Moving to the cloud: Big savings, but plan ahead

Savings can be significant over in-house gear

By Sandra Gittlen, Computerworld |  On-demand Software

Some might say that San Diego-based Amylin Pharmaceuticals was pushed into the cloud. The 23-year-old company's data center had been running at 100% capacity and IT executives feared inevitable performance problems, but the company was reluctant to build another site due to the poor economic climate.

"We had already done significant virtualizing of our servers and couldn't cram anything more onto our data center infrastructure. The only thing we could do to relieve the pressure was to start moving legacy applications to the cloud," says Todd Stewart, senior director of IT operations.

Some applications, such as e-mail, were switched to a software-as-a-service model so that IT could offload the application and infrastructure management to a service provider. However, there were other applications, including human resources and enterprise monitoring, that Stewart and his team wanted to closely manage without having to deal with the underlying infrastructure. To handle this delicate balance, he turned to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) through the public cloud.

With public cloud IaaS, organizations pay per use or per cluster of resources for an external cloud service provider to host their virtual servers. These types of services are available from Amazon, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, RackSpace, Sun Microsystems, Terremark Worldwide and telecom companies, among others.

IT maintains control over the applications without worrying about configuring, upgrading or patching servers and other infrastructure. If a department needs to deploy a new application, IT simply loads that application onto the service provider's virtual server and the software is available to users.

Infrastructure-as-a-service checklist

* Cost comparisons that include maintenance, heating and cooling

* Software licensing

* Security safeguards

* Latency/performance issues

* Contractual safeguards

* Regular reviews

In a recent report, Forrester Research found that about 25% of all enterprises surveyed plan to adopt IaaS via an external provider.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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