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Multiple Cloud Deployment Models (Private, Public and Hybrid) to choose from

The Cloud is a complete paradigm shift with multiple options available when it come to adopting the Cloud. The problem with a new paradigm is it’s continuously evolving in many different ways. Without clear ratified definitions or industry standards, there are multiple Cloud Deployment Models (CDM) and Cloud Service Models (CMS) to choose from. Currently, there are general accepted four deployment models that are considered industry standard.

The four deployment models are:

  • Private
  • Public
  • Hybrid
  • Community
Note: The term “Cloud” is generically used to refer to all the above Cloud models.

Within each model there are multiple providers and multiple technology supported stacks, thus making it very difficult for enterprises to to pick one or multiple models and provider or providers to choose from.

C9 understands that “one shoe size does not fit all”. Our goal is to approach each project as a true collaboration and help our clients to choose the best model/models and provider/providers that best meet their unique business needs. C9 consultants start by first validating or establishing short and long term goals, and objectives. It then seeks to understand and document the clients business and technical needs. Prior to making recommendation, C9 takes many factors into account (but not limited to) when making recommendations, such as:

  • Short and long term goals and objectives
  • Business and technical requirements
  • Current cultural, skill-set, processes, and tools and technologies, security and governance models
  • Organization structure, size and mind-set
  • Security posture
  • Industry vertical
  • Specify industry and government requirements, standards and certifications
  • Type of applications/workloads, technology stack, architecture, service Level agreements, internal/external facing, performance characteristics etc.
  • Type of data that is housed and used by the business and the type of compliance required

C9 partners with the top three public cloud providers AWS, Azure and Google. C9 with their deep consulting experience and repertoire of tools speed up the process of making the right choice for a Cloud deployment model/models and the right provider/providers for our clients.
 

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How to adjust and adopt to organizational change required for adopting the Cloud

The Cloud is a complete paradigm shift with many choices to make when adopting the Cloud. The problem with any new paradigm is that it is continuously evolving in many different ways. Without any clear ratified definitions and industry standards, there are multiple Cloud Service Models (CMS) and Cloud Deployment Models (CDM) to choose from. There are no ratified definitions of the Cloud Service Models. The most common classification uses the so-called SPI (Software, Platform, and Infrastructure as a service) model which is recognized by NIST. Though this is the most accepted model, in practical life most services don’t clearly fit in one of these models. As cloud computing models evolve, more services might be added to the SPI model for example: Business Process as a Service (BPaaS). More services are being added by companies that provide very specialized services like Database as a Service (DaaS), Security as a Service, Backup as a Service to name a few.

Note: Product companies that are marketing these services are creating new acronyms to indicate that these services are being provided in the Cloud or are Cloud services.

Most of them, fall under one or more layers of the SPI classification. This makes Cloud adoption very challenging, especially when enterprises start looking into what it takes to move from an on-premise and/or hosted data center model, to the new Cloud Service Models. Enterprises soon realize that adoption to the Cloud is going to require changes in organization structure; changes in how IT infrastructure is going be provisioned, monitored, managed and secured; additional new skill-set, knowledge and expertise required to build and support the new paradigm; and cultural changes on how we conduct business internally and work with new partners and vendors externally.

C9 has the experience to guide our clients through this paradigm shift.  C9 has over 700 resources (internal and through partnerships) that are dedicated to building public, private and hybrid cloud solutions and help with this complex transition to the Cloud. C9 provides complete solutions to address these challenges through our Consulting Services, Staff Augmentation, and Ecosystem of 70+ partners that provide tools and technologies to address all our client’s needs on their Cloud journey.
 

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How to monitor and manage the Cloud

Every paradigm shift requires a change. It forces the enterprise to review the process, tools and technologies and how business is conducted. This holds true for how we monitor and manage the Cloud.

C9’s ecosystem of partners provide a plethora of tools to monitor and manage the Cloud. Not all partner tools support the three main Cloud providers and if they support all the Clouds, they do not have the same functionality for each of them. C9 has done their homework and helps educate their clients to make the best choices when it comes to processes and tools to monitor and manage their Cloud.

Note: Most tools available in the market were developed for AWS and then adapted and extended to work with Azure and GCP. Picking a tool that works well with the Hybrid Cloud model is tricky and very time consuming.

