Cloud computing, software services, outsourcing and hosting mean very different things, but to IT managers and administrators, these technologies are all about the same thing: applications and/or data formerly on-premise are now on a server beyond the company perimeter. There is plenty of trepidation among established shops who are in a familiar (if not irritating) groove. How much disruption will this emerging computing model cause in the average enterprise? This special report digs into strategic areas of cloud computing where IT pros are short on answers.
Cloud Computing Technology
Cloud service lock-in persists, but it is avoidable
Cloud service providers are making it easier to get data onto the cloud, but moving between environments continues to be gnarly. There are ways, however, to avoid cloud lock-in.
Enterprises face integration hurdles to private clouds
Enterprises that want to offer IT as a Service face challenges that include virtualization stall, bleeding-edge automation tools and thorny policy orchestration problems.
Evaluating Exchange Server in the cloud
Do the advantages of running Exchange Server in the cloud, like ease of use and hands-off management, sound too good to be true? Check the fine print before signing on the dotted line.
More on the technical challenges of cloud computing:
- Don't put the cloud cart before the virtualization horse
- Private cloud 101: Is your data center ready?
Cloud Career Upheaval
How the cloud will crowd your job
With cloud computing on the rise, many of the IT jobs done manually will fade into the past. Keeping up with products and technology has never been more important.
More on the cloud's affect on personnel:
- Do you have the cloud skills to pay the bills?
- Top IT skills for the cloud computing generation
Jump-starting the cloud with the right applications
Assembling a trusty cloud app arsenal may be the key to a well-built cloud infrastructure, but knowing where to begin is half the battle.
More on cloud infrastructure:
- Public cloud computing levels the playing field
Windows in the Cloud
Microsoft smoothes path to Azure for Windows shops
Microsoft made the on-ramp to Azure easier for Windows users by adding loads of new features. But customers still need time to wrap their heads around the cloud idea.
Microsoft Azure: Is it good for the Vars?
VARs disagree on whether Microsoft Azure's PaaS power is better than the more incremental Amazon Web Services.
More on Windows in the cloud:
- As Azure matures, pricing remains a problem
- For Microsoft Azure platform, late is good
- Will Hyper-V take you to the cloud?
Governance in the Cloud
Old-style rules and red tape derail private cloud project
Despite one IT architect's best efforts, his private cloud project was felled by unnecessary regulations and an ossified corporate IT culture.
More on cloud computing in the data center:
- Seven criteria for implementing an effective cloud computing plan
- Determining cloud TCO vs. in-house IT costs
More Cloud-based Services
Windows Intune shows promise at first glance
Windows Intune -- Microsoft's cloud-based antivirus service -- may be a bit rough around the edges in beta, but its future looks bright.
Microsoft counters Google Apps with Office 365
Checkmate! Microsoft hopes its Office 365 online software suite will help retain customers considering a move to Google Apps.