Cloud Computing. October 2011 / White paper. Make the most of your energy

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1 October 2011 / White paper Make the most of your energy

2 Summary Executive summary... p 1 Introduction... p 2 IT environment-related issues... p 4 Cloud computing concept and models... p 5 Schneider Electric cloud assessment... p 6 Schneider Electric cloud assessment checklist... p 7 Conclusion... p 8

3 Executive summary The Cloud Computing model is replacing the traditional IT model for many organizations that have not been able to keep up with the tremendous rate at which technology is changing, the challenges of disparate IT systems inherited through acquisitions and mergers, and decreasing internal resources available for IT commitment. Cloud Computing models range from public cloud services that bill companies for access to IT infrastructure; the private cloud provider that hosts resources for the sole use of its own organization; dedicated external hosting to nonshared resources; and hybrid hosting, a mixed solution of cloud computing and dedicated hosting. Schneider Electric consulting experts use their Cloud Assessment Checklist to help potential clients identify the computer services needs that best meet their IT challenges. It is not uncommon to fi nd that an organization would optimize operation with a hybrid hosting solution in which a secure, single-tenant database would be stored with a dedicated host and the front-end would be hosted in the public cloud. Similarly, cloud bursting functionality enables the organization to automatically deploy new applications within the public cloud as needed. Such hybrid hosting models allow scaling capability to accommodate an increase in the number of users in the organization and meet peak traffi c demand. Careful examination of business and security characteristics can determine the proper cloud and hosting model that meets the needs of any particular enterprise and, as a result, help increase the organization s IT capabilities and productivity while adding value to the business. Cloud Computing White paper on Cloud Computing 01

4 Introduction The combination of rapid technological evolution and present economic realities has given rise to the era of Cloud Computing. Just as with the historic mainframes and the events of the client-server days, the advent of the cloud is signifi cantly changing the way computer services are used. The Cloud Computing model enables companies to share resources, software and information by means of a growing variety of devices creating new business opportunities in terms of speed and effi ciency. Today s economy needs a fundamental change in IT structure costs. Recent studies show that 70 percent of IT budgets are applied to maintaining current systems, whereas just 30 percent is used to enhance productivity and innovation. The goal is to come up with better models for providing innovative services helping increase IT capabilities and productivity while adding value to the business. For this reason, IT executives are demanding computer solutions that offer technology aimed at performance, high availability, greater reliability, rapid mass scalability, as well as cost reduction that enables higher growth and greater fl exibility. White paper on Cloud Computing 02

5 enables companies to share resources, software and information by means of a growing variety of devices

6 Cloud computing IT environment-related issues Companies are up against a tremendous number of obstacles in their IT environments: complex systems, personnel overload and capital investment needs are giving rise to bottlenecks in the implementation of infrastructures and new developmental progress. This impedes most IT organizations from rapidly deploying applications or maintaining them in a profi table manner. Underlying these challenges is a series of causes and effects that complicate and hinder agility and fl exibility in business processes. In the fi rst place, there is a knowledge gap among IT personnel in regard to technologies, systems and processes. In-house IT departments struggle to keep their companies up to date by using the best available hardware and software; however, today s technological invasion coupled with the need to maintain current services render it an arduous and costly mission. The reason for this gap is not the lack of IT team capability or proactivity, but rather the tremendous rate at which technology is changing. This diffi culty is exacerbated by the fact that many companies have systems that have been patched together to meet business needs and/or inherited through acquisitions or mergers. Secondly, human IT resources are experiencing work overload under the economic model we are facing today. Given this context, many companies have had to cut their budgets, allocating the execution of basic competencies to IT personnel who devote most of their time to maintaining the systems in place, often with fewer resources. This leads to a drop-off in investment in productivity and innovation. In light of this situation, companies are forced to endure high IT costs in order to adapt to new business challenges. Many organizations have had to fully assume the costs of hardware and infrastructure resources, which requires signifi cant expenditure of capital on underused infrastructure and equipment that will become obsolete in just a few years thus entailing migrations, service interruptions, and new personnel training. Therefore, the traditional IT model, focused on maintaining current processes, can prove to be too slow and extremely costly. These obstacles have a negative impact on agility and productivity, which leads to a loss of business and affects company growth. Hence, the frustration observed among fi rst-line employees and executives, who are aware of the need for technological innovation and change that remain out of reach. Cloud Computing and dedicated hosting models have been brought to bear in order to solve many of the problems mentioned. White paper on Cloud Computing 04

