Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud

Contributors: Amy Newman and Howard Cohen.


2 3

Letter from the Editor

Cloud Computing for Integrators



10 Managing a Reliable Cloud Environment 16 Cloud Security Skills – A Growing Need


and that will require a deeper knowledge of newer technologies and services for Internet-connected providers to produce and deliver. best practices for successfully reaching your destination. will need to think beyond just bringing together the hardware and software components with which they are familiar. This perceived shortage of highly skilled cloud security A professionals presents a unique opportunity for IT professionals. Security is another key component of cloud management. not the least of which is a change in the skill sets required of IT professionals. With the rise of cloud computing has come many shifts. There are. or a combination of the two known as a hybrid.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Letter from the Editor By Amy Newman lthough some would argue that cloud computing dates back to the dawn of the mainframe. for example. particularly when it comes to working with public clouds. 2 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. its most recent incarnation began around the turn of this century when the concept of software as a service was born. While IT professionals will be able to leverage many of their existing skills to manage cloud environments. located in an organization’s data center or off premise. there is no one true path. . When it comes to transitioning to a cloud computing environment. Inc. Cloud computing centers around the concept of sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices handle applications. private. available to anyone or organization that wishes to use it. Moving customer data outside of the organization is one of the biggest barriers to public cloud adoption. and that means moving beyond one’s comfort zone. the cloud requires a holistic mindset. private cloud or a hybrid of the two. Clouds can be public. This ebook will discuss core competencies needed to successfully administer a cloud environment as well as opportunities developing in the cloud computing market place. Successful network and systems integrators. however. be it public cloud. We hope you find this ebook a useful roadmap as you embark on your journey. They will need to think of themselves as cloud integrators.

you will become part of a new category of integrator – the Cloud Integrator. . you’re not alone. “systems integration is the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications physically or functionally to act as a coordinated whole. it is a set of technologies that have been in development for years and that allow us to deliver IT services in new ways. 3 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. the focus is on bringing different software systems together to work in concert.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Cloud Computing for Integrators By Howard Cohen If so. Inc. optimizing the communications Integrators From the moment there was more than one manufacturer making computer hardware devices and software developers creating applications. scalability and agility that cloud computing offers to companies large and small. Network Integrators Network Integrators focus on the infrastructure that software applications require to run. with the integrator leveraging lower cost and higher performance to create client satisfaction. which creates the need to expand your knowledge and skills to take full advantage of the new flexibility. Integration makes sense and brings value to information technology clients in that it creates choice at a component level.” For systems integrators. This includes creating connections between local area networks at disparate locations. Many systems and network integrators share your concern and are actively seeking to understand what they need to do. not only to remain in the industry. but to continue to advance their careers upward through it. information technology integrators have segregated themselves into two fundamental types: Systems Integrators According to the Wikipedia. It simply broadens the ways in which technologies can be integrated. there were integrators seeking to combine these products into superior solutions for themselves and their clients. The good news is that the cloud does not reduce the need for integrators. Once you’ve trained yourself on these new techniques and technologies. C oncerned the cloud could displace you from your job? Over the past few decades. “Cloud computing” is not a starkly new and different technology.

Properly selecting the right providers for a particular requirement will be a skill that cloud Integrators will need to develop. particularly servers. Google and Rackspace. data preparation and migration. it’s important to recognize the differences between the very different types of clouds you will find yourself working in: public and private clouds. plus deeper knowledge of newer technologies that will enable them to bring together not only hardware and software components. focus on how to Cloud Computing Cloud computing moves some of your infrastructure. and monitoring network functionality to assure business continuity and high-availability. Public & Private Cloud When discussing cloud computing. Next: Cloud Integrators Cloud integrators will need to combine skills from both the network and systems Integration worlds. well-known IT industry mainstays. and preparing yourself to manage in a cloud environment. robust servers to run many “instances” of the server operating system. particularly servers. and other data will also be critical. Google Apps for Business and IBM LotusLive. storage and some applications. This multi-tenancy is enabled by server and storage virtualization technologies that allow large. to a remote data center operated by a professional provider. but also services that are produced and delivered by Internet-connected providers. instant messenger. which has enabled providers to offer highly attractive pricing for their services. Inc. Some of these providers are very large. such as IBM. Since public cloud services usually include email and unified communications. Public cloud services include Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune. Also. storage and some applications. Cloud integrators working in a public cloud environment will want to develop a strong knowledge and understanding of how to provision and configure DNS (Domain Names Services) so they can direct email and other traffic from the Internet to the appropriate public cloud service providers and then back to the customer. These resellers employ cloud integrators to furnish their customers with initial planning and design services. Microsoft. thus sharing one unit of server hardware among many customers. training on how to properly migrate.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud between them. Others are far smaller in terms of resources and funding. Any given customer “Cloud computing moves some of your infrastructure. along with hybrids of the two. The challenge to these resellers is that the prices for public cloud services have become so low that they have difficulty driving sufficient revenue from the sale of the subscriptions alone. assuring the security of data in transit. This sharing allows the provider to dramatically reduce the cost to each customer. may be one of dozens or even hundreds of customers on the same server.” 4 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. as well as relative newcomers including Amazon. to a remote data center operated by a professional provider. These are usually sold by subscription through resellers who function as sales agents. Public cloud delivers applications to a wide variety of customers using shared systems. . and ongoing training and support to deliver greater profitability from each subscription sale. manage and archive email. HP and Savvis. This is referred to as a “multi-tenant” environment in which each customer is firewalled from the others to assure information security and privacy.

