Author Archive: David Linthicum
Most failed cloud computing projects can be traced back to bad or missing architecture and design practices. This was the trend in 2012, and it is continuing into 2013. The reason: Lack of architecture and design methods and approaches, as well as the lack of a general understanding of the processes required to deploy solid cloud computing technology and solutions.
The complexities around multitenancy, resource sharing and management, security, and even version control lead cloud computing startups — and enterprises that build private and public clouds — down some rough roads before they start to learn from their mistakes. Or, perhaps they just have to kill the project altogether as they discover all that investment is unsalvageable. Continue Reading »
A study by the project management consulting company, PM Solutions, identifies the top causes for the failure of IT projects. The study, called Strategies for Project Recovery, covered 163 companies, roughly split between small, medium, and large organizations. The conclusion: The average company in the study faces $74 million of “at risk” projects each year.
The study identifies five top causes of troubled projects:
- Requirements: Unclear, lack of agreement, lack of priority, contradictory, ambiguous, imprecise.
- Resources: Lack of resources, resource conflicts, turnover of key resources, poor planning.
- Schedules: Too tight, unrealistic, overly optimistic.
- Planning: Based on insufficient data, missing items, insufficient details, poor estimates.
- Risks: Unidentified or assumed, not managed.
Many consider cloud computing as a shortcut, an IT path that uses technology to wire around the need to plan. Architecture and design are big parts of traditional plans. Without a sound foundation of good architecture and design best practices, your cloud computing project will fail. This is true for traditional projects as well as for your cloud computing strategy. Many are finding this out the hard way as cloud computing projects begin to ramp up.
Architecture and design come in two core patterns: Those that integrate the use of cloud computing services, either PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS, with existing enterprise IT systems which extend those systems to the platforms of the clouds. Or, there is the second pattern, those that actually build private, community, or public cloud services for use within a single enterprise, a community of users, or perhaps become public cloud computing providers themselves.
There are a range of cloud computing startups with unique solutions that require specialized approaches to cloud computing concepts including multitenancy, virtualized and managed resources, as well as advanced security solutions. New ground is covered each day, and the approaches to architecture and design in the world of cloud computing continuously evolve.
Now is the time to get smart around the right and the wrong ways to design and build clouds. Understand best practices, and, yes, learn and borrow from architecture and design practices from days gone by. SOA and existing application and enterprise architecture approaches and techniques have proven themselves in the enterprise, and are now proving their value as we extend those architectures to public, private, and hybrid cloud computing. In short, we’re converging what’s best with the existing architecture approaches and techniques, with what’s emerging in the world of cloud computing.
So, what are the proper ways to design, build, and leverage cloud computing systems? What are the steps to success? What are the emerging best practices? At Cloud Connect, we’ve put together a track that covers a range of topics relating to the right and wrong ways to leverage, design, and build cloud-based systems and infrastructure. This includes advice from those currently in the trenches who make cloud computing work for the Global 2000 and government, to those who will soon fight to make cloud computing work for their clients, employers, and/or investors.
Sessions that will guide you through this process include my session on “How to Get Cloud Architecture and Design Right the First Time,” where I walk you through the basics of design and architecture as applied to cloud computing. Moreover, there is Bernard Golden’s session on “Cloud Applications: New Techniques for Developers,” including how to deal with elasticity and scalability.
If cloud computing is in your future, you need to start here. With a bit of planning, and some good architecture and design disciplines, you can do amazing things.