Archive for the ‘Whitepaper’ Category

 

GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – The Importance of Private Clouds (Part 5)

Monday, July 25th, 2011 by

As you may recall, at the beginning of 2011 we polled over 500 CTOs, developers and IT professionals asking them about various aspects of cloud computing. Questions included: What is cloud computing and how do you use it?, What security measures do you require in the cloud? and many more. The data from this cloud survey report provides a good idea of the current cloud computing landscape and upcoming trends as we race towards 2012.

Continuing on in the series, we wanted to know what IT professionals thought of cloud computing’s latest innovation: the private cloud. Private clouds have quickly become the topic of much conversation in the industry because they offer core public cloud technology but within a single-tenant environment. Before we jump into the results of our question, What aspects of the private cloud are most important to your organization?, it is important to have a clear understanding of what private clouds are.

What are private clouds?

There are quite a few ways how private clouds differ from public cloud offerings but I won’t go into all of the differences within this post. As I mentioned above, there is the idea of tenancy. To broadly generalize, public clouds are multi-tenant and private clouds are single-tenant. To expand on this concept a bit more, public clouds provide shared resources for consumption by multiple companies or organizations within the same server cluster. However, these resources are dedicated and fully isolated to those users in that networking, storage, RAM and CPU units are allocated to those users. This is very different than traditional shared hosting or VPS’s (Virtual Private Servers) – shared or VPS environments can, at times, suffer from over-allocation of resources or degraded performance if one user on a particular “machine” is “hogging” those resources. Public clouds effectively isolate those resources so that customers don’t experience usage hogs.

Private clouds are essentially public clouds but in an environment dedicated to one company, thus “single-tenant.” That does not mean though, that a private cloud cannot host multiple departments or business units from that single organization. Basically, a private cloud dedicates all of the resources to a single company or corporation and serves just that organization. The computer, storage and networking resources are most likely either owned by that organization, hosted by that organization or running exclusively for that organization but managed by another vendor (see GoGrid’s Hosted Private Cloud).

Private clouds frequently come at a higher cost than traditional public clouds mainly because public clouds give you economies of scale via larger infrastructure installations. Some companies may prefer operating in a non-shared environment due the higher amounts of control that they have on the infrastructure and the hardware or due to compliance or regulatory concerns.

(more…) «GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – The Importance of Private Clouds (Part 5)»

Things to Think About When Building Secure Infrastructure

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 by

Whether you’re a small, medium or enterprise company using cloud solutions, using secure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a must. A couple weeks ago I shared some survey data showing you the average security and compliance requirements from professionals in the IT industry. The results of the survey clearly shows that security is a forethought for most businesses, but just like the term “cloud”, “security” can be a bit of a buzz word if not given proper context.

When thinking about security and potentially compliance within an IT environment, there are a lot of important items to consider; some of these can be “offloaded” to your provider, but others are your own undertaking completely. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Who is your “customer”? – Is your customer, your end user? Or is it your internal organization? More than likely, it is both. Do these “customers” require different levels of security? If so, what are they?
  2. What level of security is “acceptable”? – This varies from company to company. Some organizations like healthcare or government must adhere to extremely strict security (and compliance) requirements, while other businesses might have more leeway when it comes to protecting their assets.
  3. Who in your organization is responsible for security? – Is there a particular team that is tasked with not only determining the security requirements, but also maintaining and auditing those requirements and activities over time?
  4. Is physical security required? – Do you need to physically audit and control your environment? Remember, while clouds are highly virtualized or abstracted, the providers are physical entities. Does your cloud environment need to be physically isolated from other cloud environments? (If so, you might want to consider a Hosted Private Cloud)
  5. Does your company have their security best practices carefully documented? – If they do, you should review it with a critical eye to ensure that it reflects changes in technologies.

To the last point above, the most important philosophy for businesses to understand is that security isn’t a destination – it is a process that takes constant iteration and innovation. Regardless what cloud provider you use (or even if you use traditional in-house infrastructure), this mentality is important to maintaining infrastructure security and compliance.

There are two core levels where security is critical: (more…) «Things to Think About When Building Secure Infrastructure»

How Much Time and Money Could You Save with Cloud Computing?

