In today's highly volatile IT industry, change is constant. IT managers must ensure that satisfied customers do not turn into irate users. Approximately half of large enterprises currently rely on private cloud configurations, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Many IT departments take the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to managing these systems, but they should periodically check in to ensure that they continue to meet user expectations. When examining an existing enterprise private cloud, IT departments should consider a handful of issues.
Enterprises must make sure that their private clouds are ready to go toe to toe with today's sophisticated crooks, not those from yesterday.
Track resource consumption. Before the advent of cloud computing, system upgrades were easy to plan. Lifecycles were long (typically three years), changes occurred less frequently and resource requirements were predictable. Today, however, product lifecycles are short and constantly changing and, as a result, IT resource demands can fluctuate quite dramatically. Routinely, business units chew up a terabyte of data center resources, and such dynamism is even more common with private cloud. Once users realize how easy it is to provision new resources, expectations and demands will increase. If, for example, a new big data application comes online, IT departments would be able to see 10% to 25% growth in resource utilization in a month or two.
Examine additional expansion. Enterprise Management Associates found that most enterprises start using private cloud for greenfield projects, without any prior implementation. However, the cost savings and flexibility that these systems provide give IT an opportunity to move older systems to more modern platforms that will perform better than traditional systems. Consequently, IT must look at what other applications could benefit from a migration to a private cloud and may even think about mandating the use of private cloud in some cases.
Perform a security check. Most applications now work with sensitive data in some form or another, so enterprises must closely monitor security. Hackers' ruses constantly evolve, and recently, there has been a rise in malware stemming from national government cyber-security programs. This software is more aggressive than alternatives, so enterprises must make sure that their private clouds are ready to go toe to toe with today's sophisticated crooks, not those from yesterday.
Abandon the status quo. Increasingly, IT systems have turned more to software and less to hardware-based solutions. Private cloud moves firms in that direction because it automates many traditional, manual data center functions. And through the years, IT staff has developed an affinity for proprietary solutions; companies need to move away from closed proprietary solutions and invest in more open, standard systems.
About the author:
Paul Korzeniowski is a freelance writer who specializes in cloud computing issues. He has been covering technology issues for more than two decades, is based in Sudbury, Mass., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.