Cloud may not be for everyone, but it certainly can help ease IT headaches for many insurance companies. In a new book, "To the Cloud: Powering an Enterprise" (to be released in February), Microsoft executives Pankaj Arora, Raj Biyani and Salil Dave, cite numerous areas where cloud can have an impact.
Here are nine ways cloud can help make a difference in data centers:
Manage predictable bursting: “Applications that manage budget or sales operations need considerably more resources at the end of each quarter or fiscal year than they do the rest of the year. Cloud can be a means of avoiding the provisioning, reserving and continually paying for excess capacity to accommodate the peak load scenarios.”
Manage unpredictable bursting: “The cloud's agility enables quick scaling for unpredictable demand scenarios. Word of 'something cool' spreads like wildfire over the Internet, sometimes leaving IT departments unprepared."
Assist rapid growth: “The lead time required for expanding data centers to accommodate usage growth constrains enterprises. Cloud computing mitigates this issue, as scaling takes mere minutes or hours.”
'On and off' capabilities: “Instead of paying for and maintaining an infrastructure year-round, using the cloud, enterprises can suspend services when applications are out of cycle or scale them down to a minimal footprint.”
Overflow: “Enterprises might want to keep an application on-premises but could benefit from allowing excess demand to spill over to a cloud instance – 'cloud bursting.'”
Archiving: “Enterprises can use the cloud to store and retrieve archived data for on-premises applications.”
Storage: “Exceptionally large data storage scenarios, such as data warehousing, can take advantage of the cloud's scalability and inherent redundancy.”
Partnerships: “The cloud can benefit partner and joint-venture scenarios by service as a central point of systems integration for both parties.”
Failover: “The cloud can provide backup and redundancy for on-premises applications.”
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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