5 Back to Contents . including resource provisioning. • Measured Service Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.. and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.g. networks. • Broad network access Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e. In fact. It’s completely transparent to them. applications. including voice and video. • Rapid elasticity Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned. The goal of a private cloud environment is to establish a separation between the applications the user interacts with and the underlying technology that powers it. state. mobile phones. storage. and PDAs). controlled. some of the characteristics of cloud computing as defined by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) must be considered: Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient. with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. in some cases automatically. they are so similar that many questions arise regarding how a private cloud built on a customer’s premises is different from being simply a virtualized data center. network bandwidth.. storage. Examples of resources include storage. They will still need to manage servers. bandwidth. or datacenter). such as server time and network storage.g. multi-tenant separation (for Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. To expand upon this.. • On-demand self-service A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities. storage. laptops. Inc. processing. network access control for a wide variety of client devices. memory. and active user accounts).Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud manage multiple data types.g. applications and networking as before. the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time.g. as they will still be called upon to do many of the things they have always done in other environments. ondemand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e. the users never “see” or concern themselves with the technology. A private cloud may be built and delivered from a provider’s remote datacenter. Resource usage can be monitored. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e. These characteristics offer insight into the broad scope of knowledge cloud integrators will require. Private cloud environments are designed to serve one specific customer with no multi-tenancy. To the consumer. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics: as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider. From a security perspective it will also be important to manage multi-factor authentication and authorization technologies to enhance the ID/Password security offered by most public cloud service providers today. country. and reported providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service. processing. and virtual machines. servers. • Resource pooling The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model. Many systems and network Integrators will find private cloud to be a very familiar environment to work in. to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in.. or it may be constructed on the client’s premises. In a successful private cloud environment. or it may be built in an integrator’s facilities and managed by that integrator.

thus saving power. but also among different companies all sharing a cloudbased SAN. Overall. as well as regulatory compliance and other fiduciary responsibilities surrounding data privacy. cloud integrators will be engaged in combining services more than technologies or applications. even automatically shutting down machines that have been emptied of server instances. This must be balanced against maintaining the security of company data. Customers will want or need to keep some data within their own walls until they can completely trust the security of cloud providers. as well as their requirements. such as Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager or VMware’s vCenter.” The three primary hypervisor environments are Microsoft Hyper-V. too. Virtualization The most important skillset to master in private cloud computing will be the implementation and ongoing management of the many virtualization technologies. measurement and management of many service components. The primary compelling reasons to transition are to reduce their costs and increase service levels. Hybrid cloud approaches will be necessary for a long time to come as companies work to transition to cloud computing services. Cloud integrators should seek training on 6 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. including: Server Virtualization The virtualization engine that underlies server virtualization is referred to as the “hypervisor. Cloud integrators will be called upon to know how to combine some services from remote data centers with applications that must run on premises. Optimization of the virtualized server environment is achieved by automating the movement of server instances to the most cost-effective server machine available. desktops and more. security and data interchange standards. virtualization of servers. Storage Virtualization Storage area networks (SANs) can also be virtualized to dynamically allocate storage space not only among users.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud departmental or multi-company-within-a-corporation operations). This will include integration of services from different cloud providers as well as integration of cloud-delivered services with services sourced from systems located on the client’s own premises. Cloud integrators will want to study each to understand the comparative strengths and weaknesses. as well as monitoring. . storage. This requires working knowledge of virtualization management systems. It is anticipated that support of this hybrid model will continue to be necessary for many years to come and will require cloud integrators to understand the interaction of differing communications. VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer. Inc.

