Can and should my Enterprise Applications live in the Cloud?
The “cloud” is the current buzzword for something we in Information Technology have been building for the last decade. Whether an on premise private cloud, or a publicly hosted cloud service provider. The goal is the same, deliver Information Technology resources in a manner that allows our business units to work effectively and deliver products to the market place as needed.
The public cloud is the biggest driver, as business units and development teams know that they can martial application stakes in a matter of minutes. For new projects and deployments, this is a very enticing offer.
Those of us that then have to migrate these new services back into on premise hosting, or integrate publically deployed systems into enterprise infrastructure are faced with a suite of challenges.
The other side of the coin, is how do we move extant legacy applications from on premise hosting out to the public cloud? Both, of these situations have some common design and policy questions that must be answered. The highest priority in most organisations is the security of the public cloud?
All of the major IaaS and PaaS cloud providers have improved over the last two years. Most have sought and achieved the major compliance certifications from industries, these include PCI-DSS, FACTA, HIPAA, and EU Data Protection and ePrivacy Directives.
When applications and infrastructure are self-contained, and follow good security practice and coding standards, hosting in the public cloud is a much less scary proposition than it was just a few years ago.
The next challenge is the issue of coexistence.
Whether, a new application communicating back to privately held data centre resources, or moving enterprise accessible applications to public hosted virtual machines, or offloading and application such as email, document management, etc. to SaaS providers, you will be faced with the challenge of how to move data and work-loads between these environments.
Ensuring that at the earliest stage of planning a public, hybrid, or SaaS project you will need to coordinate with Security, Compliance, Network Engineer, and Infrastructure management teams to ensure that data and workloads go where they are best suited, and the means to change their placement has taken into account the needs of all of these departments.
These challenges may seem daunting, but there are many tools, appliances, and reference designs that can meet these challenges in very short time frames.
The best approach to start leveraging the public and hybrid clouds is to start with a well understood application or a new project, and make it the poster child deployment. Build your new procedures, policies and methodologies around this project, and then start applying the lessons learned in this process to the rest of your environment.
This is an exciting time to be in information technology, new ways of thinking about delivering solutions to your customers will free us to think about novel designs for everything from infrastructure provisioning and cost management, down to security and application development.
We at Asystec, have been down this road, and can help you begin this exciting journey to transform your IT methods to leverage the cloud.
Want to know more? Please do not hesitate to contact us here
Answered by: Matthew A. R. Sherian – Senior Automation and Virtualisation Consultant.