7 Cloud computing concept and models When applied carefully and professionally, Cloud Computing and dedicated hosting can be secure, profi table, fl exible, scalable, and fast. Consequently business capability can be increased as needed along the way without having to invest in new infrastructure, training, and software licenses. requirements and other risks associated with the use of multiple users and shared resources. However, it requires a substantial initial investment, and later depending on needs makes it necessary for the consumer to increase capacity through new equipment and bandwidth. The industry has coined the term cloud to encompass the range of hosting and virtualization solutions that create public, private and hybrid models. Each has their own advantages and limitations that enable numerous cases of use, adapting to business and security requirements: The cloud known as the public cloud, either off-premise (hosted) or multi-tenant (shared use of resources), it constitutes a solution that facilitates a genuine model of utility computing. It consists of a combination of softwaremanaged virtualized hardware that allows users to supply or dismantle these resources in seconds or minutes. Under this model the provider of cloud services holds ownership to the entire physical infrastructure and software, allowing companies to purchase access to these resources, billing only time, bandwidth, and storage used. Private cloud single-tenant (non-shared use of resources) virtualization solution, hosted both internally and externally. Private clouds are usually built inside dedicated hosting environments, where the hosting provider offers dedicated virtualization resources to quickly set the user up with new virtual machines. Dedicated hosting used in both physical and virtualization environments, this involves non-shared solutions that are hosted externally through a hosting provider. Hybrid hosting a mixed solution of cloud computing and dedicated hosting utilizing a secure, private network to connect services/ servers or private clouds within the corporate network to more fl exible resources within the cloud. This type of cloud computing provides the low-cost elasticity of cloud computing together with the security afforded by corporate services/servers. There are usually common application programming interfaces (APIs) in place, maintaining a single management interface. Under this option, a single entity hosts resources in a virtualized environment for the sole use of its own organization. It enables the entity to address security fronts, compliance with privacy-related White paper on Cloud Computing 05

8 Schneider Electric cloud assessment Understanding the different uses and limitations of the cloud is essential, because even though it s for everyone, it doesn t work for everything. For instance, some companies use dedicated hosting to store databases inside dedicated hardware with the aim of meeting standards or compliance requirements (PCI, for example), or because they would rather not have confi dential data housed in a shared platform. Other applications, such as Web servers or certain SaaS tools work well in the cloud as a product of their elasticity and rapid scaling capability. Schneider Electric offers a team of consulting specialists to advise customers regarding these cloud services: Schneider Electric hosting Schneider Electric cloud platform Schneider Electric private cloud White paper on Cloud Computing 06

9 Schneider Electric cloud assessment checklist Schneider Electric has set up the Schneider Electric Cloud Assessment Checklist, which consists of a questionnaire enabling the most suitable technologies and options to be determined for each customer based on business and application needs: 1. Is the workload I/O-intensive? 2. Is it latency-sensitive? 3. Does the application require compliance with security standards? 4. Is it a legacy application? Model options depending on the response: A) Negative response. If the answer to all of the questions above is no, the cloud model can add value to the IT strategy of a business. B) Affirmative response. If the answer is yes, then implementation structured solely within the current cloud is most likely impractical which should not itself completely rule out use. This is the case, to the extent that hybrid hosting enables cloud use while exploiting a dedicated hosting environment in which the cloud did not prove to be an alternative. One example involves cases requiring a secure, single-tenant database, but where the front-end does not have compliance requirements. In this situation the database would be stored with a dedicated host with the front-end being hosted in the public cloud. The hybrid model, then, lends the company scaling capability to thereby handle the increased number of users and meet peak traffi c demand. In a similar fashion, cloud bursting functionality allows companies to utilize the complete capability of their dedicated infrastructures, without the risk of performance degradation during peak use. That is, it has the capacity to automatically deploy new applications within the public cloud as needs arise. Without the cloud bursting option, the company would have to invest in infrastructure in order to resolve the aforementioned peak periods, which would subsequently force the organization to maintain an environment with minimal capability use. Therefore, all enterprise applications have specifi c characteristics, in terms of both business and security, making the decision as to whether to adopt the cloud an important one. Some companies will be able to use the cloud model immediately, whereas others will have to devote time to researching the options of the hybrid/private model. This investment can lay the foundations for sustained profi tability to alleviate the diffi culties posed by many IT environments and which companies must overcome. White paper on Cloud Computing 07

10 Conclusion Cloud Computing in a nutshell: The advent of Cloud Computing is signifi cantly changing the way computer services are used. Innovative and confi gurable services make it possible for an organization to rapidly deploy productive applications and maintain them in a profi table manner. When applied carefully and professionally, Cloud Computing and dedicating hosting can be secure, fl exible, scalable and fast and allow the organization to be more productive and responsive to new business opportunities. Recent studies show that just 30 percent of current IT budgets is used to enhance productivity and innovation White paper on Cloud Computing 08

11 Schneider Electric C/ Valgrande, 6, Alcobendas (Madrid) (Spain) Telephone: Fax: Document Number XXXXBRXXXX This document has been printed on recycled paper July Schneider Electric. All rights reserved.

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