Thursday, October 16, 2008
A Pragmatic, Incremental Approach to Cloud Computing
Cloud computing holds real promise for enterprises and SMBs, as well as the ISVs and individual developers serving them. Among other benefits, cloud computing can help organizations:
* reduce capital and operating expenses by increasing infrastructure utilization and reducing server sprawl.
* reduce the cost of software consumption by allowing business lines to consume application functionality on demand and to align cost with value received.
* dramatically improve business agility and responsiveness by compressing deployment cycles and time-to-value for application functionality.
To help organizations realize the promise and avoid the perils of cloud computing, the Cloud Computing Adoption Model provides a pragmatic, actionable, step-by-step framework for achieving measurable benefits now, while laying the foundation for the strategic benefits of a cloud infrastructure over time. The five levels of cloud computing adoption include:
* Level 1: Virtualization. The first level of cloud adoption employs hypervisor-based infrastructure and application virtualization technologies for seamless portability of applications and shared server infrastructure.
* Level 2: Cloud Experimentation. Virtualization is taken to a cloud model, either internally or externally, based on controlled and bounded deployments utilizing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for compute capacity and as the reference architecture.
* Level 3: Cloud Foundations. Governance, controls, procedures, policies, and best practices begin to form around the development and deployment of cloud applications. Initially, level 3 efforts will focus on internal, non-mission critical applications.
* Level 4: Cloud Advancement. Governance foundations allow organizations to scale up the volume of cloud applications through broad-based deployments in the cloud.
* Level 5: Cloud Actualization. Dynamic workload balancing across multiple utility clouds. Applications are distributed based on cloud capacity, cost, proximity to user, and other criteria.
For each level, The Cloud Computing Adoption Model outlines strategic goals, investment requirements, expected returns, risk factors, and readiness criteria for advancement.