Tim's Top Ten tips for Cloud

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Discussions with clients have led me to document these tips for building clouds. They represent some headline good practices and try to avoid building in failure from the start

They are only things to aim for, to help realize the maximum cloud benefits - and maximum return on investment

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Tim's Top Ten tips for Cloud

  1. 1. Tim Burns pminthecloud.wordpress.com© Tim Burns 2015 Tim’s Top Ten Tips for Cloud A set of guiding principles for use in providing Cloud systems
  2. 2. © Tim Burns 2015 Introduction ● Discussions with clients have led me to document these tips for building clouds. They represent some headline good practices and try to avoid building in failure from the start ● They are only things to aim for, to help realize the maximum cloud benefits - and maximum return on investment 2
  3. 3. © Tim Burns 2015 The Rules 1. Aim for 100% automation of provisioning 2. Aim for 100% automated testing of new/revised catalogue entries 3. Reuse “Lego like” building blocks using SOA concepts to build the Cloud Catalogue 4. Design your cloud to help transform your business 5. Get Cloud Governance up and running early 6. Control the Use of External Clouds 7. Only monitor, report and manage things that matter 8. The Cloud is self documenting 9. Clouds are used by business users who should be protected from technical detail 10.Use out of the box features as much as possible 3
  4. 4. © Tim Burns 2015 Aim for 100% automation of provisioning ● Part of the reason for installing a cloud is because you want to speed up the provisioning of new compute power ● Putting in manual authorization check points slows down this process, as does manual checking of requests, IT support team running add on scripts, configurations, etc. ● In the non-cloud world, there will be various processes with manual steps and authorizations required to build new compute power. All of this takes time and money and in the Cloud, none of these real-world constraints exist. So challenge everything in how things are done today - do not simply automate bad or inefficient practices ● The challenge is to have at most no more than one manual authorization step, for provisioning compute power. Make the provision of services in the cloud as fast and as snappy as possible, thus providing a fantastic and responsive service to the business users 4 1
  5. 5. © Tim Burns 2015 Aim for 100% automated testing of new/revised catalogue entries ● Cloud catalogs contain a list of types of compute power (e.g. Linux, Red Hat, Windows) and application add-ons (e.g. accounting software, analytics software) that users want ● The IT function will have populated that catalog after exhaustive testing ● But things change and that catalog should be kept up to date using automated testing techniques to handle new releases ● That way the testing is consistent and less onerous, reducing the support costs and protecting the enterprise ● Automate the deployment of patches and fixes to the deployed systems in the cloud, too 5 2
  6. 6. © Tim Burns 2015 Reuse “Lego like” building blocks using SOA concepts to build the Cloud Catalogue ● Every item in the Cloud catalogue takes time, effort - and money - to maintain. Enforce only one copy of applications, operating systems, etc. in the catalogue and use them to build up the totality of systems to deploy ● E.g.: If you have more than one catalog entry that requires (say) Windows 7 as the operating system, then try to have only one Windows 7 image in your catalog with constructed workflows that add the applications on top ● Keeping the smallest number of components to manage and keep up to date, reduces your costs - and maintains system quality 6 3
  7. 7. © Tim Burns 2015 Design your cloud to help transform your business ● Cloud computing is about reducing costs and making things happen ● So instead of waiting weeks – or months – to get new compute power installed, the wait is minutes or hours ● That means users have far more power and control on how the power they need is accessed ● Business users have another tool at their disposal and therefore the role of IT changes ● How this is all implemented takes thought - and if done wrong, it means you do not the expected (or needed) benefits. In this case, cloud is just another IT project that has limited value ● Form the cloud vision - and the desired benefits - early and bind the outputs of the programme tightly to it. Boldness and courage is required! 7 4
  8. 8. © Tim Burns 2015 Get Cloud Governance up and running early ● The cloud vision – and the benefits it can realize – need to be owned by the organization ● So governance needs to be in place early on in the development phase to ensure that the vision is true and achievable, and that changes in requirements or the solution are properly assessed and accepted ● When the cloud is live, this governance should ensure that it is managed properly using measures in the form of Key Performance indicators (KPIs) and change control to keep the cloud true to a vision 8 5
  9. 9. © Tim Burns 2015 Control the Use of External Clouds ● Today, enterprises have employees using credit cards to access public Cloud services. These practices represent a risk to data loss and regulatory issues - in turn, presenting a reputational risk ● Such use can be driven by frustration that the IT department is not providing the service needed ● So build your Cloud to meet real needs ● And get the organisation to support getting control - and potential closure - of uncontrolled and undesirable external Cloud usage ● Consider installing integration between the Private Cloud to external Cloud services in a controlled way to provide additional capacity and services when needed 9 6
  10. 10. © Tim Burns 2015 Only monitor, report and manage things that matter ● Cloud governance processes will manage the cloud for the benefit of the organization ● It will need information to do that, matched to the KPIs ● But only measure the minimum to enable both governance and systems management ● Do not put huge amounts of effort into measuring things that have no value in managing the cloud - or producing outputs and reports that no one reads 10 7
  11. 11. © Tim Burns 2015 The cloud is self documenting ● With physical things in the non-Cloud world, documentation and records need to be kept of what is where, as well as what is connected to what ● Most cloud management software provides a lot of reporting facilities which the cloud uses to effectively document itself ● Therefore, there is little value in duplicating these features and spending lots of effort in keeping records outside of the cloud up to date ● Let the cloud do it for you and use the power of the built in features as much as possible 11 8
  12. 12. © Tim Burns 2015 Clouds are used by business users who should be protected from technical detail ● Business users are good at running the business and not that knowledgeable about IT ● IT people are good at managing IT but not at managing the business ● So set the cloud up to use common language rather than jargon ● This is so that business users do not need to understand the technical detail of the cloud ● This is particularly true of the cloud catalog where the entries for selection by business users need to be readily understandable. If end users cannot understand it, they will not use it 12 9
  13. 13. © Tim Burns 2015 Use out of the box features as much as possible ● It is tempting to think that the cloud should provide some unique-to-your-enterprise features you deem more desirable than anything else ● But proceed with caution ● Any add-ons or changes you make will reduce the ease of updating the cloud software when the vendor releases updates ● Similarly a lot of effort – and expense – will be used to adapt the cloud which delays the return of investment and pushes that point further out ● These extras mean retaining (potentially) expensive knowledge in the enterprise, at a cost ● So use as many out of the box features as possible and resist the urge to tweak, extend and replace 13 10
  14. 14. © Tim Burns 2015 Conclusion 1. Aim for 100% automation of provisioning 2. Aim for 100% automated testing of new/revised catalogue entries 3. Reuse “Lego like” building blocks using SOA concepts to build the Cloud Catalogue 4. Design your cloud to help transform your business 5. Get Cloud Governance up and running early 6. Control the Use of External Clouds 7. Only monitor, report and manage things that matter 8. The Cloud is self documenting 9. Clouds are used by business users who should be protected from technical detail 10.Use out of the box features as much as possible 14 • These tips are offered as things to consider as you organisation moves to Cloud Computing • The real world is challenging and following all ten maybe well nigh impossible in your organisation • But my experience has shown that following as many as you can, will maximise the effectiveness & ROI of your Cloud system
  15. 15. Tim Burns pminthecloud.wordpress.com @timbobean © Tim Burns 2015 15

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