applications and other resources from whatever device a user may have. The most effective way to accomplish this is to perform the actual computing at the server and only send screen contents and receive keystrokes and mouse movements. Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp.” It is no surprise that these architectural standards are emerging in parallel with the growth of cloud computing. Inc. The Expanding Cloud Universe Technology professionals seeking to become cloud integrators will find a tremendous variety of new opportunities as the universe of cloud computing continues to expand geometrically. wherever he may be. At the core of this new learning will be the need for a deep understanding of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This is a logical consequence of the emergence of webparts. Cloud integrators will need to develop VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastrcuture) skills on products such as Microsoft Terminal Services. of principles and methodologies for designing and developing software in the form of interoperable services. This is far less data to transmit than entire applications. While many of these opportunities will require enhanced understanding of software development and application delivery.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud how to manage SANs. then. similar to the way in which B2B eCommerce supply chain systems like Microsoft’s BizTalk Server connect suppliers. Following the self-service characteristic of cloud computing. SOA design principles are used during the phases of systems development and integration. . a time when cloud integrators will not be integrating hardware or software. paying particular attention to the technologies that allow dynamic movement of storage from one server to another in event of server failure and dynamic storage allocation technologies. the effort here is clearly to make it possible to assemble and integrate software components in the cloud through management of simple messaging over easily achieved and quickly disassembled connections. on whatever network he has access to. making it possible to use much less bandwidth and still get better response time. VMware View and others. Desktop Virtualization The ultimate cloud experience is the ability to access data. customers and others to facilitate rapid process execution. This foresees. These services are well-defined business functionalities that are built as software components (discrete pieces of code and/or data structures) that can be reused for different purposes.” 7 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. manufacturers. but when combined through programming or other management create useful functionality available over a web browser or web-enabled application. even more will require the professional to become adept at securely connecting services from many cloud providers to various interrelated members of supply chains. These workflows may be executed within a specific organization or may cross multiple organizational lines. which is defined in the Wikipedia as “a set “Technology professionals seeking to become cloud integrators will find a tremendous variety of new opportunities as the universe of cloud computing continues to expand geometrically. but rather will be managing the creation and successful execution of cloud-based workflows involving a wide variety of pieces of code designed to perform specific functions. in which small pieces of code perform very specific functions that would never logically stand alone.

HP has also entered into cloud integration. workflow management. The heterogeneity of service interfaces in the control plane arises from the different ways in which services are implemented and the different requirements they have for their use. Summary The world of the cloud integrator will differ widely from that of their network and systems integration predecessors. Rapidly deliver cloud integration projects in days and achieve higher return on investment in software as a service (SaaS) and cloud models. Inc. Where network integrators focused solely on communications protocols and standards. no software and no coding. not coding’ approach to solve the entire lifecycle of your cloud integration. recently introducing control plane Integration for Cloud Services. 1 Integration Cloud™”. Boomi’s Atomsphere® “allows you to connect any combination of Cloud. the cloud integrator will need a broader education in both of these disciplines and much more. The cloud integrator will need to be able to translate technology infrastructure into service deliverables.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud The Coming Market for Cloud Integrators Large IT manufacturers and software developers have entered the cloud market. interprocess communications. Leverage reusable process templates and use a ‘configuration. They will need a far better understanding of capacity planning and management. which means they can serve several hundred cloud computing customers achieving a new high in economies of scale. .” With introduction of more new technologies to integrate also comes the need for more and better trained Cloud Integrators to bring this all together. Its white paper on the subject explains that “Examples of control plane integration include creating user accounts or establishing profiles in multiple services to allow them to work together during operation. and systems integrators concerned themselves with the loading of software onto properly configured systems. Zenith Infotech’s “SmartStyle” computing features a completely pre-designed and pre-assembled “private cloud in a box” that will allow any integrator to deliver complete private cloud services either from their own facilities or on their customer’s premises.” IBM and Dell have both recently introduced servers that have enough memory and processing power to support several hundred virtualized server operating system instances. Similarly. SaaS or On-Premise applications with no appliances. and 8 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. The product overview on the Cast Iron webpage claims that “WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration enables companies to rapidly connect their hybrid world of public clouds. calling it “The No. private clouds and on-premise applications. making it part of its WebSphere line of products. IBM acquired Cast Iron Systems. security standards and how to coordinate them between divergent providers and coordination of directory and name services between vastly different platforms. In just the past few years Dell has acquired Boomi.

Inc. . Gartner. HP and all of the other players in the cloud market acknowledge that the definitions they share are bound to change repeatedly over the next few years as cloud computing evolves. and all will need to develop far deeper capacity planning. System specialists will want to take the time now to improve their understanding of internetworking transport and network protocols.” 9 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. provisioning.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud speak two languages simultaneously. highly flexible and scalable. all will need to learn to work effectively in a hybrid environment that connects many cloud-delivered services with the client’s on-premises network. interfacing and communicating effectively both with the clients who are using the services and with the providers of the various component services that will be assembled to create those services. “The world of the cloud integrator will differ widely from that of their network and systems integration predecessors. Because users will feel the need to keep certain applications and data sets housed within their own walls. and all of the information being shared about cloud computing in general are still in their formative stages. All of the standards described in this white paper. nimbleness and profitability than ever before. presentation and application skills. The future promise of all of this is a computing environment that is richly resourced. Today’s network and systems integrators have the unique opportunity to drive those redefinitions and shape the direction of the future world of cloud computing and cloud integration. Perhaps more important is the opportunity for today’s technology professionals to play a major role in the development of the next generation of technologists. This will require disciplinary cross-training on a whole new scale. network and data security and systems management skills. creating the opportunity for businesses that use them to achieve higher levels of agility. while network integrators will want to focus on session. NIST.

and what we plan to do well into the future. With 300 centers in 70 countries. New Horizons is the world’s largest independent IT training company. Cisco. allow us to offer the courses you need to leverage your current skills and adopt new ones to gain a competitive advantage. Our innovative. New Horizons helps the world’s workforce stay proficient with the latest technologies and achieve their career goals. Our partnerships with major developers of cloud It’s what we’ve been doing better than anyone else for 30 years. and VMware.As the world of cloud computing continues to evolve at light speed. including Microsoft.newhorizons. award-winning learning methods have revolutionized the way students learn. retain and apply new knowledge. www.aspx .

