Once you move your core IT systems into private or public cloud networks, your work isn't over. Now you have a different set of technology issues to deal with: managing the cloud to ensure that your investments pay off for your enterprise and deliver the efficiencies and ROI that you're expecting.
Cloud management and monitoring have become even more important in the wake of April's Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) outage, when the IT world got to see just what happens when a cloud environment runs into problems, taking the operations of many companies down with it. There have been other recent serious cloud outages as well.
Getting the performance that your enterprise is paying for is "one of the big 'gotchas' for public clouds," says Mary Johnston Turner, an analyst at IDC. In a recent study of 250 user companies, service-level agreement (SLA) performance guarantees ranked second in importance after the specific needs of the applications themselves, she says.
"Enterprises are very concerned about performance," she says. "One of the reasons you're seeing so much interest in private clouds is because IT leaders are responsible for getting good performance to their users" and they aren't always ready to hand those huge responsibilities over to third-party cloud vendors.
When it comes to cloud computing, management software can no longer be an afterthought; it has to be a part of the implementation, part of the very decision on how best to integrate cloud capabilities into your IT architecture. This guide highlights key points to consider.
SaaS and IaaS: Expert guide
Two types of cloud computing -- software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) -- promise to bring great changes to the role of IT in the enterprise. IT professionals really need to learn how to talk the talk when it comes to SaaS and IaaS if they want to stay ahead of the trends.