Bringing Cloud Computing Down To Earth

Bringing Cloud Computing Down To Earth
by Susan Twombly
used with permission from the HP Enterprise Business Website

What is the cloud all about? Does it offer different kinds of technology-based services? Is it different than enterprise computing? Is it the next big thing?

The answer to all those questions is a resounding “yes!” The cloud brings together all these things and more to create new services to solve business problems unsolved by traditional approaches.

The cloud provides a rich, new source for bringing technology-enabled services to the business. Massively scalable services no longer need to be delivered by internal or outsourced data centers. Instead, they can be delivered by cloud service providers via their vast computing resources.

Bringing value to the business
Cloud computing shifts the focus from how an IT service is implemented or hosted, to what business value it delivers. And that’s the very essence of what a service-centric IT strategy is all about – linking services to specific business outcomes. Moving forward, we believe you’ll be asked to choose from a mix of service delivery platforms. These may include traditional in-house, managed or outsourced, and new cloud platforms. Your job will be to source, deliver and govern each service, making sure it provides the desired business outcome.

With expertise across all these environments, HP helps you cut through the confusion. We enable you to capture the business results you want and capitalize on the new opportunities the cloud offers.

Managing a hybrid services environment
Since each service delivery option brings different value to your business, you won’t need to start from scratch. It’s a matter of turning traditional models into more business-ready services and leveraging the service readiness of the cloud model.

Enhancing in-house services
Many services you provide to the business simply can’t be accessed via the cloud at this time. The security, regulatory, availability and data integrity issues may make internal platforms the best fit for your mission-critical services.

But there are ways to make your infrastructures more business-ready and more responsive to the business. For example, virtualization enables you to pool and share the servers, storage and other systems that support service delivery. You flexibly dial up capacity to keep service levels high, and dial it down during non-peak periods. This is similar to what cloud service providers do.

You may recognize this as utility computing, and we believe it’s the most efficient way to build a business-ready infrastructure.

Leveraging outsourced services
With outsourced service delivery, you gain many of the advantages of utility computing, without incurring in-house data center resource costs. You don’t own, manage or support the outsourced infrastructure or the enterprise-class applications it runs. Instead you access the services they provide via the Internet. Typically, service contracts extend one to five years or more.

Here’s where your “mixed” services strategy can start. You decide which services to outsource based on the needs of your business. The service provider then puts strict service level agreements (SLAs) around their delivery.

Scaling with cloud services
Cloud computing builds on the shoulders of utility computing. It allows cloud services to scale and flex on an exponential basis, enabled by dynamic and automated infrastructure provisioning.

Here, enterprise-class applications give way to global-class services. These deliver cloud services that support an undetermined number of users over the Internet. This helps make new types of access, capabilities and connections possible. For example, scalable software-as-a-service offerings are now available via the cloud. Further, platform-as-a-service offerings let developers access what they need to build and run applications via the cloud.

Again, you can expect to have to weigh this “elastic” service model against others in your mix. Outside the walls of an in-house or outsourced data center, security issues may be a concern. And many cloud service providers don’t yet have the iron-clad SLAs of traditional outsourcers. But it’s all about matching the right service to the right business outcome.

New access, new capabilities, new connections
With expertise in utility and high performance computing, HP reduces the complexity of sourcing, managing and governing hybrid service environments. By aligning the right technology-enabled services with the business outcomes you want, you can be business-ready and future-ready.