I managed to get along to the Cloud World Forum in London this week. It was a busy, fast and noisy event (sometimes very noisy) which provided a way to sample a lot of views in a short space of time. The fundamentals of cloud computing are well established so there were no paradigm shaking revelations (and this wasn’t the kind of premier global event where such things might get announced anyway). I did pick up some subtle signals which might be of interest to organisations wanting to move to the cloud, suppliers competing for cloud business and engineers working with cloud technologies. This first post focuses on the customer perspective.
Despite what you might have heard, managing finances for IT is really very simple. Forget the nonsense you may read about “value centres” and “capex vs opex”. Instead, here is a simple story which will illustrate all you need to know.
Guest post by Daniel Smithson Don’t incur technical debt with the cloud – employ a cloud abstraction product The arrival of cloud technologies has led to a gold rush of adoption. Cloud technologies appear to offer organisations the nirvana of rapid, on-demand elastic compute provision, be that through public, private or hybrid deployments. Having embraced the benefits of self-service infrastructure, organisations are now embarking on developing cloud-centric applications that harness the ability of the cloud to expand and contract infrastructure capacity based on application demand. However, to do so applications need to be coded to exploit the API of the chosen cloud platform. And this may have a sting in the tail - technical debt.
Have you stopped to think about how the leading cloud computing providers are able to provide enormous quantities of computing resources at the click of a button? Clearly, they have massive data centres around the world filled with racks of high performance IT. If you were their only customer that might be the end of the story but, of course, they serve huge numbers of customers, many with enormously volatile workloads, and are taking on more every minute. Now and again you might get a little reminder that this does not all come about through magic (have you noticed the occasional “our servers are busy” message when trying to use Twitter?). So how does it all work and what risks does this pose to your business? How confident can you be that your next ad-hoc request for a virtual machine will be satisfied? Even worse, how do you know that your existing cloud based services will not be constrained by your cloud provider’s next wave of new customers?
Recently I have been enjoying the “Pheonix ProjectThis is one of those novels of IT and, like a good Disney movie, you know it is just a story but it engages on many levels and includes strong messages. In the Pheonix Project the authors make much of the parallels between traditional manufacturing and IT operations. I am a big fan of this idea and something very similar is at the heart of the next chapter in our story about a service oriented operating model for IT.