Cloud Computing with Current IT
A strategy session for getting to cloud computing.I recently participated in a Ziff Davis Enterprise eSeminar on cloud computing strategies, which you can listen to online and download the slides at eseminarslive.com. Based on the audience questions and the fact that nearly 100 percent of attendees stayed to the end, I'd say the topic was of interest, so I'm continuing the discussion here. Much of what I talked about was culled from listening with a keen ear to both the case study presentations and audience questions at technical conferences. An emerging area of interest that IT managers should pay attention to is chargeback. Virtualization platforms in the enterprise are catching up with public cloud offerings in being able to track compute, network and storage usage. To paraphrase my favorite Spider-Man aphorism, "With great billing comes great accountability." In other words, as business units start getting a bill for unused or underutilized virtual systems, life cycle management-especially the termination part of that life cycle-will assert itself.
It's also become clear to me that virtualization projects-in particular those intended to create a cloudlike environment in a private data center-benefit from being rolled out in phases and are in fact hurt by an all-or-nothing approach. One example from VMworld: A major grocery retailer rolled out a successful server virtualization project by starting with just a few stores in a region. As the deployment lessons were learned (some applications ran only on guest systems for which the vendor had to do development work to support) and operational kinks were worked out (some management system timing delays over great distance interfered with reports), the grocer's IT staff gained the experience necessary to make the investment pay off.