is to build and agree on the strategy first, ensure that business processes are aligned to meet the strategy; then focus on technology and people skills aligned to overall strategy. Such an approach ensures that the Cloud implementation meets the overall strategy and results in success. HP has a proven methodology, called Solution Consulting Services (SCS), to help Service Providers get better alignment of strategy, processes and technology while taking such a customer-centric journey. While taking any architectural decisions or at any change in technology, it is beneficial to evaluate impact on the overall strategy and service delivery to customers. For this reason, it is prudent to involve the marketing team during the implementation.

Let us now take a look at these areas and summarize key important points while planning deployment of Public Cloud service.

Strategy:

  • Leading the organization: Cloud is a new way of delivering traditional services and to take the organization through this change, leadership and sponsorship of senior management is critical.
    • Understand the market, clearly define the desired end state, build a pragmatic roadmap to achieve the goal and rally the organization towards the future goal; communicate the vision and create buy-in throughout the organization; agree on approach to the market
    • Build a living strategy document and a road map to achieve desired measurable business outcomes
  • Leverage your strengths and strategic assets: Leverage networking, a key strategic asset, which can differentiate CSPs from other services from IT companies by demonstrating end-to-end value and quality of service. The strategy should be to offer bundled services that include typical IT centric services along with communication as a service.
  • Understand acquisition and operational costs: Have clear understanding on how to measure agility, cost and quality of service; understand and agree on any compromises in these areas
  • Based on market study, clearly define required functionality, scalability etc. to be competitive; Leverage best-practices and lessons already learnt by others
  • Avoid vendor lock-in: Standards are evolving for Cloud inter-operability. It is best to go for open architecture based on industry standard products and avoid vendor lock-in

Process

  • Define end-to-end Service Delivery: Technology is the easiest component of a cloud deployment. According to a Gartner report, technology is less difficult than the changes required in processes, funding models, organization culture and politics, and service definition and delivery.
  • Define Business Policies: Public Cloud implementation requires you to think through and decide on policies, governance and allocation models; the software itself cannot do all this for you. There are software products available in the market to implement business policies. But a lot of attention must be given to define those business policies, charging options, SLAs etc.
  • Changing business relationships: Cloud computing brings in automation in service delivery as well as in service consumption; both service providers and consumers will have to change their existing processes to accommodate this. Understand the impact of Cloud computing on operational processes and manage the changing relationship between you and your customers.

Technology:

The architectural requirements of cloud computing include following key areas:

  • Standardization:
    • Standardize and automate as much as possible from the start to keep the operational costs low
    • Customers typically expect the same level of service quality, flexibility and control as in the traditional dedicated physical environment.

- The cloud environment is far more complex and dynamic than the traditional dedicated physical environment. There are many more servers to manage because of the ability to rapidly create virtual servers. Cloud services are continually being created, moved among physical resources, and retired by customers.

o  Select products and solutions that give you flexibility, control and automation features needed for today and tomorrow; avoid customized automation

  • Automation:
    • The automation and orchestration layer turns a virtual environment into a cloud environment. A special focus is needed on automation and efficient use of resources.
    • Rapid provisioning; speed of delivery
    • Ability to create, launch and terminate cloud instances as needed
    • Resource optimization: Manage service levels across applications and a virtual infrastructure, and allocate resources based on business needs.
    • Integrated Service Management: Monitor and manage services and not just infrastructure components.
  • Service catalogs:
    • Self-service portal to present service catalogs

- Transition from an infrastructure-oriented approach to a service-oriented approach for service delivery and management is needed. This includes providing a catalog of standardized IT services and supporting self-service and automated provisioning of standardized services. In addition, it's important to integrate IT processes and tools and be able to support multiple service sourcing options.

o    The cloud environment may include services from a variety of external providers, greatly increasing the number of vendors for SP to manage. This also increases risk of software license and compliance violations.

  • Identity and subscriber management:
    • Privacy and Compliance requirements

- Compliance with security-related issues is very important in the cloud. IT must ensure that information, data ownership, and billing/accounting information are secure. In addition, it is also critical to protect the physical storage of information from privacy and security point of views.

  • Charging/Billing: Service charging, billing and integration with CRM: Even in a green-field implementation, we have to have clear understanding, based on market analysis, on how each service will be charged and how CSRs will be able to support customers. Some services are offered at fixed price whereas others are billed based on usage. Each market is different and the architecture should be able to give flexibility to marketing units.
  • Industry Standards: Consider standards in areas such as public cloud interoperability, chargeback measurements, service-level definitions, etc. We are in the early days of cloud computing, and there will be new standards defined as cloud computing matures. For this reason, investing in technologies based on open and industry standards is of paramount importance.

People

  • As Cloud computing is a new way to deliver traditional services, organizations and people skills must shift to reflect the changes required in becoming a service provider. New skill sets are required in areas like modeling service architectures, building and testing automation, and scripting interfaces. With increase in level of automation and agility, the emphasis shifts to monitoring utilization, understanding trends etc. for more proactive steps. Training sales teams to sell Public Cloud computing as well as other bundled services cannot be emphasized more.

With the right approach, one can align implementation to meet the long term strategy of the organization. It is worth spending a bit more time planning deployment and understanding its impact on the strategy and end-users.

More Stories By Kapil Raval

Kapil Raval is an experienced technology solutions consultant with nearly 20 years of experience in the telecom industry. He thinks ‘the business’ and focuses on linking business challenges to technology solutions. He currently works for HP and drives strategic solutions in the telecom vertical.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...