Things are changing as concept of Big Data is getting more mature during 2014. Here are few imaginary headlines i wanted to comment on:
- Big Data likes cloud?
- The difficulty of choosing right Hadoop distribution puts project on hold?
- Analytic applications are driving what we can do with Big Data?
- ETL processes and MDM will disappear?
Notice the question marks after each topic. Continue reading Big Data 2014 – what have we learned from 2013?
Found a curious article from Wired discussing about an idea to have cheaper infrastructure with physical servers than from IaaS-providers. Approach of the article is curious as it is against current trend where companies are trying to virtualize their infrastructure. Scope of discussion makes it even more curious: “Why Some Startups Say the Cloud Is a Waste of Money”. Continue reading Cloud is waste of money? – Seeing the big picture
Cloud is good for services that are independent and do not have direct relations to components placed into other environments. If services have good interfaces, which can isolate the parts located into cloud then flexibility is increased.
Cloud is an excellent option when you are seeking scalability and want to avoid excessive initial investments to infrastructure. Most optimal case for cloud is, if you can utilize software as a service (SaaS) model. For example in case of using CRM (like salesforce.com ) additional benefits include availability of solution also outside company network, which is quite convenient for mobile salesforce.
Cloud is not good for cases where solutions are business critical or they are not planned for virtualized environments. With business critical i mean here situations where network connectivity and availability are really cruicial, like call center solutions. Also if you want to keep your vendor close to you, it might prove to be tricky with international cloud providers.
Cloud has also security related challenges, which mostly connect to local legistlation. In some cases there are strict rules where data is located and how utiliztion is limitted. Some times security levels are set so that you need to be able to prove how secure environment is. In thiskind of cases it most often makes sense to forget cloud and stick with traditional approach.
In real life there is always a solution for thiskind of issues. You always have an option to choose hybrid solution, where you cherry pick best sides of both worlds (this naturally comes with prise of compromise in some potential benefits).
Having services virtualized into cloud does not take away nor decrease the need for service monitoring and management. Viceversa they are becoming even more important as cloud enviroments usually increase the ammount of external vendors operating around your infrastructure.
One way to tackle these challenges is to re-engineering of issue management. Escalation processes most propably need to be renewed and you need to clarify roles and responsibilities of your vendors to match new situation. Most important thing is to secure proper interaction between vendors.
Good sides of cloud solutions include cost savings. Price per server is usually significantly lower compared to traditional lifetime costs of purchased servers. There is now investement needed also. This creates better transparency of technology stacks cost structure.
Scalability is also obvious benefit, but real time scaling is amazing capability. Only imagination limits opportunities you could have. If you wish you can create a service, that is available 9am-5pm. After working hours all servers would be run down and recreated next morning. Maybe not so brilliant way to use scalability, but serves well to illustrated capabilities.
Speed of delivery is nice enchacement for new development. No need to wait for delays in server order/delivery processes.
Inorder to enjoy of those above mentioned benefits you need to be able to avoid potential new vendor locking situations and understand throughly different options you can utilize for utilization of cloud. Additionally you need to secure that tools for automated scalability and monitoring are readily available, as these tend to be capabilities traditionally possessed by your hosting partner. Own sourcing and needed capabilities close to development projects need to be secured too. After having these you are ready to enjoy the sun shine behind cloud.