Organizations seeking Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) often assign in-house infrastructure experts to assume responsibility for the selection process. Since the “I” in IaaS stands for “infrastructure,” that makes sense – to a point. But other stakeholders have important input to offer and should not be neglected. One such group is developers. The decision to move to cloud is essentially an application-oriented one. The benefits of IaaS or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) are directly proportional to the extent to which applications can take advantage of the greater flexibility the cloud has to offer.
Here are the Top 5 critical questions that developers are best positioned to address when implementing an IaaS solution.
1. What kind of transformation will the new service make possible? IaaS creates the potential to generate more productivity and revenue. Additional development may be required to realize those benefits, so the involvement of development teams is essential to the process of quantifying the business case.
2. What kind of scalability will the applications require? Scalability is a key benefit of IaaS; developers can help determine if the provider’s service will scale adequately and if applications can take advantage of the scalability.
3. Will the service allow interoperability between cloud-based applications and the organization’s internal systems or those of other cloud service providers? The majority of cloud implementations in large organizations will be hybrid for the foreseeable future, so interoperability is critical, and measuring interoperability requires examining support for development tools, middleware, databases, operating systems, communication protocols, APIs, management tools, etc. Developers need to know that they can construct a fully integrated system without undue labor and expense.
4. How portable will the applications be after they move to the cloud?Never assume that the provider you choose today will remain your best choice forever.
5. Will the service provide the elasticity that the application needs? As we’ve discussed, elasticity is a key benefit of cloud solutions, but quantifying the benefits poses a challenge. Developers can provide insight into how well applications can take advantage of the elasticity provided.
Evaluating these development-related issues carefully before choosing an IaaS service will pay back many times over down the road. Contact Scott Feuless to discuss further.
About the author
Scott Feuless is a Principal Consultant with ISG, based in Texas. Scott benefits from 25 years of senior management experience, with a strong background in leading performance improvement initiatives, developing strategy and pricing outsourced services, together with knowledge of many areas of computer technology developed over some thirty years. For ISG Scott provides expertise on infrastructure performance and benchmarking, as well as strategic sourcing advisory. Scott is also a primary contributor to the development of industry standards for cloud computing. His expertise covers multiple architectures and sourcing arrangements, with major studies completed for mainframe, midrange server, storage, desktop and networking environments over his 13+ years with the firm.