To the novice IT manager, a shift to cloud computing may appear to be the answer they have been looking for to solve many of their network problems. No longer will their team have to worry as much about large infrastructure deployments or complex server configurations. However, diving in a little deeper reveals that cloud computing can deliver a whole new set of challenges.
Through cloud computing, organizations perform tasks or use applications that harness massive third-party computing and processing power via the Internet cloud. This allows them to quickly scale services and applications to meet changing user demands and avoid purchasing network assets for infrequent, intensive computing tasks.
While providing increased IT flexibility and potentially lowering costs, cloud computing shifts IT management priorities from the network core to the WAN/Internet connection. Cloud computing extends the organization's network via the Internet, tying into other networks to access services, applications and data.
Understanding this shift, IT teams must adequately prepare the network and adjust management styles to realize the promise of cloud computing. Here are five key guidelines organizations should understand when planning, employing and managing cloud computing applications and services:
Guideline No. 1: Conduct pre-deployment and readiness assessments
Determine existing bandwidth demands per user, per department and for the organization as a whole. With the service provider's help, calculate the average bandwidth demand per user for each new service you plan to deploy. This allows the IT staff to appropriately scale the Internet connection and prioritize and shape traffic to meet the bandwidth demands of cloud applications.