servers. In large part these savings come from the economies realized by using a “shared pool of configurable computing resources. we will once again use the definition developed by the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient. storage. For the purposes of this article.. Inc. 10 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. storage and other resources is enabled by virtualization technologies. Virtualized servers run dozens. applications and services. in fact. many different definitions of everything having to do with cloud computing. Before we can discuss the management of a reliable cloud environment. Prior to the introduction of virtualized servers. each server only ran one instance of the server operating system. Each of those customers pays a fraction of the cost of the infrastructure used to support them. storage. This allows one unit of hardware to serve dozens and soon hundreds of customers. achieving a stable. Just like any other service delivery method. networks. ondemand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e. The list of resource examples. the cost of hardware. Cloud computing services are delivered from data centers that do not differ widely from the data centers that many companies maintain on their own premises. of instances of the server operating system in a multitenant environment.g. including networks. software C and operations is distributed among all users.” Because they are shared. we need to establish a common understanding of just what it is that needs to be managed “in the cloud.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Managing a Reliable Cloud Environment By Howard Cohen loud computing provides new and more efficient methods to deliver IT services. and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Moving that single-user server to a remote data center actually increased costs. . reliable state that provides an optimal user experience requires careful management. One of the primary benefits of cloud computing that is cited frequently is cost savings. in that it added the cost of communications with that server.” This is challenging because many. servers. many people have offered up many. The ability to share server. and soon hundreds. applications. it is. sounds very similar to what most network managers are responsible for managing right now and. creating substantial cost savings per customer.

and how it needs to be managed. • Public cloud: The cloud infrastructure is owned by a cloud services provider who makes it available to the general public or large industry group. As with so many things. and deployed for use by one organization and is usually located on premises owned by that organization. SaaS is usually delivered from a public cloud. If the infrastructure is instead located at a provider’s data center. • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in which the customer uses the provider’s software that is running on a cloud 11 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. servers. and what new skills they will require in this new environment. it is referred to as a Virtual Private Cloud or Remote Private Cloud. the correct answer depends upon perspective. The concerns and requirements that revolve around a public cloud delivering software as a service. what needs to be managed. The change will require these specialists to acquire new skills. • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) allows the customer to develop his own applications using programming tools and utilities supported by the provider. some customers will construct systems that combine their on premises resources with cloud services. such as IP communications. and continuing in many environments where some specific types of data must remain on premises by regulatory or fiduciary requirement. which generally distinguishes IT capabilities that are provided as a service. but it will also take full advantage of their existing expertise. Cloud Computing Services Customer From the perspective of the technology specialist working for a company that is using cloud services. It is important to remember that “cloud” is a broadly applied term. applications and services. how it creates cost savings. These are: • Hybrid cloud: Especially in the early period of transition. They also need to monitor server.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Fundamentals of Cloud Computing Delivery With this understanding of what cloud computing is. The NIST definition of cloud computing identifies three fundamental service models that will help us to better understand these new skill requirements. . and because cloud providers need to offer customer selfservice capability. Automated billing must also be managed in a cloud provider’s data center. • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provisions processing. they do manage operating systems. Three deployment models described in the NIST definition will also be important to this discussion: Cloud Computing Services Provider From the perspective of companies in the business of delivering cloud-based computing services to customers. has changed and will continue to change and improve as cloud computing technologies and best practices mature over the next several years. applications and data. While customers do not manage or control the underlying infrastructure. it will need a fully automated system to help manage the systems. storage. usually from a remote data center. That includes networks. what needs to be managed are very much the same things that any data center has had to manage. developed. Because a cloud provider’s data center houses hundreds of servers. storage and bandwidth performance to assure that their systems exceed their contracted service levels and provide the best possible customer experience. storage. infrastructure and that is typically accessed using a web browser. by whom. NIST specifies that hybrid clouds are composed of two or more private or public clouds bound together by technology that enables data and application portability. • Private cloud: The cloud infrastructure is designed. Inc. and the core enabling technology behind it. networking and other fundamental computing resources. we are ready to begin to answer the question of what needs to be managed.

