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Cloud Computing...with a chance of Architecture

Perhaps no technology trend has been more abused and misunderstood by the media and the general public than Cloud Computing.  Separating the myth from reality and dismissing the stormy fear-mongering around Cloud is something we are quite familiar with handling.

Contrary to popular belief...

  • Cloud is not just a fancy new term for virtualization (although virtualization does play a key role in cloud infrastructure)
  • Cloud is not the same as grid (they are similar at a glance, but their objectives and core architecture strategies are nearly opposite in their design)
  • Cloud is more than just SOA (but service oriented design principles are alive and well in most clouds)
  • Cloud is not an inherent security risk (not all clouds are created equally and there are numerous cloud business cases that pose little if any unique security risks)

OK...so what is the cloud?

  • It’s Infrastructure-As-A-Service (IAAS) capabilities like Amazon and Rackspace
  • It’s Platform-As-A-Service (PAAS) solutions like Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure
  • And as so many people already experience, it’s Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) solutions like Salesforce.com, Web-based email, and Twitter

Ultimately, it’s a strategy around when you go with a Public cloud, versus when do you utilize a Private cloud, versus when do you go for the more complex approach of a Hybrid cloud?  

You need people that have been there and can lead you through the fog.  You need Web Age Solutions [at least, that’s what our sales guys will tell you].

Our Cloud Architects would tell you a different story...

Elephants and Bandwagons

The elephant in the room is security, and the bandwagon in the room is unrealistic expectations. You’d better be able to deal with both.

You’d never get a haircut from a bald barber or take health advice from an overweight personal trainer.  So why would you seek cloud computing support from an organization with no practical experience?

  • Cloud Strategy and Architecture Guidance – A global high tech powerhouse brought us in to deliver an executive summit for 20 senior leaders representing different regional lines of business to facilitate an exploration of Cloud Computing’s business impact and to craft a strategic plan.  This summit was followed by two months of architecture support to ensure that the delivery of solutions aligned with the original vision and utilized state of the art architecture practices.
  • Cloud University – We partnered with a global financial services giant to design, develop, and support an education launchpad for 3000 developers worldwide.  This multi-year program blended custom eLearning modules with hands-on lab exercises and apprenticeship-style bootcamps to produce a complete education program that built cloud skills and practical experience on our clients proprietary cloud platform and toolkit.
  • Startup via the Cloud – A small startup in need of world-class infrastructure, high availability, and robust services without the traditional startup costs and overhead, looked to us to steer them through the cloud options.  We led this organization through the myriad of options and enabled them to deploy their entire web, e-mail, telecom, collaboration, and CRM back-office entirely in the cloud.  No support staff and no bulky overhead required.  Moreover, the organization has been able to smoothly and cost effectively scale as it grows.

Do Clouds Really Compute?

How do you get value out of the cloud and deliver something that your stakeholders and more importantly your customers will recognize?
  • Cloud Assessment – You need to look before you leap into the Cloud.  Have you considered the alternatives to cloud?  Is your organization ready to meet the challenge of cloud head-on?  Is there sufficient value in cloud to justify the investment?  Partner with us to answer these questions and provide you with an analysis regarding Cloud’s potential impact upon your industry, peers, and your particular enterprise.
  • Cloud Education – If you don’t know the difference between cirrus, stratus, and cumulonimbus clouds, then you need our world-class education programs.  Our highly sought cloud workshops have been delivered for executives, architects, analysts, developers, and managers on five different continents to help them understand, develop, and utilize cloud-based solutions.
  • Cloud Planning Kick Start – Many organizations struggle with how to get started with Cloud Computing.  It’s simple, really.  Work with one of our seasoned mentors to validate your business case and collaboratively craft a customized roadmap for pragmatic and relatively rapid adoption of essential cloud increments.
  • Cloud Governance Kick Start – If you aren’t careful, early success with the cloud can result in everything being pushed out to Amazon or Google even if it doesn’t jive with your optimal cloud strategy.  Once you have begun adopting and utilizing Cloud solutions it is critical that an effective governance program is put in place to maximize Cloud ROI.  We are skilled at guiding the development and customization of governance programs.