How to get started in the cloud?
The quickest way for a customer to get started in the cloud is to have pre-prepared virtual machines instances (VMI) that can be deployed via a self-service menu, with immediate start. But there are several other key tasks to be undertaken to start in the cloud:
- Loading applications: If customers want applications that are not part of the public cloud offering, they will need to install them in a VMI.
- Loading data: This is probably the hardest part due to the size of the data set versus available bandwidth. If the customer cannot upload the data, there needs to be a mechanism whereby they can ship a disk or a tape which can be loaded for them.
- Establishing the right form of connectivity: Workload optimization will provide data about the bandwidth required by applications moving to the cloud. This can be used to determine if leased line or public Internet is sufficient for connectivity.
- Deploying federated management and log-on systems: These will ensure that cloud is just another deployment platform from a management perspective. It will enable enterprise security and administration to be applied equally to all applications,
- Implementing security: Each VMI should have firewall protection turned on and they should be managed centrally to reduce risk. Where possible, increase use of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) or Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) to detect security risks. All data should be encrypted when in the cloud and use encrypted connections to talk to cloud-based applications.
- Disaster recovery: All deployment platforms have a risk of failure. Access to other data centers and replication technology that allows customers to switch data centre in an emergency is good planning.
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