IDC published a report ‘Guides on Implementation of Cloud Computing Infrastructure Projects in China’, which proposes roadmaps for Chinese enterprises in constructing cloud computing infrastructures. The report is based on IDC’s surveys on the current status of China’s cloud computing market. It aims at offering suggestions to enterprises and organizations that are constructing cloud computing infrastructures that will help them to deploy cloud platforms rapidly and successfully.
IDC believes that the implementation of cloud computing infrastructures involves not only the integration of software and hardware, but also the transformation of businesses’ IT strategies. Therefore, users should evaluate cloud computing projects before implementation and cooperate with experienced IT consultancies or service providers to ensure that their plans take the management pattern of cloud computing centers into consideration and includes future operations. The cloud computing platforms should be expected to truly benefit the enterprises.
IDC’s survey on cloud users shows that while selecting the cloud computing infrastructures, most of the users hope that cloud computing platforms can be compatible with existing infrastructures, to reduce the risks of the project and to transition to the cloud rapidly. Meanwhile, a smooth transition from the existing architecture can also satisfy users’ demands to reduce investments and shorten implementation cycles.
IDC summarized the roadmaps for Chinese enterprises in implementing cloud computing infrastructures and suggested that users divide the process of implementing cloud computing infrastructures into five stages. Major points for attention during the process in each stage include:
Planning: Cloud computing projects should be treated as part of the corporate strategy. Attention and support from management should be gained and the goals of each stage should be defined clearly. Users should plan to incorporate cloud computing while developing corporate strategies and cloud deployment should enable business innovation and IT service transformation.
Preparation: Services delivery and applications demand should be evaluated according to the features of the end-user industry. Infrastructure decisions should be based on the evaluation of suitable technologies. Users should also consider the features of their own business lines as well as the conditions of existing infrastructure, evaluating the feasibility of system migration and ensuring the consistency of technologies and businesses operation.
Implementation: Virtualization is the foundation of cloud computing. Constructing an enterprise-level virtualization platform, which is highly secure, reliable, expansible and flexible, is an inevitable step toward build a cloud computing infrastructure.
Deepening: Users should realize automated resource deployment based on infrastructure virtualization. The cloud computing infrastructure is not only about the virtualization of platforms, but also about the deployment and management of virtual resources by automation tools.
Applications and management: Open is the basic feature of cloud computing and the platform should be able to provide standard API, and can be compatible to existing applications. Enterprises should give priority to partners who are committed to constructing open ecosystems. The migration of applications is a gradual process. Cloud computing infrastructures should support core applications of the enterprises.
Thomas Zhou, senior research manager of IDC China Enterprise System and Software Research suggests that, “End users should pay more attention on the experiences of vendors, and their understanding of their business. At the same time, long-term plans from the vendors should also be considered, including whether they can provide end-to-end solution and their partners ecosystem.”
[Image courtesy: Department of State]