Choosing the right cloud model

Choosing the right cloud model

Options, considerations, and advice for deploying and maximizing private cloud technologies.

What if you could supercharge your business? What if you could boost the agility and effectiveness of your employees and partners—and the satisfaction of your customers—with self-service, automated IT capabilities? And what if you could do all of this while reducing capital and operating expenses?

Private clouds can help achieve such gains, but many companies still struggle with the sheer volume of deployment options and variables.

“There are a variety of private cloud consumption models, including internal private clouds, hosted private clouds, managed private clouds, and even internal private clouds operated as a service,” explains Enrico Fuiano, senior product marketing manager at Cisco. “Each of these deployment options has very different financial, organizational, and technological implications.”

Elements of deployment
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the essential elements of any cloud deployment include:

  • On-demand, self-service access to IT services
  • Resource pooling
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service
  • Broad network access1

Beyond those elements, there is no clear blueprint for private cloud success. Every organization and every cloud is different.

“It’s important to remember that private cloud is, in essence, an IT automation and deployment model,” says Fuiano. “When your employees and other users access services and applications, they aren’t thinking about what kind of infrastructure they are using. They’re thinking about the applications and services they need to do their jobs. Ultimately, user expectations define how you think about the role of your IT organization. And these expectations will only continue to escalate.”

It’s clear that private cloud deployments are gaining momentum. But do they make sense for every organization? And with a variety of deployment and consumption models, what is the best strategy for success? Fuiano says the answers should be based on a well-defined strategy and set of governance principles.

“Business objectives absolutely must come first,” he insists. “Consider what are you trying to accomplish with your private cloud deployment. Do you want to modernize your IT organization? Do you need to accelerate the delivery of IT services? Or are you simply trying to increase operational efficiencies and lower TCO?”

Consider people and processes
Once overarching goals have been established, specific use cases must be defined. After all, not every IT service requires scalability, self-service access, and fast, elastic availability of the underlying resources. People and processes must also be considered, with analyses surrounding financial, cultural, and organizational implications of moving to a cloud model. 

“Ultimately, private cloud is not a one-size-fits-all-approach to IT service delivery. It’s a journey,” Fuiano says. “Cloud strategies are best developed on a case-by-case basis. You also need to consider whether you will want to extend your private cloud services and applications to the public cloud. And you must identify the enterprise and security policies you will need to maintain across a hybrid cloud environment.”

While the number of deployment models and variables may seem overwhelming, Fuiano says they help deliver a critical element of the cloud paradigm: flexibility. Choice enables organizations to find the solution that best aligns with their specific business objectives and use cases.

“If you’re considering a private cloud deployment, you have more choices than ever before,” Fuiano says. “But to make the most of the cloud, a comprehensive and incremental strategy is key. It starts with a close look at your business processes and evaluation of whether a public, private, or hybrid environment will offer the best results. With the right strategy and solutions, you can set the stage for a fast, agile business that can succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”

1http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-145/SP800-145.pdf

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