Cloud computing offers many potential benefits for your organization: flexibility, reduced costs, increased efficiency and productivity, just to name a few. Whether you’re a seasoned cloud-computing pro or are just embarking on your first implementation, it is worth your time to examine the technology that will help you on your journey to reaching the cloud.
Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) gives us some direction. In its What’s Needed for Cloud Computing? Focus on Networking and WAN Optimization white paper, ESG clarifies the definition of cloud computing, helps identify where you are in your implementation, and examines the role of the network in cloud technology.
Cloud Computing Defined
With the numerous ways to define cloud computing, ESG suggests a baseline definition for cloud computing, comprising these three models:
- The consumption model – Cloud computing offers a unique way to consume a shared pool of computing resources (including networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be added or removed quickly and at a potential lower cost than a traditional IT infrastructure.
- The services model – The three fundamental cloud computing services models are infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Choose any or all of these models depending on your needs.
- The deployment model – There are numerous ways to deploy and use clouds with various considerations, including private cloud, community cloud, public cloud, and hybrid cloud. You can customize your deployment model according to security, network access, IT skills, and more.
Cloud Computing Migration Phases
When traveling along your cloud computing implementation, you want to know that you’re not on the road to nowhere? ESG pinpoints five incremental cloud computing migration phases to keep you on your path. From start to finish, these include test and development, consolidation, enterprise, dynamic, and cloud.
It is worth noting that ESG believes that most organizations are stuck in the early stages of migration, specifically in between the consolidation and enterprise phases. The issues contributing to this delay are the lack of IT skills, the newness and immaturity of virtualization and cloud technologies, and learning that the resources for cloud computing are a mismatch to the existing network infrastructure.
Network and WAN Optimization for the Cloud
To move beyond the consolidation and enterprise phases of your cloud computing implementation, consider the role of your network and WAN optimization. Why is the network so important? User connectivity and productivity are tied to networking equipment when cloud computing moves Web-based applications to the Internet. Get the most out of this foundation for cloud computing by ensuring that your network infrastructure performs well and is flexible and scalable.
According to ESG, of all the networking technologies available, WAN optimization is key in the transition to the cloud. To facilitate this, WAN optimization must become a virtual service, support mobile users, support innovative applications and protocols, and provide network visibility at a granular level. Responding to these items and making sure your WAN optimization technologies support current and future cloud computing requirements, you will reach your cloud.
Download What’s Needed for Cloud Computing? Focus on Networking and WAN Optimization (no registration required) for more information about cloud computing, its migration phases, and the important role of network and WAN optimization.