Increase in user number
Organizations with a moderate number of users can choose a virtualized on-premise solution, a private cloud solution, or a hosted public cloud solution. The deciding factor is unlikely going to be based on the number of users but instead based on other factors such as cost or ease of administration.
Organizations with many users tend to have more complicated integration challenges where the application needs to remain in-house with more structure and flexibility. Larger organizations tend to already have sunk costs in IT infrastructure (LAN and WAN connections, Internet connectivity, datacenters for application centralization, and the like) so that cost efficiencies are not as prevalent in larger enterprises compared to smaller ones.
Applications with only a few users frequently indicate limited IT resources assigned to managing them, and would benefit from offloading the application to a managed hosted private cloud or public cloud solution.
Geo User spread
Organizations that are globally dispersed for are better off with a virtualized or well-managed private cloud environment, as public cloud offerings today are for the most part centralized systems that will limit performance to users accessing the application from different cross-continent geographies.
Organizations that are centralized with a small number of with roaming users can setup their environment across any of the various physical, virtual, private cloud, or public cloud solutions.
Fluctuations over a daily period indicate that resources are likely to be idle or underutilized during other times of the day. Virtualization, private clouds and public clouds can help more effectively utilize computing resources by minimizing over-provisioning and cost to meet peak demand, and/or improve performance by bringing additional resources into play during peak demand.
Fluctuations over a seasonal period indicates that resources are likely to be idle or underutilized for extended periods, with significant cost incurred for maintaining spare and unused capacity. The flexibility and elasticity of cloud-based solutions is more attractive to meet peak demand in an efficient and timely manner, without the need for maintaining significant spare and unused capacity.
Little or no fluctuation indicates all solutions may be nominally equal and attractive. However, virtualization, private clouds and public clouds make more efficient use of available resources, regardless of the fluctuation in computing resource consumption.
The organization needs to consider a move to a private or public cloud environment to improve overall performance and service availability. Prior to this the organization should consider a detailed Infrastructure Optimization (IO) review
Stability is typically critical to an organizations ability to function. An optimized private or public cloud strategy can help the organization further improve its utilization and performance of the application.
Application environment, automation and monitoring
Organizations that have not already fully optimized their IT operational lifecycle and strategy for automation, redundancy, and security can achieve IT efficiencies and effectiveness by migrating to a private or public cloud environment.
Organizations that do not have a fully optimized IT operational lifecycle and strategy for automation, redundancy, and security can achieve IT efficiencies and effectiveness by migrating to a private or public cloud environment.
Organizations that already have a fully optimized IT operational lifecycle and strategy for automation, redundancy, and security are already achieving IT efficiencies and effectiveness. They are likely to be in a Rationalized IO state and will not benefit hugely from a cloud strategy
An organization that has a defined Service Level Agreement but is unable to attain or maintain the level of performance achievement expected of the organization can benefit from an optimized private cloud or a managed public cloud environment.
An organization that does not have a Service Level Agreement frequently does not have a long term strategy for performance and reliability attainment and can greatly benefit from an optimized private cloud or a managed public cloud.
An organization that has the ability to measure and maintain its expected level of Service Level Agreement performance is one that benefits from a well-established maintenance and management process for operational uptime and may not benefit from a cloud strategy for the application workload.
Organizations that have a need for high availability and do not have the budget or the IT resources to support high availability are good candidates for a public cloud offering. For a fixed monthly cost the organization can get high availability without the need to buy expensive hardware or software, or train personnel to support such an environment.
Organizations that have no expectations for high availability are equally suited for a public or an on-premise environment with some bias toward a public cloud offering to give the organization better availability for a fixed cost.
Organizations that require high availability and have the resources to support an environment with clustered servers and failover technologies have a relative bias toward having their environment hosted on premise by the organization (physical or virtual). The deciding factor to move to the cloud would be based on cost or preference, a factor driven by a separate question in the assessment.
Organizations that have a need for site-to-site failover and do not have the current redundant site facilities to support the failover functionality are good candidates for a public cloud offering. For a fixed monthly cost the organization can get guaranteed uptime without the need to setup their own disaster recovery site and environment.
Organizations that have no expectations for site redundancy are equally suited for a public or an on-premise environment with some bias toward a public cloud offering to give the organization improved availability for a fixed cost.
