Cloud has redefined the way solutions are built across all facets of IT. Other than improving the business process efficiency and flexibility, Cloud also brings in a huge benefit to the environment.

In one of the recent Carbon Disclosure Project Study ( it was found that by 2020, large US companies that use cloud computing can achieve annual energy savings of $12.3 billion and annual carbon reductions equivalent to 200 million barrels of oil – enough to power 5.7 million cards for one year. One of intel’s report has predicted that in the next 10years the number of files enterprises deal with will grow by 75x3.Therefore, there are more than enough reasons why companies are seriously considering cloud strategy.

As you may have seen, cloud adoption has been one of the most trending topics for everyone – right from Enterprises to ISV to Individual. The rate of changes/innovation happening on cloud has left many wondering with multiple options but very little insight on how to decide the correct option.

There is one level of strategic decision to be made on what type of cloud to adopt – Private or Public or Community or Hybrid. Each of the models has their own advantage and disadvantages, and therefore, it requires one to carefully analyze what will suit their business model in terms of security/policy compliance, risk threshold, business growth, etc.

On the other hand there is also a technical strategy decision to be made on the cloud computing models – IaaS, PaaS or SaaS. Typical solution stack contains a lot of components ranging from networking, hardware, OS and Application.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – This cloud model targets to address the components that belong in the hardware level. This constitutes of Networking, Storage, Server and Virtualization. A typical IaaS vendor will provide these components and take complete responsibility of managing these components. The best thing is these components are provided “as a Service” and therefore, the consumer can use as much as they want and pay only for what they are using.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) – This cloud model is an extension of IaaS model, where it additionally provides OS, middleware and Runtime for executing an application/software. As you can see, IaaS stops with the hardware level ownership where as PaaS goes beyond that and takes full responsibility to provide the hardware as well as the environment (Platform) to design, develop and deploy(run) applications.

 SaaS (Software as a Service) – This cloud model abstracts all the components from the Consumer there by allowing them to just use the Software without worrying about any of the underlying technical details. As in the above cases, this model is also subscription based which means the Consumer has to pay as they use the software. Infact, there are several innovative subscription models that are available today.

So, where should one start when it comes to defining their strategy to move to Cloud?

The scenario that demands/favors cloud can be classified in to two categories.

 Infrastructure Management Scenarios – This category covers all those scenarios that have an impact/need on the infrastructure solutions. This category can further be split in to Compute and Storage, where the cloud solutions applied can be different.

Application Management Scenarios – This category covers all those scenarios that are related to designing, developing, deploying and managing applications. In other words all the phases of an Application Life Cycle Management.

In the forthcoming blogs I will delve more in to each of the above categories.

Janakiraman Jayachandran