As Azure crashes, cloud DR is top of mind

As Azure crashes, cloud DR is top of mind

Though the overwhelming majority of enterprises would have lost nothing during Microsoft's Azure Services Platform beta outage last weekend, the event teaches IT, managers, a valuable lesson as they plan future cloud strategies.IT shops got to have a disaster recovery plan for cloud services even as they might for his or her own data center. "There is not any reason you will not need a disaster recovery site with cloud computing," said David Mickelson, the vice chairman and chief technical architect at Loomis Sayles & Co., a Boston-based financial services firm. Azure, the cloud services platform introduced by Microsoft last fall at the company's Professional Developer's Conference, is an OS and set of developer services. Still, in the trial, the technology went dark for 22 hours last weekend, leaving applications unreachable. Mickelson doesn't use the service but said it is vital for companies to possess a primary and backup failover cloud vendor also as an intermediary that permits them to modify back and forth. Other companies with cloud services, like Amazon and Google, have also had major outages.

It's premature to understand whether these early outages will have fallout in terms of lost IT manager confidence. The technology doesn't introduce new risks, but it does invalidate tons of legacy remedies within the sense that IT experts are wont to watching application reliability and security in silos, said Tom Nolle, the president at CIMI Corp., an independent consulting company . Cloud creates a variable and sometimes subliminal interdependence," Nolle said. "Anyone who has done failure analysis will tell you that calculating the mean solar time between failures is complicated by interdependency factors. Setting expectations
Cloud computing still features a great distance to travel in terms of enabling IT shops to manage resources and determine the operational status of their resources, as is feasible with current client/server tools. Many corporations are wont to receiving services with some levels of quality assurance from their service providers, much those they receive from telecommunications carriers, Nolle said. As a best-effort service, the web offers no real service guarantees and no guarantees of customer service.

What should we expect from cloud computing? IT experts still aren't sure whether the cloud is an extension of the web or an extension of computing, "If it's an extension of computing, it's going to need to be more accountable, and if it is the Internet, well maybe not such a lot," he said. "The question is, 'Are we applying to the web-hosted applications a typical of availability we've never applied to the Internet before?'" Certainly, one call center hosting provider considers cloud services as a computing service. "The four or five nines [of uptime] is out there during a telco -- unless your system is clustered or mirrored," said Marc Robinson, the vice-chairman of IT at Centennial, Colo.-based Cloud 10 Corp. "People need to build that into their expectations." But Robinson said that albeit telecommunications systems, like a PBX, rarely go down, they have a tendency to require longer to recover. Computing systems may go down more but downtime is minimized, he said.
Application development within the cloud: Try it, but watch the SLAsCloud computing vendors' service-level agreements (SLAs) aren't up to mission-critical standards yet, consistent with Eugene Ciurana, a speaker at The Server Side Java Symposium in Las Vegas in the week.

 "It's hard for a business to make a decision to maneuver full-tilt to the cloud until there's enough reliability," he said. Even so, there are opportunities for developers and enterprises to enhance productivity and reduce costs by using what cloud computing has got to offer today. Curran offers advice on application development in cloud environments during this interview. Ciurana is director of systems infrastructure at LeapFrog Enterprises, a large U.S. educational toy company, also as a contributor to The Server Side and Java, Linux and OS X open-source projects. At the Java Symposium, he'll present a case study of a mission-critical application during a cloud environment, discussing the way to choose a cloud vendor, what to seem for in SLAs and managing development within the cloud. Who is going to be and who should be the first adopters of cloud computing?  Anybody with a requirement to form data and processing available to an outsized number of users may be a good candidate. Software development organizations are going to be among the primary because they need a vested interest in making it work, but they're only marginally more likely than other organizations to adopt it.

 At this stage, it's like most early adopters are putting non-mission-critical, consumer-facing applications on the cloud. CDNs [content delivery networks] are an honest example of this. What must happen in cloud computing technologies for development projects for enormous applications to thrive there?  Eliminate the buzzwords. Cloud computing doesn't suggest anything. Establish whether the offering is infrastructural, Software as a Service (SaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS). Provide credible SLAs and back them up with data. Underpromise and overdeliver. Provide better monitoring tools -- i.e., transparency -- for the environments. Amazon Web Services is sort of good at that. Google App Engine, on the opposite hand, is quite opaque. Salesforce is in between. Make it easy to watch and manage the environments. for instance, a software development firm wants to run a pilot on the cloud. What are some good options? Should one a part of a project be placed on the cloud for starters? I'd put the whole project on the cloud. that is the only thanks to determining how viable an option it's. I'd even be the primary to tug it off the cloud if the operational, runtime and performance SLAs aren't met. Is deployment where the most important value of cloud computing is realized? It looks like roll-out would be tremendously simplified.

