We at The Virtualization Practice, LLC have migratedg our business critical applications to the cloud. How simple was that task? It was not as easy as we have heard from others, and not as difficult as some have had, but it was not as simple as move my VM and run. Why is this? What are the methods available to move to the cloud? How do they stack up to what actually happens. Theory is all well and good, and I have read plenty of those architectures, but when the shoe leather hits the cloud where are we? Here is a short history, a comparison of methods, and some conclusions that can be drawn from our migration to the cloud.
Cloud products and services are only in its infancy but new and exciting technology is being released at an incredible rate. One example of something new is Kim Dotcom’s newly launched Mega cloud storage service with its free 50GBs of storage. What really got my attention with this announcement was that the data would be stored encrypted, which is nice to see security being built into the offering from the beginning. There are a few bugs that are being reported, but hopefully the start of the push to secure the cloud.
When evaluating clouds there are three major criteria that are used first before we get into the nitty gritty of how the system works. The criteria is not always in writing but it is in the back of everyone’s mind and in many cases are nebulous to define. Herein, I will try to look at those criteria in order to aid others in making the same decisions I have had to make lately while evaluating clouds.
The Virtualization Practice will be moving from our internal virtual environment and cloud configuration to an external hosted cloud configuration, at least temporarily. However, what we have found is that not all clouds are alike (we all knew that), and that some of our processes were not cloud friendly but what does it mean for moving to the cloud? How does this impact our ability to migrate our data, applications, and management into the cloud?
On 12/18, I had an interesting twitter conversation with Mark Thiele (@mthiele10) about moving to the cloud based on cost. There is a cost perspective to consider as cloud services can be very expensive. When does it make sense to go to the cloud, I think there are two scenarios to consider when talking about going to the cloud. While we were hampered by 140 characters, I think the message is clear.
There are many SaaS and Security SaaS cloud services out there, but they all lack one thing: full visibility. Why do these cloud offerings limit the ability to perform compliance auditing, forensics, and basic auditing against an organizations data retention, protection, and other necessary policies? Why not just grant the “right to audit”, or better yet, build a way for each tenant to perform their own audit down to the hardware? Why limit this by leaving it out of contracts as well as the technology? It is all feasible.
We, here at The Virtualization Practice, are getting ready to have a cloud presence. Since we ‘eat our own dogfood’ with a 100% Virtual Environment, we are gearing up to move some of those workloads into a hybrid cloud. We already use some cloud resources, but now is the time to look at other workloads. Why we are moving to the cloud is three fold: how can we write about various aspects of being a tenant in the cloud, if we are not one; a recent power outage at the grid level; and a upcoming data center move. Two of these reasons are all about business continuity with the first being what we do. While we already have a cloud running within our own environment, it is time to branch out.
The Virtualization Practice was recently offline for two days, we thank you for coming back to us after this failure. The reason, a simple fibre cut that would have taken the proper people no more than 15 minutes to fix, but we were way down on the list due to the nature of the storm that hit New England and took 3M people off the grid. Even our backup mechanisms were out of power. While our datacenter had power, the rest of the area in our immediate vicinity did not. So not only were we isolated from reaching any clouds, but we were isolated from being reached from outside our own datacenter. The solution to such isolation is usually remote sites and location of services in other regions of a county, this gets relatively expensive for small and medium business, can the Hybrid Cloud help here?