users stop working. including • Performance There are many moving parts to any compute environment. The carriers themselves report on Quality of Service regularly. I/O. network. “Another distinguishing characteristic of cloud computing is that it introduces a layer of abstraction that separates the services being delivered to the end-user from the underlying technology infrastructure required to support them. but independent monitoring is required to assure accuracy. With cloud computing. . Performance monitoring looks at CPU. and other network interface devices. Since their customers subscribe to and pay for a specific service level. Proper vigilance through aggressive network and systems management can help to assure it. Some technology professionals will be required to provide end-user support of the end-user services.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud for example. measured. • Availability or Quality of Service Every cloud service subscription includes a Service Level Agreement. many more services are introduced that carry a Service Level Agreement. Latency translates into user dissatisfaction. storage. In fact. Customers have the right to demand specific performance from their cloud services. the network management service reports specifically on carrier performance to help their customers ensure that they receive the Quality of Service to which they subscribed. The primary concerns of the cloud computing user boil down to two fundamental concepts: routers.” 12 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. and each can introduce latency. the majority of problems they actually resolve focus on carrier outages or reductions in service. modems.9 percent of the time. while others focus on the underlying infrastructure. That is what makes this such a critical metric. Many network managers report that the network hardware. which is the provider’s commitment to high availability. are extremely reliable and rarely fail. Most network management services promote themselves based on their ability to identify. and report on network hardware failures. What Needs to Be Managed in the Cloud Another distinguishing characteristic of cloud computing is that it introduces a layer of abstraction that separates the services being delivered to the end-user from the underlying technology infrastructure required to support them. When the service is unavailable. memory utilization. bandwidth. switches. This allows the user to focus on the work she must get done rather than on the tools and equipment she is using to do it. will be substantially different from those of a private cloud providing infrastructure as a service. and any other factor that can potentially create delay. and other cloud services must each be separately monitored. Technology professionals will need a broad familiarity with every part of the infrastructure to enable them to identify and evaluate potential bottlenecks and anomalies. Some may manage both. The Quality of Service for cloud-delivered servers. alert.” it is committing that the service will be available 99. measured as a percentage of uptime. and reported for much the same reason. software as a service. Inc. When Microsoft announces that its online services will provide a service level of “three nines.

Servers must be provisioned and managed. Inc. followed by granular specialization. The cost savings realized from cloud computing can easily be lost to inadvertent overprovisioning. with properly placed virtual machines and data workloads. The same requirements for security and regulatory compliance apply in a cloudbased infrastructure. Infrastructure Management Even though it may be located at a distant data center. Both primary and backup storage must be adequately provisioned with configurations for blocklevel snapshotting. data mirroring and data compression. This scalability must be carefully monitored and managed so that the increased resources can be removed when no longer needed. 13 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. The cloud’s virtualized environment must be load-balanced. careful management. close. The Information Technology ecosystem is completing a cycle that started with the rise of the technology generalist. add network protocol management to your skill set. Cloud-based strategies create the requirement to return to a broader. Users can increase server resources with a simple request to respond to increased demand from additional users or larger workloads. more generalized knowledge of every factor that can impact availability and performance. The good news for technology specialists is that they will be able to leverage most all of the skills they have already acquired. Scalability can also significantly impact speed to market for large e-commerce organizations. Provisioning & Proactive Scaling One of the most attractive and distinguishing features of cloud computing services is that they offer tremendous elasticity. If you have focused previously on servers. Each of the following segments of the cloud environment will require constant. The better news is that they will need to obtain a broader understanding of every part of the infrastructure to enable them to analyze and resolve performance reductions and provide the best possible user experience. managers and infrastructures need to respond quickly to increased resource requirements. but also to broaden your understanding of the entire infrastructure from network to systems. Specialists will be best served by expanding their skills for each segment. It will become paramount not only to deepen existing skill sets.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Skills Required to Manage in the Cloud Understanding the different constituencies and their concerns has helped us to better grasp the skills and capabilities required to manage cloud environments. Technology professionals who have traditionally focused on any one of these areas must recognize that just as cloud computing compresses process requirements and infrastructure. and IP addresses and DNS properly managed. it will also compress many responsibilities into each specialist involved in the management of the environment. Network connections between the user community and the cloud data center must be optimized. the cloud provider’s infrastructure is very similar to onpremises infrastructure. . feature-rich and faster to use. beyond the disciplines on which they have traditionally focused. Network specialists need to recognize that servers have become simply another element of the infrastructure and adjust skills to accommodate. although the tools to do so will be much more Capacities Management. Especially in e-commerce applications where a lack of access availability translates into lost revenue and potentially lost customers. server replication.

which depends in large part upon the quality of user support. and active processes. Applications must be correctly configured for optimal performance. such as CPU utilization. high availability and fault tolerance. Managers need to know how to measure response time. The fact that they are located at a remote data center simply removes the responsibility and cost required to maintain and power and cool the physical hardware. Technology professionals must change their orientation accordingly to address each service as a service by preparing themselves to deal with the entire support system. They also need to know how to manage the performance of the servers that house those applications so they can understand the impact of server utilization factors. throughput. and user satisfaction. storage. The technology specialist must still perform all the processes that were required when the server was local. Services Management Each service delivered from a cloud environment depends upon many factors. Inc. alerting and reporting must be maintained to assure rapid response to anomalies or outages. availability. managing cloud computing requires greater focus on applications and everything that affects them. Because it abstracts the infrastructure and focuses on the delivery of services. resource utilization. network access and availability. including CPU. errors. . IT managers will want to be able to adapt services to suit their particular environment. those 14 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. will need to develop superior skills in delivering support remotely using session shadowing and other collaborative tools. This is as true of emerging cloud environments as it has ever been in on-premise deployments. While cloud providers routinely provide a self-service capability to instantiate and configure servers. user-support specialists Server Management It is important to remember that cloud servers are still servers. Resources must be provisioned and managed. Support Management The most important goal of any IT endeavor is to deliver the best possible user experience. One of the advantages of cloud computing is the abstraction of the service delivered to the user from the underlying technology required to deliver it. including all of the above.” Cloud customers expect solutions to be totally business-relevant and focused on overcoming corporate challenges. Optimal economies can be realized by rightsizing each server precisely to its specific use case and adjusting as requirements change.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud All technology professionals will want to improve upon their capacity planning skills to increase their ability to optimally provision and configure server resources in the cloud environment. storage I/O. storage and bandwidth. the network should be completely transparent to the user. allowing him to focus on the data and the processes he needs to perform with it. Those who have traditionally specialized in server management will recognize many of these as areas they have managed for a long time. In other words. and the network. memory. Monitoring. While most cloud server providers include provisions for load balancing. To take fullest advantage of the remote infrastructure of the cloud. Application Management The cloud brings us to an evolution in the use of the word “solution. It will be important for these professionals to add deeper understanding of the software mechanics of applications as well as focusing on how network bandwidth utilization and transport protocols can be tuned to positively impact and tune application performance. Those with narrowlyfocused expertise must learn about all the moving parts of the technology they support to survive and thrive in the cloud era. requiring the same administration and management as they would if they were physically located at your own location. and interacting with servers. memory.

Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud server instances must be carefully monitored to ensure they are functioning properly. shares and limits. Cloud Complexity and You The great promise of cloud computing is in making it simpler for users to enjoy better IT services at lower cost. it will fall at least in part to the IT department to manage utilization to maximize these savings. Should an entire machine become unnecessary to the operation of the cluster. . elasticity. aggressiveness and frequency. Technology professionals will want to learn more about optimizing virtual machine placement and adjusting storage Quality of Service parameters. Inc. While it makes things far simpler for users. including active processes. Management of Virtualization Virtualized servers are also still servers. Virtualization specialists will need to be able to evaluate the relative benefits of optimization against the potential latency introduced by the process. and scaleability of the cloud also brings increased complexity for those who are responsible for managing and maintaining these platforms.” 15 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. storage placement. and then reduce back to normal when the peak has ended. it would require the replacement of hardware and incurrence of significant downtime. The evaluation of optimal location is governed mainly by two criteria. CPU and memory utilization. including reservations. Skills in server provisioning. As their involvement in cloud computing grows. Since cost savings is such a primary driver of cloud adoption. requiring management and load balancing of their resources. In an on-premise environment. and performing optimally. Technology specialists need to plan their growth path now to secure their place in the management of cloud-based computing environments. the increased flexibility. IP address and DNS management. The cloud environment facilitates server problem resolution in that a troubled server instance can simply be deleted and replaced in seconds. technology professionals will be required to become more adept at the financial management of user/provider relationships. “Cloud computing enables IT managers to add computing resources as needed to accommodate peak periods of activity. it is powered down and later powered back on when it becomes needed again. The larger the cloud implementation. configuration and performance tuning will be required to facilitate rapid and accurate server modification and replacement. New virtualized machine management solutions are emerging that will perform virtual machine load balancing by moving VMs to the most optimal location in the host cluster automatically. Failure to reduce the capacities will incur unnecessary expense. Managing Costs Cloud computing enables IT managers to add computing resources as needed to accommodate peak periods of activity. the greater the savings that will come from carefully managing subscribed compute resources. and then reduce back to normal when the peak has ended. I/O and throughput.

com. The following courses are just a selection what's available to help you build the skills you need to build and maintain IT infrastructure in a cloud computing environment. visit www. Microsoft Cloud Courses Systems Center 10747 Administering System Center 2012 Con guration Manager 10748 Deploying System Center 2012 Con guration Manager 10750 Private Cloud Monitoring and Operations with System Center 2012 10751 Private Cloud Con guration and Deployment with System Center 2012 Windows Azure 50592 Advanced SQL Azure 50466 Windows Azure Solutions with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Windows PowerShell 50414 Microsoft Windows PowerShell v2 For Administrators Virtualization 10324 Implementing and Managing Microsoft Desktop Virtualization 10215 Implementing and Managing Microsoft Server Virtualization Windows 8 20687 Con guring Windows 8 50604 First Look: Microsoft Windows Server 8 For more information and to get started.newhorizons.Build Your Cloud Computing Skills Today Over its 30-year history New Horizons has transformed thousands of businesses and trained more than 30 million students worldwide. .

