Steps to Successful Adoption of Cloud Tutorial

4.2 Steps to Successful Adoption of Cloud

Hello and Welcome to Module No. 5 of cloud computing course offered by Simplilearn. In the previous module we discussed technical perspectives or cloud types. This module is about the steps to successful adoption of cloud computing. The next slide provides us the agenda of this module.

4.3 Agenda

In this module we are going to first create a road-map for organizations in order to adopt cloud, find a match between cloud and the organizational goals, choose the right applications beneficial for the organization, understand the roles and capabilities of cloud service providers, identify several dependencies of the end-users or organizations on the vendors, identify several skills needed in an organization to adopt cloud, identify critical success factors of cloud implementation. Lastly, we will look at the steps that are required for successful adoption of cloud computing and the different approaches for migrating applications on to cloud. The next slide will give us an idea about creating a road map for adopting cloud computing.

4.4 Roadmap to Cloud Design a Pilot

A roadmap to cloud computing is very helpful for an organization to outline and understand the various factors involved in the process of adopting cloud computing. Designing a roadmap is very similar to planning a road trip. This roadmap, in other words, is very similar to designing a proof of concept or the pilot project which helps us decide if adopting cloud is a viable option for the organization. When planning a trip depending on the destination of a journey we need to keep a few things in mind. We should identify what route we want to take, where we start from, how soon we want to reach the destination, the people who will be joining us during the trip, and finally, we come up with the fastest and the least risky route. Similarly, we need to ask these questions before adopting cloud. We must understand what the organization’s current capabilities are, and whether the infrastructure of the organization is virtualized. If it is virtualized, we need to consider the percentage of servers that are virtualized. The higher the percentage of virtualization, the better equipped the organization is to adopt cloud. We must also consider the stage of cloud computing that the organization wants. The other factors that we should keep in mind are: how soon the organization wants to adopt cloud; the reasons for which an organization wants to move to cloud; the primary goal behind this shift; the stakeholders who are involved; the applications that are to be tested in this proof-of-concept, etc. Finally, weWe must determine how to quantify the success of this proof of concept. Answering these questions will be crucial in creating the roadmap. It gives a thorough picture of all factors involved. In the next slide we will get an idea about how to match cloud capabilities to organizational goals.

4.5 Matching Cloud Capabilities to Organizational Goals

In any organization, the senior management is involved in decision making. Whether it is developing product that is out of an organization’s core competency, adopting a new technology, or increasing investments, it is important that their decision is justified by sound reasoning. They must ask: Why they should do this now? Is this beneficial to the organization? Is this decision in alignment with their organizational goals? The organization questions itself before jumping into any conclusion. Likewise, adopting cloud computing is no exception. It is essential that the organizational goals and the capabilities of cloud are in alignment. The organizational goals should include but not limit itself to faster provisioning of servers, necessity to scale up to significantly higher levels when there is a need, e.g., moving from 100 to 1,000 servers and this is not possible with a typical set up of physical data center. It should also include the need to reduce costs due to stringent budgets, freeing up the IT resources in order to place them on projects that have a better return on investment, and so on. No matter what the goals are, it is important to ensure that they are connected to the cloud. The next slide will show us how to choose the right applications.

4.6 Choosing the Right Application

Although we might think it is only a pilot cloud, the outcome of this pilot is very critical for the decision makers to decide if cloud computing is a beneficial option for the organization. Having said this, choosing the right application to move to cloud might determine the successful adoption cloud. Since it is the pilot or in other words the first set of applications that will be moved to cloud choosing all the applications is not a suitable option. Good choices for a pilot are ideally the batch programs, disaster recovery or back-up solutions, application development systems, or the Internet facing applications such as, the company website or the e-commerce system. During the first move to cloud, it is advisable to rule out the mission critical and legacy applications. When a company moves to cloud, these applications will eventually move. But these should not be part of the pilot. Other applications which should not be considered are what people typically call the low hanging fruits– the applications which have less impact on the organization. These are not suitable for the pilot since they demonstrate very less business value and they are not going to be enough to convince the senior management. The next slide discusses the roles and responsibilities of cloud vendors.

