Are you looking to grow a business? Do you want to break the demoralizing cycle of cold-call, pitch and knock-back, while attracting the custom, respect and recognition that you surely deserve?


The good news is you can, and many people are doing just that every day. Even better, the answer is simpler than you might have been led to believe.

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It is recommended that you get to know the component from this sample, which shows the basic component settings and capabilities.
FlippingBook engine works with JPEG and SWF (Flash) files. The JPEG format is convenient for creating picture albums, SWF - for presentations with animation, video, links etc. You can modify this text in administration back-end (Components > FlippingBook > Manage Books > FlippingBook In Action > Description).

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Resiliency is the Key to Success

Our 21st century society has become so accustomed to changes and new developments that genuinely progressive concepts are initially not recognized and adopted. Given time and an imperative economic justification, there is then a rush to implementation once the benefits become obvious. Virtualization is a good example of this, with the technology available for a decade before its benefits really became widely understood and appreciated.

 

INTRODUCTION

We are now on the cusp of a significant evolution in information technology, one which has the potential to completely change how organizational IT is provisioned, managed and protected. Welcome to cloud computing. This white paper will briefly explain what cloud computing is, review the facts which underlie the hyperbole, and will consider both the benefits and challenges that it brings to organizations.


WHAT IS CLOUD COMPUTING?
There is some confusion, even among IT professionals, about the definition of cloud computing. From the SunGard Availability Services perspective, it is a pool of hardware resources using virtualization technologies to allow computing, storage, applications, and network resources to be easily provisioned and managed over public or private networks. This shared infrastructure, delivered at scale with integrated security and recovery capabilities from a service provider, enables an IT organization to easily and confidently consume computing resources in a utility-like, on-demand manner. With cloud computing, there is no longer a point-to-point connection between the user and the computing infrastructure. Data and applications are not held on one PC or one server or one network; instead, they are held on a disparate conglomeration of computing resources.


ADVANTAGES FOR BUSINESSES INCLUDE:
Core business focus: The economic downturn has turned the budget spotlight on prioritizing activities that are aligned with core business needs and drive tangible business value and top-line revenue. This has required IT organizations to reassess the costs of procurement and maintenance of infrastructure and non-core applications. Cloud computing allows companies to better control the capex and opex associated with these non-core activities. As an example, for many basic business applications, outsourcing becomes a simple process that allows businesses to pay only for the computing power or data storage that is used, with no hidden extras and management fees.


Resiliency: One big advantage that all types of cloud computing offer is that, by its nature, cloud computing removes single points of failure. The failure of one node of the system has no impact on information availability and does not result in perceivable downtime. Cloud computing provides a highly resilient computing environment. The one major weak point is the network itself. If this fails, then cloud computing fails. It is therefore essential that cloud suppliers and private cloud developers consider network topology and ensure redundancy is built into the entire network.
From the SunGard Availability Services perspective, it is a pool of hardware resources using virtualization technologies to allow computing, storage, applications, and network resources to be easily provisioned and managed over public or private networks.

Scalability: Cloud computing enables organizations to quickly scale their operations. Provisioning of new resources and software applications can be delivered at a pace that does not hold back the rest of the business. This means that businesses do not need to pay for services which are not being utilized, unlike conventional computing where enough computing resources to meet peak requirements must be pre-purchased.

Flexibility and efficiency: Cloud computing allows businesses to expand or contract computing power as required and allows ‘bursts’ of computing power to be utilized on an on-demand basis. While virtualization has enabled organizations to increase the utilization of the server environment, cloud computing takes this a step further by taking over the management of server utilization, reducing ‘wasted’ computing power. It also allows very effective load balancing. This flexibility helps ensure resource-intensive processes don’t slow down other business processes and computing services are always operating in a least-cost model. Result: IT resources are always optimized to meet current needs.


While it took virtualization many years to be widely accepted by businesses, cloud computing will have a much shorter ramp-up period for acceptance. Virtualization was viewed by many as a ‘disruptive’ technology. With cloud computing, the battle has partly already been won since it relies heavily on virtualization. The business benefits are also much clearer than they were initially with virtualization. At the end of the day, cloud computing saves businesses money on day-to-day operations and therefore it is an easy decision for most organizations to consider adopting it.


TYPES OF CLOUD COMPUTING
While many definitions and variations of cloud computing exist, the two most common types are: the private cloud, which is contained within the closed infrastructure of one or more organizations, or an external provider; and the public cloud, which operates via the Internet’s IP network without requiring secure access controls.


