Cloud Migration Tips #1: Cloud = Confusion

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I get so many questions about cloud computing from friends, acquaintances and IT professionals alike. The non-technical folks usually have heard of “the cloud” but have absolutely no idea what it is or even realize how much they interact with it on a daily basis. They don’t realize that their email, phones, videos, music, online games, etc… are probably hosted on or rely upon cloud based services.

The Technology crowd on the other hand knows a good bit more about cloud computing but there is a huge disparity in the understanding of what cloud is really about and how it really works. Many IT professions I have spoken with have trouble explaining the major differences between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS (and unfortunately some don’t even know what the acronyms stand for).

The problem is that cloud computing, though quite pervasive in the consumer market, is still very mysterious to the enterprise market. The people who keep enterprise IT up and running have their hands full just making sure their applications are up and performing well. It’s not like they can just go to some single day cloud computing training session and magically be imbued with all the knowledge required to implement and manage a cloud of their own. Like most other things in life it takes hands on experience and a lot of time to get really good at implementing and managing cloud applications. But there is shortcut you can take, read on…

By using the right tools and having someone help you with the right processes, you can be much more effective than you otherwise would have been. Tools basically encapsulate other peoples expert knowledge and help you do greater things than you are capable of on your own (as long as you use them properly). Processes are intended to help you get the most out of your tools and people.

In my last post I said we would discuss how to decide if your application should move to the cloud and how to monitor your cloud application so that you didn’t adversely impact your users. This post is long enough for today so I will leave those topics for next time (I promise).

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