The other day, one of my CIO friends was complaining about the lack of physical space in her data center –full racks, no place for power and no air/heating capacity.
She’s not the only one I hear this from. It’s a pretty common problem for IT practitioners today. The answer: The Cloud. Yes, I said it – The Cloud.
There’s certainly enough hype around the term “cloud” to make skeptics of all of us. But there is substance and value to what cloud computing is intended to do.
What does it really mean?
Simply put, it’s a style of computing that is highly elastic and scalable that you can purchase based on consumption and demand.
There are different twists to managing this type of IT environment, depending on whether your company is doing a public or a private cloud deployment.
Public vs. Private
Public clouds are computing resources shared among multiple customers. This type typically involves a relatively modest initial investment and has an easier learning curve. Many startups, for example, opt into the public cloud due to its simplicity – it requires fewer physical devices to be purchased.
Private clouds are shared among multiple departments. However, the initial investment is much heavier, and the learning curve is harder. This approach is favored by companies wanting a more secure option.
Practical Steps to Cloud Adoption
My suggestion for newbies thinking about moving to the cloud is to get some experience first hand – try it a bit before moving the entire accounting department, for example, to the cloud. Here are a few basics to consider when starting:
- Establish a baseline first
- Get some experience with the technology
- Understand the issues that it will accelerate
- Realize that the network just got a whole lot more important (yet again)…
- Shore up your network management strategy
This entry experience will give you a good footing before you fully jump in.
The cloud isn’t just hype. It’s the future. So it’s important for IT admins to develop the knowledge and skill sets to be successful in this environment.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, you can view this recent webcast: http://www.solarwinds.com/resources/webinars/geekspeak/cloudcomputing101/
Author Profile - Josh Stephens is the Head Geek and VP of technology at SolarWinds, a leading provider of network management software based in Austin Texas. Josh has extensive experience in network management systems, network engineering, and software development. His 15-plus years of experience in technology include designing and deploying advanced networks and network management systems within organizations including the US Air Force, Sprint, MCI/UUNET, and WalMart. He has received several industry certifications including those from Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and HP.