Biswajit Mohapatra is an IBM Certified Consultant and Global Integrated Delivery Leader for IBM Application Development and Innovation Digital Modernization Service (DMS) practice. Vinay Parisa is an IBM Certified IT Architect and cloud architect for IBM’s Application Development & Innovation Digital Modernization Services practice in India.
Cloud computing offers vast technological and financial benefits for companies, providing access to the latest trends and unlimited computing capacity. While business and IT use the cloud for different reasons and with different goals, both roles are unified with respect to the cloud’s overall value: the ability to deliver IT without boundaries, create an impact with innovation and build lasting customer relationships. However, while companies recognize the benefits of cloud computing, they are often uncertain about which form suits them best.
Organizations are creating new business initiatives to meet the demands of cloud, analytics, and mobile and social (CAMS) strategies. Today's “as-a-service” economy is changing the way business applications are developed, deployed and managed. Businesses need to be able to deploy new applications (systems of engagement) on public clouds to improve their customer engagement. In order to do so, they seek Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions for experimentation and innovation, yet are required to keep mission critical applications in on-premise traditional IT environments.
Enterprises realize that no one cloud matches their needs, and that they require a model that works best for them. Hybrid cloud and DevOps methodologies are being increasingly adopted to enable continuous delivery and to accelerate the deployments across public, private and traditional IT environments. Concepts such as cloud orchestration, automation, containers, and Software Defined Environment (SDE) have emerged as ways to develop and manage complex on-premise/off-premise/public/private infrastructures.
IBM defines SDE as an entire IT infrastructure that's programmable as individual systems and controlled - not by hands and hardware - but by software. An SDE assigns workloads dynamically to IT resources based on application characteristics, best-available resources and service level policies.
An SDE also delivers IT services in the most efficient way possible by creating a responsive, adaptive environment with open standards. This approach includes compute, storage and networking. The popularity of Open Source configuration management software like Chef and Ansible; and packaging and deployment platforms such as Docker, reflect IT's interest toward Software Defined Environments.
Patterns are central to the SDE. They describe the structure of the cloud services, their components, and the relationship between components and the manageability of services.
Patterns can be infrastructure based and capable of being applied to one or more systems; or applied to software or applications which utilizes a full stack to address scaling and high availability.
While a hybrid cloud may be adopted for new business initiatives, organizations are left to transform and modernize the legacy and existing application portfolio. A pattern driven methodology can assess the portfolio, and identify and develop full stack application patterns that provide business agility, repeatability and standardization,
Patterns enable the flexibility and capability to streamline processes and decisions as well as reduce the complexity of IT environments. Organizations are racing to embrace CAMS, however, significant growth and competitive advantage can only be achieved by infusing new technologies. Patterns and SDE provide holistic software delivery processes that enable faster cloud adoption.
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