many operated by different providers with differing security policies and provisions. increased and more complex security will be required in an environment that features multiple network cores. But more than 70 percent of professionals reported the need for new skills to properly secure cloud-based technologies. data leakage. At the same time they have created a tremendous opportunity for technology professionals to fill a perceived shortage of highly skilled cloud security professionals. Also.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Cloud Security Skills – A Growing Need By Howard Cohen ost will agree that one of the biggest concerns about cloud computing is security. M organization involved in certifying information security professionals. One major cause for concern is that the customer’s data would no longer be housed within its own walls. Similarly. and more than 40 percent of respondents reported using software as a service. The need for strong user authentication and authorization technologies increases in an environment where the network edge consists of the entire internet. Inc. This year’s survey repeatedly illustrates 16 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. and that these concerns have created one of the biggest barriers to cloud adoption. but theft of data. More than 50 percent of information security professionals reported having private clouds in place. Early cloud adopters argue that they have more confidence in the security provided by a professionally operated data center than they do in their own security provisions. The Security Skills Gap • A clear skills gap exists that jeopardizes The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium ((ISC)2). a not-for-profit professionals’ ability to protect organizations in the near future. leaving the perception that the data is out in the open where it is vulnerable to theft or attack. Some of the key findings cited in this study include: • Cloud computing illustrates a serious gap between technology implementation and the skills necessary to provide security. Customers that make the mistake of assuming their cloud service provider owns full responsibility for data security soon come to realize that they must share that responsibility with their providers. Otherwise they are potentially putting the survival of their company in the provider’s hands. data spillage or accidental release of protected data are not the only concerns. since the economies of cloud computing are created by virtualized multitenant servers there is great concern that one tenant could access the data of another. . recently engaged the research firm of Frost & Sullivan to produce The 2011 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study.

They also say their systems and applications are not always evaluated for security threats prior to deployment to customers. According to a recent study by The Ponemon Institute that was commissioned by CA.” Of course. In this study. “The fundamental architecture of cloud computing connects data sources and services from many different sources to integrate superior solutions far more flexibly than ever before.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud the deployment of new technologies in the enterprise being offset by a demand for more security education on these technologies. it is they who are required to protect all corporate assets by their stakeholders. More than 20 percent of information security professionals reported involvement in software development. IT professionals responsible for data and network security at companies that use cloud computing will be expected to step up to meet these requirements. It is only they who will suffer from compromise or corruption of their corporate data assets. While they may be able to successfully prosecute a lack of due diligence on the part of a provider and receive partial remuneration. “The majority of cloud computing providers surveyed do not believe their organization views the security of their cloud services as a competitive advantage. Inc. Further. ultimate responsibility for data and network security always rests with the customers themselves. In fact. The fundamental architecture of cloud computing connects data sources and services from many different sources to integrate superior solutions far more flexibly than ever before.” 17 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. . • Professionals aren’t ready for social media threats. • Application vulnerabilities represent the number one threat to organizations. Many believe that security is furnished by the cloud providers themselves.” Ponemon suggests part of the reason behind this as being. Respondents reported inconsistent policies and protection for end-users visiting social media sites. they do not consider cloud computing security as one of their most important responsibilities and do not believe their products or services substantially protect and secure the confidential or sensitive information of their customers. requiring the security professional to develop skills in interfacing and integrating these divergent security platforms to The Opportunity Technology professionals who are concerned about being displaced by cloud computing should be encouraged by the breadth of new opportunities being created by the perceived need for greater security to protect and control data as it is migrated to the cloud. fully three-quarters of the more than 10. This is despite an overwhelming number of professionals having policies and tools in place to defend against mobile threats.000 respondents surveyed expressed the need for new skills training to better prepare for the growing ubiquity of cloud computing. “The majority of cloud providers believe it is their customer’s responsibility to secure the cloud and not their responsibility. Each of these data sources will have its own security provisions. and just less than 30 percent of respondents had no limits set whatsoever. cloud computing emerged as an area in particular where technology professionals indicated that new skills and new training were required. • Mobile devices were the second highest security concern for the organization.

to use the same device to do their work that they use to access entertainment and personal information. Those with fiduciary responsibility for the corporation’s data assets want that access to be well secured and resilient. Inc. These users want to be able to access their information effortlessly and very quickly. yet still providing the optimum user experience is not new. Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. It also extends to new skills created not as much by technology as by human involvement. and behavioral monitoring and analysis. more meaningful ways. It will also substantially reduce the investments required in corporate-supplied client devices. including regulatory compliance. data structures. as discussed earlier. will need to expand her skill sets to include every discipline that is involved in making and securing these connections. However. human resource and legal compliance. Any specialist wishing to focus on cloud security. flexibility. Users want 18 Back to Contents Skills Requirements Will Vary by Type of Cloud Remember that NIST. backbone. bus. yet secure. private cloud and hybrid cloud. monitoring the activities of individual users to identify unusual access attempts and other actions has become an important security consideration. The corporation wants these employees to use their own devices. network access and data management. protocol analysis and tuning. server operations. Making this more challenging is the advent of “BYOD” or “Bring Your Own Device” strategies created by the growing “consumerization” of computing. Very quickly. This includes network communications. Cloud Security Specialists will be challenged to achieve and maintain this balance between easy and flexible. Employers and their employees are also grasping the value of social networking to tie their people together with suppliers. It has been with us for as long as there has been distributed computing. With many studies agreeing that 80 percent or more of data exploits are committed by people inside the company. network access control. The Challenge Another fundamental element of the cloud computing environment lies in its openness. and fabric design. or any aspect of cloud computing for that matter. Cloud Security Specialists will be required to get each of these devices to conform to the access control configuration requirements of their network. This synergistic nature of cloud computing will require a broad understanding of how all of the components of the infrastructure interact with each other. service providers and other associates in deeper. .Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud protect the data while maintaining acceptable access by authorized users. storage infrastructure. The Cloud Security Specialist should see social networks as yet another way into the network that could potentially circumvent security measures. the increased flexibility and reach of the cloud substantially amplifies as many vulnerabilities as it does capabilities. identifies several basic types of cloud computing environments. including public cloud. increasing the number of access points geometrically. This balance between securing the assets and protecting the company. even software development and database management. data packet architecture. customers. as it will encourage them to extend their workday through travel time and back to their homes. and ease of information access. mobile devices and tablets are overtaking the desktop or laptop computer as the user access device of choice.

