(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

How Cloud Redefined Data Center Resource Utilization

It’s important to quickly understand that cloud computing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, the proliferation of cloud computing and various cloud services is only continuing to grow. Recently, Gartner estimated that global spending on IaaS is expected to reach almost US$16.5 billion in 2015, an increase of 32.8 percent from 2014, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014 to 2019 forecast at 29.1 percent. There is a very real digital shift happening for organizations and users utilizing cloud services.

The digitization of the modern business has created a new type of reliance around cloud computing. However, it’s important to understand that the cloud isn’t just one platform. Rather, it’s an integrated system of various hardware, software and logical links working together to bring data to the end-user.

With that in mind, your organization must understand how the concept of the cloud has completely re-defined the way we use data center resource.

  • Cloud-ready hardware resources. Cloud computing revolves around the proper utilization of data center resources. This is why it’s important to understand your cloud and see where the latest high-density, multi-tenancy hardware is required. Don’t forget, cloud sprawl can be a very real issue and controlling cloud resources is an important part of the deployment process. One big ask from data center administrators is that they create a cloud environment capable of resilience and cost-effectiveness. Properly sizing and utilizing hardware resources is a great way of optimizing your cloud.
  • Data control and security. The distributed nature of cloud computing necessitates planning around good data controls and logical infrastructure security. This might mean creating user-based roles for storage systems or placing entire applications behind virtual application firewalls. Remember, the cloud isn’t perfect; this is why it’s important to be proactive around your information and the security platform. I won’t get into all of the latest breaches that have happened; let’s just say there’s been many. Security in your multi-tenant environment is critical for your users, the data, and your own brand image.
  • User transparency. One of the key components of any cloud deployment will be the end-user. As the user consumes your cloud, the entire process must be as seamless as possible. You can have the best infrastructure in place, but if the user experience is degraded; you cloud will face adoption challenges. In creating user cloud profiles, know what workloads they are accessing, the information they require and the amount of resources you’ll need to provision to ensure a good user experience. Here’s another tip: new kinds of cloud tools can help you dynamically optimize user experiences based on specific contexts like latency, location, and even devise used.
  • The elastic cloud. Cloud-based resources not only have to be carefully managed, but they have to be logically distributed as well. This is where the power of an elastic cloud can really come in. Modern organizations are able to leverage resources as needed and only pay for them when required. This “pay-as-you-go” model not only increases the efficiency of your cloud model, it also allows you to elastically utilize the resources that you need. This, in turn, helps prevent cloud sprawl. By utilizing the elastic cloud, administrators are able to dynamically provision and de-provision resources as needed. Remember, the cloud is a diverse, moldable, service-driven technology which can be custom-tuned to your requirements.
  • Capacity planning. Whether you’re working with a private, public or hybrid cloud- the capacity planning process is integral. You’re not only planning for today’s needs; but you’re also ensuring that you have resource capacity to grow. Cloud computing is designed around placing numerous workloads and users onto single redundant cloud systems. These platforms must have the right resources to process data, user requests and the various cloud services which are becoming available. The capacity planning portion of a cloud deployment is actually an on-going process which must continuously evaluate resource utilization to ensure optimal cloud infrastructure performance. There are amazing tools ranging from DCIM to ITSM capacity planning features which can help you proactively size your data center and your cloud. Use these tools to stay head of demand and in pace with the cloud.

Already we are seeing entire organizations be born within the cloud. As IT consumerization continues and more devices connect into a cloud service, it’ll be crucial to work with a partner that understands the big cloud picture. When creating your cloud infrastructure, planning around resource not only creates a more robust platform, it’ll also save your organization money. It’s time to better understand resource utilization within your cloud – and how you can align key cloud services with your organization’s goals.

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About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

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