Cloud: more than meets the eye

The Winchester Mystery House is a well-known attraction in California; it is almost as famous for its “mis-construction” as it is for its construction. It is used as an example in many presentations on Enterprise Architecture because of the “staircases to nowhere”.  This mansion, which was under continual construction for 38 years, is renowned for its size and its lack of any master building plans. 

I believe that we can all agree that this approach is NOT the most effective and efficient one in building a mansion, or an Information Technology (IT) environment.  And it is definitely something that we need to consider when we are architecting, building, managing, and operating a cloud environment. We need to make sure we have a master plan instead of parts and pieces that don’t fit together.

 

The promise of cloud

When compared to traditional Information Technology (IT), cloud promises:

  • Faster application development
  • Quicker response times
  • Rapid service delivery
  • Lowered cost of service delivery 

This new style of IT requires simplicity, speed, agility and efficiency to maximize on its potential.  Cloud promises the ability to run across multiple cloud environments (public, private, or managed). This ability creates additional complexity and it becomes clear that we need more than hardware, software, data center, and network.

For a moment let’s focus on applications in the cloud space—and take into account speed and agility—we then realize that manual intervention is not good enough.  We need to not just automate the operational aspects of the environment, but also automate the lifecycle of the applications themselves.  We also need to be able to manage the difference in speed of delivery between traditional IT and cloud. The traditional IT environment and cloud infrastructure may (and most likely will) have different levels of automation, management and service instantiation in place.  Complexity will arise in the management of applications that span these environments if this relationship isn’t handled correctly.

 

Seeing through a cloudy relationship

As discussed by Geoffrey Moore in his concept of “Systems of Engagement”, the relationship between the systems of record and systems of engagement will be the focus for IT. This new style of IT incorporates and embraces these systems of engagement; where the focus is mainly on information.  These systems (and associated) environments deal with millions of users and a multitude of infrastructure components and applications.  This is the common setup where the traditional IT and cloud environment meet and are becoming part of a larger, enterprise-wide solution to be consumed by end users.

It is in this relationship between the systems of record and systems of engagement that a good end-to-end view is important: we want to avoid the Winchester Mystery House scenario.  That is why today’s world requires a converged delivery model, sourced across traditional, private and public cloud offerings.  This converged cloud strategy provides simplicity, speed, reduced cost and risk, and compliance, while taking into account information, applications, and infrastructure.

 

Construction on solid ground

The HP Converged Cloud strategy provides the architecture foundation to enable this simplicity for services that are provided by information, infrastructure, and applications.  The HP Converged Cloud provides enterprises with the essential foundation of technologies and services to confidently build, consume, and manage IT across private, managed, and public clouds.  This common architecture helps enterprises scale and secure these hybrid environments with ultimate flexibility.  

This need for a hybrid solution is reflected in a study that was conducted recently by HP, which showed that 75% of IT executives plan to pursue a hybrid delivery model.  This also implies that the portability of workloads between cloud models are important to their cloud implementations

It is only through these types of architectural foundations and corresponding solutions in support providing solutions to customer needs and requirements that HP enables business growth, provides innovation velocity, and delivers cost reductions.

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About the Author
René J. Aerdts is chief technologist and leader of the Strategic Pursuits and Cloud Enablement organization within the Chief Technology Offi...
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