C9 provides three type of services to our clients to monitor and manage their Cloud. The three type of services are:

  • DevOps as a Service
  • Software as a Service
  • Managed Services

DevOps as a Service

C9 provides the leadership and the resources required to monitor, right-size, automate and optimize the Cloud infrastructure. In the application space C9 provides the leadership and the resources required to re-factor, re-code and make modifications to the client’s applications/workloads to optimize them for the Cloud. C9 application development teams build Cloud and Mobile applications from scratch and help modernize legacy applications to be better cloud tenants.

Software as a Service

C9 has the expertise to design processes and implement tools to enforce monitoring and management of our client’s Cloud environment. In this model C9 takes over the responsibility for the design and implementation of the process. C9 has a plethora of tools to monitor and manage our Client’s environment. C9 will implement the chosen tools and train the client’s staff to monitor, manage and maintain their Cloud environment.

Managed Services

In this option C9 takes over the complete management of our client’s Cloud IT operations. The client has multiple options to choose from when it comes to tools to monitor and manage the cloud. C9 will work with any tool the client choose but would prefer to use their own tool to monitor and manage our client’s Cloud environment especially in the managed service options as it give C9 the economies of scale and the best service at a optimized cost to our client’s.

In the fully managed service model, C9 will be fully responsible for installing the tools and managing IT operations for the enterprise. This allows the enterprise to free up its internal resources from doing mundane repetitive thus freeing them up for doing higher value tasks.
 

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How to secure and govern the Cloud

As enterprises try to move to the new paradigm, they are forced to modify and extend their current security, policies and governance models to maintain the security and governance posture they desire. This adds another complexity to the adoption process of the Cloud. Both security and governance are a key concerns for most enterprises and it needs to be addressed prior to adopting the Cloud deployment and service models.

C9 can help in the area by:

  • Providing consulting services to help design, modify and/or extend both the security and governance policies for our clients.
  • Implement tools to monitor and enforce security and governance policies
  • Maintain the desired security posture though managed services that will conduct penetration testing and auditing services at pre-specified intervals and create reports for auditors to meet required industry and government standards
Note: Is the Cloud secure? or Which is more secure on-premise or hosted data center versus the public Cloud? There is no good answer for any or both the questions. The key thing to ensure is that the enterprise have very well documented processes, tools that help enforce the processes, including (monitoring, altering, auditing and preventing) and regular reviews and audits performed by internal teams and external third party auditors

 

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Identifying what applications/workloads to migrate to the Cloud and how

 

The Cloud has the following characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service – A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider or internal IT resources.
  • Broad network access – Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
  • Resource pooling – The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.
  • Rapid elasticity – Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
  • Measured service – Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

The problem is that applications/workloads cannot be just deployed in the same fashion as they are currently being deployed in the on premise or hosted model. Applications can be lifted and shifted into the Cloud but the net result is going to add additional costs and the expected benefits from the Cloud will not be realized to its fullest. Applications have to be either re-architected, re-factored or customized for deployment in the Cloud to be better Cloud tenants. If that is not done one thing for sure is that support costs for applications will go up and not down as expected most of the time.

Note: Lift and shift does get you in the Cloud but most of the benefits of moving to the Cloud will not be realized especially costs benefits.

C9 has experience helping our customers in the following areas:

  • Process to identify what applications/workloads should and can be moved into the Cloud
  • What changes must be implemented to leverage the Cloud’s inherent characteristics
  • Architect, implement, test and deploy applications (current and new) in Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

 

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What is the impact on financial planning and management due to the pay-per-use model

Pay for what you use sounds great, however, it means a complete change of the budget planning and management process. If services are not designed and optimized for the Cloud specifically, it opens the door for sprawl, mismanagement and higher costs.

On premise and hosted models were supported by the Capex financial models. In the Capex model capital was laid out upfront and once infrastructure was purchased it was deprecated over time. In this model, the year over year costs are well known and enterprise had to plan for incremental spend for the coming years based on new needs or refreshes that were required to be made. The Cloud model is an Opex model and spending is purely based on what is provisioned. This could vary a lot from day to day or month over month. This new model therefore, requires a complete new way of allocating spending, and planning for the future. As the enterprise is paying by the hour, ensuring the assets are highly optimized are very important. Turning services up and down based on business needs plays a key role in managing costs.