Organizations that require site-to-site disaster recovery failover and have a solution in place will have a relative bias toward having their environment hosted on premise by the organization (physical or virtual). The deciding factor to move to the cloud would be based on cost or preference, a factor driven by a separate question in the assessment.
If the application is already well governed under strict service management (e.g., ITIL) it may still be suitable for cloud-based solution, but in a private managed provider configuration if not a public cloud service.
Organizations that do not have a consistent method of keeping their system patched and updated may benefit from a public cloud environment, eliminating the need for the organization to handle updates on a regular basis.
Organizations with limited patching and updating discipline today will benefit from a public hosted environment that will keep the system up to date without adding cost or effort to the organizations daily operations.
Organizations that already have a good process to keep systems patched and updated are likely managing their on-premise environment effectively, so the decision to move to a public cloud would be based on cost or preference based on different questions in this assessment
Integration with an enterprise identity management (IdM) system may present problems for public cloud solutions, depending on the complexity and level of integration with the IdM system. To maintain integration with the IdM system for a public cloud solution, the IdM system must traverse the enterprise-public-cloud boundary, which may require additional modification or integration work with the IdM system.
Integration with an enterprise identity management (IdM) system may present problems for public cloud solutions, depending on the complexity and level of integration with the IdM system. Use of existing application-based administration tools indicates that potentially that complexity and level of integration may allow for a public cloud solution.
If the organization uses the built-in administration tools to manage the application, then cloud-based solutions are more attractive. NOTE: This assumes that the administration capabilities of public cloud solutions are equally capable as on-premise solutions.
A helpdesk that experiences peaks of activity and resource challenges may benefit from outsourcing all or some of the workload into a cloud providers environment e.g. late hours or early morning support or second line support.
An organization with a helpdesk that lacks service management controls and maturity will definitely benefit from a cloud strategy both public and private and will find working with a managed services partner a cost effective option.
A well run helpdesk will be optimized and adhere to best practice service management disciplines and therefore all solutions are equally effective and attractive.
Server Side plug-ins/add-ins
Organizations with heavy and tight integration with server-side tools have a difficult time or can be precluded from migrating their LoB environment to a public cloud. Private clouds become an option for a hosted environment with more flexibility of running specialized applications in a private environment. If the integration is extremely unique to the organization and cannot be separated from the environment in a hosted model, then the organization may need to continue to host the application on premise in a physical or virtualized environment.
Integration with other aps
If there is significant interaction with other applications that are not in the same location, the amount of data that must be transferred across the public cloud boundary to interact with those applications could have significant secondary impacts on network load and associated data transfer charges. if shared storage or database is used, moving, accessing, or synchronizing data presents additional challenges for a public cloud solution. However, additional investigation of the other applications may determine that there is indeed a cloud opportunity.
3rd party federation
A private cloud solution will generally be preferred. The suitability of a public cloud solution depends on the complexity of the customization and plug-ins, and whether they can be migrated/ported to the public cloud. Additional investigation is suggested to determine the feasibility of migrating those plug-ins or customizations to a public cloud, OR if the customers third parties and partners are amenable to using a federation solution compatible with that provided by the public cloud (e.g., Windows Identity Foundation, Live ID, OpenID, etc.).
A private cloud solution will generally be preferred, as providing equivalent capabilities in a public cloud solution will likely be infeasible UNLESS that federation is using a supported public cloud federation capability. Additional investigation is suggested to determine the feasibility of migrating those plug-ins or customizations to a public cloud, OR if the customers third parties and partners are amenable to using a federation solution compatible with that provided by the public cloud (e.g., Windows Identity Foundation, Live ID, OpenID, etc.).
If federation is not required, the appropriate solution will depend on answers to other questions in the assessment. Specifically, the application sign-on (authentication) requirements: whether it is integrated with Active Directory authentication; and whether it requires integration with an enterprise identity management (IdM) system.
A private cloud solution may be the best and easiest for these applications. However, this answer suggests a relatively modern SOA-based application, with components that are non-SOA and which are required to integrate or interact with other non-SOA/legacy applications. If that is the case, additional investigation is warranted to determine if those non-SOA components can be segregated to improve the feasibility and attractiveness of a public cloud solution.
SOA-based applications are good candidates for either public cloud or private cloud solutions, or a combination of both. If the application as a whole is not considered a suitable candidate for a public cloud solution, additional investigation is warranted to determine if there are portions of the application that are suited to a public cloud solution.