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A few weeks ago we introduced the concept of improving agility and reliability with the cloud. This is the second part of that series on the cloud. For growing businesses that need agility and reliability to compete, the cloud represents both a unique opportunity and a paradigm shift in the value of IT as a competitive differentiator.
Some additional examples of an agile cloud infrastructure include:
Enable business opportunity while decreasing IT investment. Another example of the cloud’s ability to increase business agility is ABC Investments. With over 1,000 employees in over a dozen countries, ABC Investments models over 3.5 million global securities daily. The company was being challenged by its customers asking for complex, on-demand financial simulation models, often generating bursts of demand on its computing resources that were 10x above normal usage. By moving these operations to the cloud using a pay-as-you-go model, ABC Investments was able to meet these demands while decreasing its new data center costs because it only needs to pay for those resources as they are used.
Help improve IT reliability. This involves many of the same processes that bolster IT agility:
- Virtualization. Virtualized servers are based off the same or similar images (copies of themselves). Virtualization not only decreases testing time, but it also increases reliability because IT staff in different locations aren’t configuring servers in different ways causing more points of possible failure.
- Reduced server sprawl. Whether in a public or private cloud model, virtual machines run in a higher density on fewer hardware servers. That means a lower chance of hardware failure and an easier time building reliable hardware fail-over protection.
- Simplified disaster recovery and business continuity. If all or even most of your IT infrastructure is virtualized, spinning up a mirror of your entire infrastructure becomes easy. And connecting users to it becomes equally easy as long as they have an Internet connection and you’re employing an identity management system that spans various computing scenarios.
- Easier archiving and backup. The cloud essentially allows you to outsource these functions while still maintaining direct management control. Any concerns about regulation compliance can be addressed by having cloud providers ensure that appropriate audit trails and log files exist with which to stay in compliance