From last couple of months, I have been working with Cloud Platform. During this period, my journey was full of interesting questions and challenges. I thought I would sum up all challenges here which will help us to make our Journey smother towards Cloudification. Here are few points.
Compliance – When we think about Cloud, a few important questions to come to our mind - Where will my data reside? Whether my data is safe in the cloud? What are the security features enforced by Cloud provider on their data centers? Will my company still comply with legal requirements?
Answer of all these question lies in careful evaluation and discussion between the various stakeholders. So, during the feasibility study phase, it is very important to involve IT, Business, Legal and Finance etc. teams. One thing that we need to keep in mind that decision to move some/all of the systems to Cloud should not be an IT Team decision as it will impact everyone in the organization. Business will be impacted if Systems availability SLA in Cloud will not match with Business Continuity, Legal Team will be impacted if Data security is not in compliance with country’s legal requirements, Finance will be impacted if it will overshoot cost etc. So, everyone needs to be involved in this decision.
Infrastructure – Infrastructure plays an important role while implementing solutions on Cloud. A Simple question is How Cloud Providers network will be connected with Customers network? But answer of this question is quite complex as it depends upon lot of factors like Bandwidth, Network Latency, Cost and Connectivity etc.
Based on evaluation of these factors customer can decide to setup Corporate VPN connectivity between cloud providers data center and customer network.
Another option is to setup dedicated Local Area Network connection which will reduce network latency but at same time can have impact on cost.
So, these factors should be evaluated based on different factors and latency test can be carried out to test Network through put, round trip time and network stability etc.
DNS Resolution – Before implementing new solutions into Cloud, one of the important factors is DNS resolution. Systems installed in Cloud will be on different network than the customer’s network. In order to access systems installed in Cloud from Customer’s network, Customers need to establish DNS connectivity between Cloud Provider network and their own network. This will also be required if Cloud systems needs to be integrated with On Premise systems.
There are lots of DNS resolution mechanisms available in the market to achieve this like Static DNS Scenario, DNS Forwarding Scenario and DNS Zone Transfer Scenario etc.
High Availability & Disaster Recovery – While deciding on the Cloud then it is very important to discuss about Business Continuity as all Cloud vendors has SLA’s related to availability of the systems in cloud. So, it is very important to discuss about Maintenance Period.
Also, architecture for High availability of systems and disaster recovery plays a major role. So, it is important to know what will happen to systems in case of any disaster and how quickly systems in cloud can recover from any disaster to minimize impact on Business.
Integration Strategy – When moving to Cloud, it is very important to decide on Integration Strategy as lot of legacy systems, third party systems and On Premise systems need to interact with systems in Cloud. So, it is very important to design Integration architecture to show how different systems will integrate with each other, will there any requirement of any 3rd party integration solution etc.
Enterprise Single Sign-On – This is one of the important aspects when customer is using Enterprise wide Single Sign-On for their On Premise solutions. While migrating to Cloud, it is important to assess that whether existing Single Sign-On solution can be utilized for new systems in cloud or there is need to use different Single Sign-On solution as lot of Single Sign-On Solution depends upon operating system on which systems are installed.
This will be one of the deciding factors in case new solutions in cloud cannot use existing Single Sign-On solution and it can impact the cost & timeliness of the project.
Email Server Integration – If systems installed in Cloud needs to send email with in customer organization or outside organization then it is very important to decide how email server integration. There can be multiple options in this scenario like Customer can integrate their own Email server to the systems installed in cloud, this might require change in firewall rules to allow systems installed in cloud to use email server or Cloud provider provides their own Email server to integrate with systems installed in cloud etc.
So, it is important to decide how Email services will work in systems installed in cloud.
Responsibility Matrix – This is one of the areas where Customer and Vendor need a lot of attention in order to effectively define Roles and Responsibilities. Responsibility matrix includes who will support the systems, who will ensure proper backups of the systems, if it is Managed Cloud then what are the responsibilities of Vendor for managing the systems and who will do upgrade & when etc.
FQDN – This is very small but an important aspect while installing new solutions in Cloud. When few systems are installed in cloud and few in On Premise infrastructure then it is important to use Fully Qualified Domain Name while setting up communication between On Premise system and Cloud systems. This is required because Cloud systems and On Premise systems are in different domains. So, always use FQDN while setting up any connectivity.
Conclusion – While Future of Technology lies in harnessing the Power of Cloud, so, it is very important that we make our strategy in such a way that it will faster Innovation cycle, increase flexibility, reduce carbon emission, make Business more scalable and make Business real time.
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Disclaimer: This Blog is the personal Blog and only contains my personal views, thoughts and opinions. It is not endorsed by my employer nor does it constitute any official communication of my employer.