Yes, staging and production are where you would like maximum scalability, redundancy, and availability ... the cornerstones of most cloud offerings. That's why I do not think they're as relevant for quality assurance or degrees Quick turnaround and unfettered access to the system are more relevant to those groups. Let's check out virtualization and cloud computing. Should a development lab be fully virtualized before development is ported to the cloud? It shouldn't matter. The applications can largely run in local virtual environments, or dedicated clones just like the Eucalyptus setup is to Amazon Web Services. As long because the APIs don't change, and as long as basic application profiling is equivalent, then development and QA can happen during a local virtual environment, and only staging and production should attend the cloud. Couldn't a development department save enough money by virtualizing a lab to reduce the necessity for using the cloud also?  It's hard to inform. Developers still got to have local development environments on their desktops and use a cloud-like environment for integration with other application components. Perhaps the savings kick in when migrating environments to QA and onward.

SaaS ERP vs. on-premise ERP software: Six key differentiators uncertain economic conditions, we believe that companies will redefine the meaning of ERP and the way they decide to deploy it. Today, the terms "Software as a Service" and "on-demand" describe software functionality as delivered over the web from one application instance that's shared across all users. Software as a Service (SaaS) and open source is likely to appeal to some companies as potential lower-cost and lower-risk alternatives to traditional ERP. However, there are risks that require to be considered alongside these two sorts of ERP offerings. The beauty of recent ERP packages is that you simply have options to settle on from during your ERP software selection. you'll either deploy an answer by hosting it internally on your own servers (traditional ERP) or if you'd rather not affect the software, you'll have it hosted elsewhere (SaaS). within the process of ERP selection, though, you ought to remember six key variables which will ultimately factor into the choice that's right for you: 

1. Simplicity. generally, SaaS is easier to deploy from a technical perspective. Because you do not get to purchase additional servers or physically install the software yourself -- you'll simply start with a basic Internet connection -- it is often a simple and quick means of deploying the software. On the opposite hand, the high level of technical ease may create additional business complexities that you simply might not otherwise experience with traditional ERP (see #2 below). 2. Flexibility. Because traditional ERP is installed on your servers and you really own the software, you'll do with it as you please.information technology security you'll plan to customize it, integrate it to other software, etc. Although any ERP software will allow you to configure and found out the software as you wish, SaaS is usually less flexible than traditional ERP therein you cannot completely customize or rewrite the software. Besides, SaaS vendors are more likely to supply just one version, whether you would like the upgrade functions or not, and since the software is delivered over the online, you've got no choice but to simply accept them. Conversely, since SaaS cannot be customized, it reduces the number of technical difficulties related to changing the software.

3. Control. due to #2 above, many companies find that they do not have control over SaaS software as they might like, relative to traditional ERP. this is often very true of midsized or large companies with well-defined business processes that can't be changed to suit the software. Small companies can generally adapt their business processes to the software more easily than large organizations can. Besides, SaaS effectively creates constraints on supplying complex functionality 4. Accessibility. SaaS uses the web to access systems once deployed and maintained off-premises. Since SaaS is entirely accessed through the online, you're in "a world of hurt" if the web goes down. Alternatively, traditional ERP doesn't require Internet reliability, provided your users are accessing the software from inside your company's network. 5. Cost. generally, SaaS is often deployed at a way lower initial cost and lower total cost of ownership; companies can avoid costly licenses, complex hardware, software infrastructure, and no technology maintain needed.

 this sort of cost-effectiveness is often attractive to smaller businesses, but the continued annual payment or monthly fees are often higher for SaaS because you're paying to use the software on a subscription basis. very similar to leasing vs. buying a car, your payment never goes away as long as you're using the software. It can become costly as you grow and add employees to the system.information technology courses 6. Integration. Companies that have implemented traditional ERP typically have applications that run on an equivalent platform. they need to avoid tough integration issues and improved visibility into operations. Integration may be a major issue for SaaS companies, which require to supply on-premise integration for his or her customers to integrate cloud applications with existing legacy applications. a corporation with SaaS is going to be left trying to integrate hosted software from a spread of vendors using middleware from yet one more vendor. Manufacturing ERP software selection demystified: the way to evaluate ERP platforms