4.7 Roles and Responsibilities of Cloud Vendors

When we finally make the move to cloud, we will have to choose vendors who can offer us services. As in any business a new vendor relationship carries with it some amount of risk. Cloud is no exception. We will have to choose from a long list of vendors and these vendors are not like any random person offering some service. A cloud vendor is someone very critical to the organization since we are putting the servers, applications, and data in a public cloud. If this service provider goes down, the organization can lose millions or even have chances of running out of business. There is a long list of vendors from which we need to choose the right ones. They include IaaS providers, SaaS providers, PaaS, cloud consultancy services which are companies who will be helping in making the move to the cloud. Besides, there are auditors who will be auditing the virtual infrastructure and the network providers who will help in staying connected across locations. As mentioned earlier, moving to cloud is not merely replacing single software with another or opting for service. But, it is moving the complete data center on to the cloud which is not like replacing one brand of servers with another, physically. As a result, Cloud involves far greater risk. Additionally, we are connected to the network typically through the Internet. We could be connected to cloud by means of a secure VPN at the headquarters or we could host the e-commerce site on public cloud where thousands of customers connect to it from different parts of the world. It could also be just a private network connecting the developing team in the US to the infrastructure team in the UK. It is important to question ourselves in order to understand clearly the vendor’s roles and responsibilities. We should ask questions such as, who is going to run what aspect of the public cloud; who is going to provide server management, patching, licensing; who is going to offer deployment of new servers and applications, back-up/recovery, security and auditing. Just like any other business, for cloud to succeed, it is important for all the parties to understand clearly their roles and responsibilities. The next slide introduces to the essential skills for success in adopting cloud.

4.8 Skills Essential for Success in Cloud

The people who are willing to make the move to cloud need to evaluate and see if they have the necessary skill sets. To begin with, we need to have a basic understanding of service-oriented architecture (SOA). We don’t have to be an expert in the area but having fundamental understanding is sufficient. This primarily has to do with development and when we are moving multi-tier applications to the cloud, it helps in having some understanding of SOA. Secondly, we need to know about the three service models-IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS. Some vendors offer a combination of these. We need to identify what the organization needs and choose suitable vendors who offer the services that are needed. Thirdly, we need to know what a Service Level Agreement (SLA) is. Adopting cloud is a new business relationship and it is the SLAs and contracts that define them. Additionally, we need to know how to provision new infrastructure and how to manage the newly provisioned resources in the shared virtual environment in the cloud. Lastly, tracking the performance of the applications which are newly migrated to cloud and also comparing it with performance of the application before migrating to cloud helps us understand the benefits and have a better understanding of its attributes. Cloud really creates new opportunities for learning for all IT personnel. It creates new opportunities in terms of various day-to-day works. There will no longer be server administrators but infrastructure engineers who will provision and manage infrastructure and have a keen understanding of the company’s requirements. The next slide will introduce us to maturity model.

4.9 Maturity Model

This slide shows how to build a cloud. This model is suitable for organizations that want to develop a private cloud or make use of public IaaS or PaaS cloud. Organizations that are dependent fully on public cloud do not need technological competence. First, it is all siloed, where we isolate the infrastructure, multiple networks, and islands of storage. Next, we consolidate everything where we standardize components, consolidate the infrastructure, virtualize the server, and consolidate the data center. Then, we unify the continuous data protection and the infrastructure blocks. Next, we automate everything, i.e., virtual machine mobility, policy, and event-based behavior. Lastly, once we have automated, we move to cloud where we can provision everything ourselves. In the next slide we will discuss the factors which are critical for implementation of cloud.

4.10 Critical Success Factors of Cloud Implementation

When the final decision to move to cloud computing is taken there are critical factors that have to be in place to ensure the implementation and move are successful. First of all, there has to be a clear vision for cloud computing with specific goals that align with the business needs of the organization. However, a clear vision is not enough. Proper execution of this vision is very crucial. It is important to make periodic adjustments to it from time to time depending on the varying demands. The right application which should be to move to the cloud has to be selected. We have already discussed this in detail earlier in the module. Next, it is important to work with the cloud service provider to clearly understand their capabilities and how they can best help an organization. Lastly, we have to frequently check to ensure that all the business needs, vision, and execution are all in alignment. All these factors ensure successful cloud implementation. In the next slide, we will discuss the steps to move to the cloud.

