We recently had the opportunity to listen to Charles Babcock, editor-at-large of InformationWeek, speak about the much discussed topic of cloud computing at the TeamQuest Technology Summit. Babcock reinforced a couple of themes that we have been saying all along during the advent of cloud computing.
Cloud computing is not a revolution, but as Mr. Babcock terms it, a "convergence" of several technologies used together in a unique way. When it comes right down to it, a cloud environment still consists of traditional compute fabric we all have grown accustom to in the past several years with virtualization in the forefront. The main twist to the technology of cloud computing is the method of delivery to the end user.
We need to avoid "compulsive over-provisioning," which is something that we have seen in a majority of IT organizations in early stages of Capacity Management Maturity. Joining the journey to becoming a mature IT organization takes time and effort and a key component is understanding the current state of capacity coupled with forecasted capacity requirements. Having strong capacity management processes in place allow you to focus on bringing value to the business versus reacting to performance problems and incidents that arise due to capacity issues.
I like the idea of using the cloud to dodge problems with over-provisioning. I should point out though, that contrary to popular belief, tapping cloud computing still requires careful performance and capacity management. To achieve IT Service Optimization using the cloud, you need to analyze the financial aspects as well as performance, capacity, and risk when determining how, how much, and when to use cloud services. Keep in mind, the cloud is more complicated than any one of the technologies that converge to comprise it. As you prepare for it, you'll want to tap the right performance and capacity tools to ensure that cloud projects successfully deliver business value.
If you are interested in learning more from Mr. Babcock regarding cloud computing, check out his book, Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution. You might also be interested in this white paper from TeamQuest: Capacity Management Ensures Success for Enterprise Cloud Consumers.