Monday, June 13th, 2011 by

Managing your own infrastructure isn’t an easy thing. You have to spend hours, days or weeks planning your specific needs, deploying the right hardware for your use cases (which you also have to pay for), and hiring a team to manage the hardware and operations. Making those types of projections or even “predictions” is kind of like gazing into a crystal ball at times. But what if your infrastructure needs change? Your business is hopefully growing and your infrastructure needs to match your success. Well, as you grow, you have to run through that whole process all over again. You have to plan, deploy and manage; and each of these tasks has a significant cost, not only from a monetary standpoint, but also in terms of project management, human capital and your sanity as a whole.

gogrid_crystal_ball_2011

The main principle behind Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is to develop a simpler process to address your IT needs and ensure that it takes less time to plan, manage and deploy – saving you time and money in the end. The question isn’t, “Can cloud computing save you time or money?” because we all know the answer to that. Yes. Of course it can! The real question is, “How much time and money can you save with cloud computing?

In order to find that answer, you need to have a clear understanding of the benefits of cloud computing and where the real savings come into play. I go over this in great detail in my white paper, Skydiving Through The Clouds. Below are some of the ways companies benefit from transitioning to cloud based infrastructure.wp-small-skydiving

  • Economies of Scale – underutilization and misappropriated hardware become a thing of the past. The cloud enables compute, storage and RAM resources to be more efficiently managed, provisioned and scaled, all within a shared environment.
  • Cost Control – knowing exactly what you are using and how much that usage will cost you allows for a much stricter control over expenditures.
  • “Disposable IT” – companies have the ability to create, use and destroy infrastructure based on their business needs.
  • Burstable Workloads– scaling based on demand allows organizations to efficiently use infrastructure in a timely basis.
  • Avoiding Capital Expenditure – with cloud computing, infrastructure becomes an operating expense with no need to amortize hardware costs over time.

(more…) «How Much Time and Money Could You Save with Cloud Computing?»

10 Things to Consider When Purchasing Cloud Computing Infrastructure

Monday, February 28th, 2011 by

So you’re looking at purchasing cloud infrastructure for your business? That’s great! While we believe cloud infrastructure is a viable solution for everybody, each company needs to find an implementation and provider that best meets their specific need. We call it crafting your “Cloud Fingerprint“. Every cloud infrastructure solution is unique to the business looking for a solution. If you choose a provider that tries to convince you that their solution is the only way to go, you might want to consider looking around for another vendor. Your cloud provider should really be your cloud partner. And, they should work with you in crafting your unique cloud solution, not try to jam a round peg into a square hole.

Cloud-Fingerprint

Before breaking out the checkbook there are several things to consider internally and questions you should ask your potential cloud provider to make sure you are getting the best solution for your business.

Internal Question for your Company

Cloud infrastructure comes in many different shapes and sizes. Having a clear understanding of how your organization will be using this infrastructure will help narrow down which providers will have solutions that fit your need. Here are some questions to ask yourself before approaching vendors:

(more…) «10 Things to Consider When Purchasing Cloud Computing Infrastructure»

What the Heck is the Cloud Anyway!?

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 by

The word “cloud” has become a bit of a buzzword in the IT industry. Well, let me rephrase that, it has become a HUGE and overused buzzword not just within various tech sectors, it has also infiltrated the lives of us all. A year or two ago, if you mentioned “cloud” or even “cloud computing” to the average passerby, they might have looked back at you with a cloudy look on their face (sorry). Terms like “public cloud,” “private cloud,” “hybrid cloud” and “false cloud” are currently thrown around and peppered throughout conversations. And now, especially exemplified by Microsoft’s recent ad campaign, the phrase “To the cloud!” seems to have brought clouds to everyone, including the general public.

We are being bombarded from every angle. So what do they mean?

Some seem to be useful in our everyday lives:

Others seem to be a bit ominous (as is seen in this tweet from Marc Benioff – Chairman & CEO of SalesForce.com):

benioff_false_cloud_twitter

But even with everyone talking about “clouds” now, they are still confusing.

image

The truth is, clouds can take on many different forms, shapes, sizes and characteristics.

gogrid_cloud_pyramid

Cloud” is one of the most confusing terms currently in the computing world, but we aim to clear up this nebulous term. Today we release a new white paper titled “Skydiving Through the Clouds” which explains what clouds are, how they work, who uses them and why they are becoming of growing importance within the IT industry.

Download “Skydiving Through the Clouds”

security white paper picture