Whether private or public, cloud computing networks have the following three core components:
1. Infrastructure as a Service Traditionally in the business environment, a user’s day-to-day computing resources are held in one server at one location. The infrastructure is fixed. With cloud computing, the infrastructure is provided to the user in an ‘on-demand manner,’ hence the term ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ (IaaS). The ‘as a Service,’ or utility, element is driven by the ability to monitor resource utilization and bill the customer based on units, whether processor cycles, megabytes of bandwidth or throughput, storage read/writes, or number of virtual machines consumed. One advantage of the private cloud offered by third-party service providers is an internal billing system providing detailed records of IT resource usage by different departments and business units for improved internal monitoring and accountability. Usage-based charging systems enable the business to maintain tight control of IT spending, while also avoiding the capital expense of developing its own computing infrastructure.
One advantage of the private cloud offered by third-party service providers is an internal billing system providing detailed records of IT resource usage by different departments and business units for improved internal monitoring and accountability.Cloud Computing 4
2. Platform as a Service This service builds on IaaS with an additional layer of capability that allows organizations to develop, build, and deploy their own applications to support their own specific business needs. Taking an idea from concept to delivery can require months, if not years, for many organizations because the development platform and environment has to be built first. Platform as a Service (PaaS) removes this step, providing a cloud computing environment that the software development team can use. The environment includes readily available templates with operating systems and other software infrastructure components, such as web servers, application servers, and databases in a managed environment. Developers gain access to a fully provisioned environment on short notice, reducing application development time and increasing testing capabilities. Combined with utility billing on a ‘pay as you go’ basis, companies can realize significant cost savings using Platform as a Service.
3. Software as a Service Software as a Service (SaaS) allows organizations to use a fully managed application, such as CRM, ERP, and e-mail/ calendar, over a public or private network, without owning the software or systems required to run it. The software remains the property of the service provider and the user pays for access, either by annual subscription or on a pay-per-usage basis. In this way, business applications are converted from capital expenses to operational expenses, increasing financial flexibility and return on investment (ROI). Software as a Service has experienced a huge amount of exposure and investment in the last two years. Both mainstream software vendors and thousands of independent software vendors are repositioning their products and commercial models to aggressively target this market opportunity. Some SaaS providers provide both SaaS and PaaS capabilities, allowing users to consume services directly and to customize or build new services to meet the users’ personal or business needs.

 

CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME
With any new technology, it is important to consider the additional risks that it may bring as well as the benefits. Cloud computing risks involve the following key areas:


Security: Whether organizational data sits in a cloud or in a traditional perimetered system, data will still be vulnerable to hacking and other intrusive attacks. Encryption may go a long way to reducing risk, but information security is only as good as the security policies defined by the business. This means it is just as important to ensure those policies align with your business needs in the cloud, as they would in a physical environment.
Internet resilience and bandwidth: When businesses rely on infrastructure and services delivered via the Internet, they are vulnerable to network outages. The Internet has proved to be highly resilient, but international and local access difficulties have occurred due to physical damage to underwater cables, governments restricting access to networks, or local providers
Software as a Service has experienced a huge amount of exposure and investment in the last two years. Both mainstream software vendors and thousands of independent software vendors are repositioning their products and commercial models to aggressively target this market opportunity.

It is also important to understand the potential impact of Internet latency on cloud computing. Bandwidth is not unlimited and public cloud computing users may experience difficulties with processing speeds during periods of peak demand.

Compliance: Many countries’ data protection laws restrict the way in which data can be stored and mandate the way in which it must be protected. Cloud computing usage, especially where it involves an unsecured public cloud, may place the organization in non-compliance with data protection laws. It is, therefore, important to consider compliance prior to and during cloud computing implementation.


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD WITH CLOUD COMPUTING
Cloud computing, although still young, has now reached a stage where all organizations should be considering the technology to assess the potential cost savings, efficiencies, and resiliency advantages. SunGard Availability Services believes most organizations will conclude the time is now right to start implementing cloud computing. The following recommendations should be considered:


LEARN LESSONS FROM EARLY ADOPTERS
Until recently, the cloud computing market was in its infancy and early adopters experienced some pain – the so-called bleeding edge of any new technology. The lessons learned have been documented by various industry associations and analysts, and the resulting reports are worth reading before deciding how and where to implement the technology. There is also a growing cohort of experienced cloud computing consultants who can provide useful independent expert advice.


KEEP AN EYE ON EMERGING STANDARDS
Various standards organizations are working on cloud computing and following the work of such bodies will enable organizations to keep abreast of the latest thinking. SunGard has recently joined the Distributed Management Task Force’s Open Cloud Standards Incubator Leadership Board to help in this area. The Open Cloud Standards Incubator Leadership Board aims to address the need for open management standards and interoperability for cloud computing. As a member, SunGard will contribute its expertise in information availability and recovery issues; and will contribute to the development of emerging cloud computing standards. Other members of the Open Cloud Standards Incubator Leadership Board include AMD, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Novell, Rackspace, Red Hat, Savvis, Sun Microsystems and VMware.


