January 06, 2013, 8:24 PM — This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
Designing and optimizing an IT environment that responds to demand in real time is one of the biggest challenges facing cloud users given the spikes and troughs in typical requirements. At AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas we met with users from a range of companies and listened to their concerns about usage and identified five main takeaways:
* The thin line between business and operations. In the era of traditional infrastructure management, cloud implementation was seen as another IT cost item, with on- or off-premises consumption being paid for in advance on contract. In contrast, today's cloud services have opened an opportunity to pay for IT consumption. "We're fairly on top of our cloud, operations wise, our focus is primarily on which resources are being provisioned and what their related costs are," says Andrew Kenny, VP Platform Engineering, Acquia.
* Improving management requires tools. Hitting optimal usage, which adapts with the rise (or fall) in demand, requires automation tools. "Auto-scaling is a primary function in hitting the usage sweet spot. Our business needs to process very large amounts of incoming data at various times of the day. AWS's elastic capabilities help us to meet this, yet we still need tools to view and measure our usage," says Shane Meyers, Operations, SmugMug. Operations management, pure costing and reliability measurement tools are must haves for a cloud user's toolbox. Furthermore, the right tool combination helps facilitate a proper and effective conversation between business management and cloud operations teams.