Home // 2011 // January

Where Do I Start?

If you are new to this topic, everyone wants to know where do I start?  This question obviously depends on your level of knowledge of the cloud, your role in the organization and what you are trying to accomplish. 

I mapped out the flow (below) for how to go through the process from beginning to end and Land the Cloud for your overall busines.  This looks like a nice sequential flow.  In actuality, if you are in business already, then many of these things may already be in motion.  Your IT team may already be looking one of the Cloud Service Models, say IaaS to increase storage capacity or have servers available on demand for peak times.  Your business leaders may already be looking at applications and services which would help their business.  The only exception to this is if you are a start-up.  Then you have the opportunity to go through the process below and put some real thought and planning in to your technology strategy that will best support your business.

So, where do you start?

  • Get Educated.  Everyone needs to get educated and on the same level set of terminology, technology understanding and the potential.  Start in the Introduction and then The Cloud sections.
  • If you are a business leader, you should read about creating your Business Strategy and Aligning this to the Technology Strategy in the Cloud Strategy section.
  • If you are a technical leader, you should also start with the Cloud Strategy section as you must be in full alignment with the business strategy and then moving on to planning in Cloud Tactics.
  • If you have a more technical role, you can dive right in under Cloud Tactics to understand how to develop your Technology Plans.

So, it’s time to get educated, get everyone on the same page and start your strategy and planning.

See the Table of Contents (TOC) for this blog to orient yourself.

For reference:

  • BaaS:  Business as a Service
  • SaaS:  Software as a Service
  • PaaS: Platform as a Service
  • IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
  • MaaS: Management as a Service 

Table of Contents 

Land the Cloud

Cloud Definition

Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.  –NIST Definition of Cloud Computing.  Version 15

A new services delivery model.

                                                          The Cloud IS Your Business.

< What is the Cloud?

Cloud Characteristics >

Cloud Characteristics

  • On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider.
  • Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs).
  • Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, network bandwidth, and virtual machines.
  • Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned, in some cases automatically, to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time.
  • Measured Service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

–NIST Definition of Cloud Computing.  Version 15

< Cloud Definition

Cloud Value Proposition >