PROCEED PRAGMATICALLY

In a business environment where information availability is critical, it makes sense to proceed using a deliberate and systematic approach to mitigate risk. A test implementation in a system running non-critical processes is a sensible first step, allowing the business to gain hands-on experience of cloud computing usage and provisioning without risking major problems with day-to-day operations.  Once the test implementation has been completed and is operating successfully, mission-critical processes and systems can be migrated to a cloud computing environment.  The Open Cloud Standards Incubator Leadership Board aims to address the need for open management standards and interoperability for cloud computing. As a member, SunGard will contribute its expertise in information availability and recovery issues; and will contribute to the development of emerging cloud computing standards.


The information contained in the organization’s business impact analysis (BIA) is the best starting point for determining which processes are critical and which are non-critical. The BIA essentially provides an audit of all organizational business processes and considers how important each process is and how vulnerable it is to various threats. The outputs from the BIA include a listing of every critical process and how urgently it must be restored following an outage.


ENSURE RESILIENCE
A cloud computing environment is only as good as the resiliency that is built into the system. Whether the organization is building its own private cloud, or is using the services of an external cloud provider, it is essential that the cloud infrastructure is highly resilient. The cloud infrastructure must be built and delivered with availability at its core. To be effective, the cloud needs multiple, highly resilient data centers with very strong network links between them.


CONSIDERATIONS FOR CHOOSING A CLOUD COMPUTING PROVIDER
For many organizations it will prove cost-effective to use an external cloud computing provider for at least some applications. The following checklist covers some of the factors that an organization needs to consider before selecting a cloud computing provider:


DOES THE SERVICE YOU’RE CONSIDERING MEET THE BUSINESS AVAILABILITY NEED? What information can the provider give about historical and recent service availability? What investment has the provider made in resilience and high availability?


WHAT SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS DOES THE PROVIDER OFFER? What compensation is given if the service is lost? Remember, this will be a service credit and will not cover consequential loss.


DOES THE SERVICE NEED TO COMPLY WITH ANY REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS? Where will your data reside, and if that will be outside of your operational markets, is that acceptable?


DOES THE SERVICE MEET AND EXCEED THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ORGANIZATIONAL IT/DATA SECURITY POLICIES? Or does it fall short? It is important to understand whether the service is offered within a private or public cloud. A private cloud has inherent security advantages because the data are stored within a provider’s closed environment, such as a secure data center.


WHERE IS THE DATA ACTUALLY STORED AND WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE DATA? What happens to the data when production tasks are completed? How is it archived for regulatory requirements? How can archives be accessed? How is the data finally destroyed?


‘COST TODAY’ IS IMPORTANT BUT BUSINESSES ALSO NEED TO CONSIDER ‘COST TOMORROW’ IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS. Agility, flexibility, and strategy will all be part of the final decision, but you need a baseline to work from. How is the agreement structured? Can the provider change the cost of the service to you? If so, how much notice is required?


HOW VIABLE IS THE SERVICE PROVIDER? It’s important to select a provider with sufficient resources to provide the high levels of availability, resiliency, and security that businesses require. Is cloud computing part of the provider’s core business, or a new venture that could fail if it doesn’t attract and retain sufficient customers? The cloud needs multiple, highly resilient data centers with very strong network links between them.

RESILIENCY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Cloud computing is not a revolutionary idea; rather it is an evolutionary concept that brings together strands from various existing technologies to offer a useful new IT provisioning tool. However, it is absolutely vital that resiliency is at the heart of the cloud computing infrastructure and that investment is made in availability and continuity. Due diligence in this area is important. If the wrong cloud supplier is chosen, IT service continuity will be at risk.


RESILIENCY TRULY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN THIS AREA.

Cloud computing is now emerging from its early-adopter stage and many of the difficult implementation lessons have been learned. The advantages are clear, with the main ones being resiliency, efficiency, scalability, flexibility, and easier outsourcing. Cloud computing genuinely does have the potential to radically change the way organizations purchase, manage, and provide computing resources to their employees.


Organizations should now be evaluating how and where they can benefit from transferring systems and applications to a cloud computing environment. Making the most of the cloud computing opportunity will enable your IT systems to be more efficient and cost effective, in turn helping to make your business more profitable.

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Randomizer

Randomtext 2
The Flipping book component...a great new gizmo that allows us to turn pages and read magazine style.  As expected...such cool technology isn't free, its not even for sale outright.  The developers are "leasing" it on a subscription basis.  Very smart!

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