Note: The Opex model require re-thinking and re-designing of most of your budget planning and management process as this is a completely paradigm shift from the Capex model.

C9 can help in this area by:

  • Providing consulting services to help enterprises transition from the Capex model to the Opex model. Deploy tools to implement and automate metering and charge back models
  • Implement tools to monitor and enforce “Continuous Optimization”
  • Providing managed services to monitor, optimize and manage the Cloud environment to manage costs.

 

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How to Optimize the Cloud (Infrastructure, applications and financial)

There are multiple deployment and service models for adopting the Cloud. As the Cloud matures, more deployment models and services models are created to address specific business challenges and needs. The Cloud brings a new way to pay for services which is “Pay-per-use” or “Pay-as-you-consume” model. They’re all Opex models, which raise new challenges; the Cloud environment has to be continuously optimized as you pay for the service by the hour. It is a complete mind shift from the previous model, where enterprises paid for the infrastructure upfront and depreciated it over time. The cost of the infrastructure did not fluctuate over time and was not dependent on usage. In the Cloud model that is not true. You pay for what you provision irrespective of whether it is used or not. Therefore to keep service costs in check, optimization of infrastructure and application on a continuous basis is a must which C9 calls “Continuous Optimization”

Note: Not all clouds are equal – optimizing your cloud’s performance is critical for performance, end-user experience and managing costs.

The three type of services are:

  • DevOps as a Service
  • Software as a Service
  • Managed Services

DevOps as a Service

Under DevOps as a service C9 provides the leadership and the resources required to monitor, right-size, automate and optimize the infrastructure. In the application space C9 provides the leadership and the resources required to re-factor, re-code and make modifications to the client’s applications to optimize them for the Cloud. C9 application development teams build Cloud and Mobile applications from scratch and help modernize legacy applications to be better cloud tenants.

Software as a Service

C9 can help design and implement a “Continuous Optimization” process for our clients. In this model C9 will be responsible for the design and implementation of the process. To implement “Continuous Optimization” C9 recommends the use of Cloud native and partner tools. C9 will implement the recommend tools and train the client’s staff to monitor, manage and maintain the process

Managed Services

In this option C9 takes over the complete management of our client’s continuous optimization process. C9 automates the “Continuous Optimization” process by leveraging native cloud tools and tools offered by its partners. These tools work seamlessly with private, public (AWS, Azure and Google) and hybrid Cloud.

In the fully managed service model, C9 will be fully responsible for installing the tools and managing the “Continuous Optimization” process for the enterprise. This allows the enterprise to free up its internal resources from doing mundane repetitive tasks thus freeing them up for doing higher value work.

 

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Where should the data reside and how to share it across the Cloud

How safe is the Cloud? Can businesses that house sensitive data transition to the Cloud? How will performance be impacted if multiple applications share data from multiple sources, especially if we move some of the applications and/or the data to the Cloud?

The answer to the first two questions depends on the business needs. What types of security and governance requirements are placed on the business? Industry standards and the various governing bodies like the government also contribute to the equation. The argument, “Whether the Cloud is as safe as your on premise environment” is a never ending one. The big three Cloud providers all have various certifications and are compliant from HIPAA, PCI, SOC standards. They are continuously audited and provide audit reports to their customers on findings. They are also continuously audited and provide audit reports to their customers on findings. At the end of the day the responsibility of security resides both with the Cloud Service Provider and the enterprise that deploys services on their Cloud. So the question still remains is the Cloud secure. The answer is no environment is 100% safe, it is only safe till somebody or someone compromises it.

Note: Security is in the Cloud is based on a Shared Model. In this model the Cloud Service Provider is responsible for certain aspects (mostly data center, network and hardware) of security and the clients are responsible for the other aspects (operating systems and application layer) of the security.

C9 can help in this area by providing consulting services to:

  • Create new or extend the current security and governance policies
  • Architect services that leverage the tools provided by the Cloud Service Provider to deploy services that are highly secure and ensure that the data is replicated, backed up and stored on the right type of storage from a performance and cost perspective
  • Choose and implement right tools to monitor and report incidents
  • Help decide on the best location to locate the clients data based on business requirements

 

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