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Article

Cloud vs. Control

An ecosystem of tools to bring visibility and control to public cloud computing is emerging.

It's little more than innate human nature to strive to control the environment around us. From macro-level examples, including the very democratic foundation of our governments, to things we do every day, our desire to control is evident in all aspects of our lives. Have you ever lined up in the automated check-out line at the grocery store even though a "manned" (gasp!) cashier was available? You're not alone.

Why, then, is it any surprise that cloud computing - a paradigm that necessarily involves a demarcation of control and trust - is facing challenges in terms of enterprise adoption?

IT departments are used to operating autonomously with respect to infrastructure-related projects and overall datacenter design. Vendors have fine-tuned their offerings to support the integration of third-party systems via multi-vendor standards in response to customer demand for a wider choice of options in a solution set. Providing this basis of choice has become a key force in the marketing and adoption of technology to the enterprise.

The adoption of public cloud computing by enterprise IT requires that a certain level of control is relinquished, specifically around perimeter security and the level of visibility and operability of infrastructure.  Many tools in the enterprise toolbox are built on the assumption that organizations have a "bare-metal" sort of access to the infrastructure stack.  Business continuity tools that can migrate workloads from one hypervisor to another, for example, require visibility into these platforms that are abstracted from users in a public cloud (Infrastructure as a Service) scenario.

Organizations that have mature and experienced leadership are better suited to manage this decrease in control in exchange for increased business agility. Relinquishing control isn't new to experienced leaders; that is - it is the mark of a confident leader to trust those around them enough to operate independent of constant review and management. Calculated risk management is par for the course for the well-seasoned visionary. The challenge, then, can be propagating that vision down within an organization effectively without creating the perception that management doesn't understand the landscape well enough to make such decisions. If the leadership in your organization is mature and has a good track record - rest assured that a risk-mitigated decision to dabble in the public cloud is a vote of confidence in your direction.

An ecosystem of tools to bring visibility and control to public cloud computing is emerging for the rest of us. Tools to both monitor disparate infrastructure across IaaS vendors and to enforce policy are emerging to attempt to put organizations back in the driver seat.  Workload governance, mobility, and security are key areas of focus for vendors wishing to attract the enterprise customer to the public cloud. Tools that bridge systems that exist in our traditional datacenter, such as LDAP, with public cloud providers are combining the old with the new to provide a gentle nudge for the enterprise to take a leap of faith to the public cloud.

I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at ppushor@appzero.com. www.appzero.com

This article originally appeared on cloudchronicle.com and is replicated here with permission.

More Stories By Patrick Pushor

Patrick Pushor is a senior solution architect for AppZero – the fastest and most flexible way to move already “in-place” workloads across clouds and datacenter servers, without re-engineering, re-installation, or lock-in. With nearly two decades of enterprise experience, he has a deep passion for all things cloud computing. Patrick spends his spare time evangelizing cloud computing at cloudchronicle.com, where he showcases technologies and how they address critical business needs as we move to this hyper-agile notion of on-demand computing as a utility. Follow Patrick @CloudChronicle.