4.11 Steps to Move to the Cloud

Here are five simple steps for successfully moving to the cloud. To begin with, educating the personnel of an organization on cloud computing is essential. Online video tutorials are a starter but we need to ensure that they get their hands dirty and have a hands-on training. Cloud providers offer trails of their offerings and it can be tried out. Not just IaaS (abbreviate) but also SaaS (abbreviate) and PaaS (abbreviate) should be tried. This is very useful because each service provider has different interfaces and options in their service offerings. Next, it is important to define the outcomes which are nothing but the vision statement and goals that we just discussed. Then, we need to implement tools that will monitor the performance of the servers and applications before and after migrating to cloud. These are the quantifiable metrics that help in assessing if the performance is good or even better after migrating to cloud. Next, it is important to test the migration of the application to the cloud environment. It should be tested not just once, but multiple times to ensure the performance is sustained. Finally, we need to prepare for the migration and execute it successfully. It is important to remember that if the servers are already virtualized; it is going to be easier. In the next slide we will discuss multiple approaches for migrating applications.

4.12 Multiple Approaches for Migrating Applications

Depending on the type of application and the cloud service there are multiple approaches to migrating applications. Each of these services offers unique ways to move to cloud infrastructure. To understand this better, let’s consider an example. A coffee shop with its outlets across the country wants to expand the market presence to other countries as well. This expansion is planned by opening up retail shops in different parts of the world, thereby, catering to the local people and also by opening up an e-commerce site through which they can sell their coffee. But before doing this they have a priority to handle a few other concerns in line. Let’s look at how cloud can help them handle these issues. Firstly, they have to upgrade their e-mail exchange system. This company has the 2,005 versions which are completely outdated and as a result, they are missing out lot of benefits the newer versions have to offer. So, instead of doing an upgrade in-house they can choose to adopt cloud by means of SaaS. Their e-mail server could be hosted on the cloud and the migration can be done seamlessly. They do not have the hassle of paying a huge sum for the upgrade along with licensing costs, maintenance, etc. As we know in cloud, since the server is hosted on cloud, they are charged depending on the number of users and their usage. Upgrades happen in the background and there is no extra charge. Next, let’s say the coffee company wants to implement a disaster recovery since they have only one data center and do not have any back-up. They can adopt IaaS where the infrastructure is hosted on the cloud. They will be paying only when there is an actual disaster. Ideally, the service provider will replicate the virtual machines on the infrastructure which will be hosted on a public cloud and they will be given a secure private VPN channel through which they can access all their data. In case of disaster, there is a significant charge incurred but otherwise a minimal fee is spent on a monthly basis. This is an excellent use case for IaaS where there is minimal capital expenditure where secondary data center can be built. Lastly, the company currently hosts its e-commerce site on its local data center. The company now is introducing a variety of products introduced through their online store and they believe it will have heavy demand. Now there is a need for rapid web development and scalability since the number of users who will be using this site is expected to be on a rise. So, in order to handle this they can use PaaS where they can host their website on a public cloud such as Windows Azure. These are three different cases that show how cloud services can be used and how they have done it through SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS. In the next slide, we will recapitulate whatever we have discussed so far.

4.13 Summary

Now we have come to the end of this module. Let us summarize what we have learned so farWe have discussed how to design a pilot cloud for our organization, connect the organizational goals to cloud, chose the right applications necessary for pilot cloud. We have also covered the roles and capabilities of cloud vendors, discussed how to identify the dependencies on vendors, and determined the skill sets needed for adopting cloud computing. We looked into the critical factors essential for successful implementation of cloud computing, the steps that lead to successful cloud implementation, and the multiple approaches for migrating applications on cloud. Now that we have come to the end of this session, please take some time and answer the questions in the following slides. The next module will introduce us to the impact and changes of cloud computing on it service management.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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