Cloud Enablement is the process of transferring a firm’s IT infrastructure, software and resources via the cloud. There are three types of cloud environments namely Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud and cloud enablement transfers the firm’s data to one of these three environments.
Cloud Enablement is provided through entities known as Cloud Providers who enable access to all servers, business applications and operating systems over the internet. The solutions offered by these providers range from the most elementary to enterprise level solutions. Firms can also build an in-house private cloud and transfer all their data virtually to this platform.
The process of cloud enablement is a multi-stage process. These stages are Planning, Building and Managing.
In the planning stage, the focus is on the primary requirements. This is important to ensure that the final product is as per expectations. The planning should begin much before anything else. Following this, the cloud architecture can be planned from where the technology solution can be determined. Post this the hardware and software are decided upon and put into a High-Level Design (HLD). The next step is producing the Low-Level Design (LLD) which is crucial since LLD is the blueprint of the entire solution.
Once the plan is in place, the next step is Building. LLD is the representation of the end state but it requires a series of carefully executed steps to transform it into the final outcome. Cloud Enablement does not only mean implementing new technology but also migration of existing applications, configurations, data and much more. The migration plan needs to be such that it minimizes disruption of any sort. Verification has to happen after every step and if the verification fails, the backup plan needs to be executed. Only with a detailed migration plan, expertise, tools, and processes will the cloud be built with success.
The last step is not a step, rather it’s a continuous process. Managing the cloud infrastructure is important because the cloud adds an extra layer of complexity on top of the hardware and software. Although this process leads to the automation of certain other processes so it does get easier than before.
Provisioning, backup and restore, as well as disaster recovery, are just some of the tasks that are greatly simplified in a cloud environment. So while cloud management will require some additional expertise, overall the operation is far easier.