Are You SURE You Are Ready To Move Online?

Cloud Readiness

Over the last three months, we have discussed the reasons why you may have wanted to move to the cloud.  Maybe the decision wasn’t yours to be made in the first place?  Either way, you are now getting ready to start down that road of cloud enlightenment!

The question is, what is the first thing you should be in possession of when starting a cloud project?  The answer may or may not shock you, but it is knowledge.

Why would I say that?  Or maybe, knowledge of what might be the other question.  Having knowledge of what some specific terminologies are will help you get started, or truly understand what is happening.

Being thrust into a new model of operations based on virtual resources can be quite challenging.  The difference between vCPU and a physical CPU in a cloud environment needs to be understood.  Also, you have vRAM and physical RAM, along with its block storage use in a cloud management tool and what is presented at the physical level.

So, what is the number one thing I tell my clients before they get started?  It is a simple question, “Where is your test cloud?”  Not all clouds need to be hosted by third party companies.  You can have a test cloud setup with something as small as a single laptop, or two larger machines depending on the cloud management software and virtualization software that is used.

So you now have a test cloud, error free of course, so what are you going to do with it?  You will be running many different tasks, all based on using the full potential of the cloud management software you have chosen.  Let’s review a few tests that you should perform, so you get a better idea of the cloud and the cloud management software.

  • Create an Instance: This means spinning up a virtual device (server or desktop) and assigning resources to it (vCPU, vRAM, etc.…)
  • Destroying an Instance: This means deleting it from inside your management software and returning the resources it had allocated back to the overall pool.
  • If you have it available, try mounting shared/unshared volumes to an instance and then remove it. You can also try your hand at shared storage so you can create clusters in the cloud.
  • Create a virtual network, and assign subnets to it. Make sure your subnets have proper routing and each one has a default gateway.
  • Create projects/tenants within your software so you can create separation of data and groups based on name AND network.
  • Create users to take advantage or trying out various authentication and authorization modes. Are you going to connect your cloud to Microsoft AD or
  • Once you create a few instances, start monitoring them with software that will tell you its overall performance. You want to see how to refine the build process of the instance is so it will have the horsepower you need it to without having to redo the instances later when they hold data.

This is just getting ready for the cloud.  Again, all engineers MUST understand these principles, and managers SHOULD understand them.  Next month we will talk about what to do with your new knowledge of the cloud!

By Richard Thayer

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