The cloud is not complex. It is the resistance to change and lack of understanding that makes it so. In fact, deploying your applications in the cloud is simpler than setting up the elaborate IT infrastructures you need for traditional networks. The cloud is a “plug and play” network. All you need is Internet connectivity and sufficient bandwidth to support your applications. You can ride the cloud with little or no knowledge of what is happening in the back end of the service!
The cloud shifts the burden of complexity to the cloud service provider. The service provider adds value to the basic cloud construct on behalf of the consumers. The aim is to accelerate the adoption of the cloud, provide a technical roadmap for transition and to implement standards and guidelines in consultation with the user and with reference to legal mandates and their requirements. Cloud service providers support cloud computing via forums, workshops, FAQs, Live chats with experts and handholding services on demand.
While the user does not have to delve into the complexities of the cloud-build, an understanding of the layers that compose the cloud would be an advantage. The cloud is composed of the following layers:
- Service Layer: This layer consists of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). It is scalable on demand. This layer determines whether the cloud is a public, private or a hybrid cloud.
- Management Layer: This layer consists of Business Support services; Provisioning and configuring services and Portability and interoperability services.
- The Cloud Auditor layer: This layer consists of the Security audit services; Privacy Impact services and Performance audit services.
- The Service Provider layer: This layer consists of Service Intermediaries; Service aggregators and service arbitrage.
The unidimensional nature of the cloud with its deployment variations—public, private or hybrid clouds—helps organizations deploy new business systems, facilitate faster times to market, and improve overall efficiency. Clouds allow the enterprise innovate, aggregate, automate and obtain insights in ways that were hitherto wished for, but never attainable. It is win-win to all concerned. Cloud adoption is an answer to many of the complex challenges that face the enterprise today.
Since it changes the functional roles a change in mindset is called for—the resistance must be lowered and the fear of complexity reduced by dissemination of information and fostering understanding.