newhorizons. This creates a concern that the user or tenant of one virtual machine instance on a cloud server may be able to gain access to the information and programs of another tenant on the same physical server machine.227. Some of the most popular SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings are productivity. and applications among many different users from many different companies. as more companies migrate their primary messaging systems. a series of entries will need to be made to tell DNS to direct all traffic such as email. a process known as federation. Inc. IT security professionals will certainly be called upon to continue and extend their responsibility for control over user authentication and authorization to cloud-accessed services. This allows users to enter a memorable name. Each ISP has different ways of managing DNS.97. DNS is managed by various providers. which allows each machine to run multiple instances of an operating system each of which can belong to one or the other of the tenants. storage. Sharing of servers is achieved through virtualization. such as email or instant messenger. so it is important to develop a mastery of the fundamentals of DNS so you can easily configure and manage this key connection. and the DNS system will report back that this name is associated with the IP address 208.12. collaboration and communication services delivered over the internet. message retention policies and secure message integrity. such as hosted email. there will be a growing need to manage Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). . which provides resolves Universal Resource Locators (URLs) or internet names into the actual Internet Protocol (IP) addresses they represent. The primary connection between these services and the customer is achieved through reconfiguration of MX.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Skills Required in the Public Cloud By definition. a public cloud is a multi-tenant environment that achieves economies of scale by sharing pools of resources such as servers. instant messenger. the reality is quite the opposite. and applications among many different users from many different companies. “By definition. storage. to cloud-based servers. Cloud-based email also increases the need for close attention to privacy standards. and voice over IP or internet telephony. IT professionals will need to fully understand virtualization of servers to allow them to manage and prevent the possibility of data leakage from one tenant to another. ” 19 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. such as email. most usually a company’s Internet service provider (ISP).com. file management and sharing. such as www. there will be a growing need to properly manage the interaction with the network’s Active Directory. videoconferencing. however. a public cloud is a multi-tenant environment that achieves economies of scale by sharing pools of resources such as servers. This easily leads to the assumption that less attention to security is required. Skills Required in the Private Cloud Private clouds are considered private because they are designed for use by only one organization. and similar records in the Domain Name System (DNS). SRV. IM and voice applications to your cloud service provider. As more companies decide to allow other companies domains to interactively communicate with their domain. Similarly. When subscribing to public SaaS services.

to construct their cloud solutions. This leaves them exposed and vulnerable to all the same attacks and exploits as any traditional data center. The customer will still be the one to install applications and manage them. Many applications take advantage of active directory services to manage authentication and authorization. if not moreso. . Session In the cloud model. However. in which case they have all of the same security requirements as any other data center. and adds one of its own: Physical Private clouds may be built by companies within the confines of their own premises. A deeper understanding of packet communications. both public and private. this does not relieve the customer from owning ultimate responsibility. there will be a need to properly configure each system to properly interact with the others. such as Distributed Denial of Service attacks. This is true of the infrastructure within that data center only. are each major contributors to the costsaving and performance-enhancing features of cloud computing. the Session layer could more appropriately be termed the Server Operating System Layer. including the various mechanisms within the TCP/IP stack. Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. Private clouds may be built by companies in their own dedicated facilities. Even in the case of Virtual Private Clouds that are provisioned in a provider’s data center. Inc. Multi-tenant firewalling and the ability to properly monitor it are essential to assuring the security of the cloud to all tenants. Application IaaS allows customers to locate their servers in data centers that they themselves do not need to manage. As customers combine messaging services. to produce an environment of rich co-existence. The fact that the servers are not physically accessible to the IT professional has no impact upon the fact that they are servers that must be managed and administered as if they were located in the next room. Hackers can bring them down by using techniques. Private cloud security exists at most of the seven layers of the classic International Standards Organization – Open Systems Interconnect (ISO/OSI) model. The CA Ponemon study cited earlier indicates that virtual private cloud IaaS providers consider security to be part of their responsibility far moreso than public SaaS providers. and that network is vulnerable. private clouds are almost always connected to the global internet. This adds complexity to the security equation. stateful and stateless inspection technologies. many customers will also demand combinations of cloud services with on-premise systems. Skills Required in the Hybrid Cloud Many environments will choose to combine services from various cloud providers. 20 Back to Contents Virtualization While not a layer in the classic ISO-OSI model. but the cloud-based IT professional will need to be constantly monitoring and testing the effectiveness of these measures. the responsibilities of the IT professional remain identical to the on-premises environment. as they are in any network. The IT professional will need to learn more about Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and database linking and interoperability to properly manage this. MAC-layer addressing and Ethernet architecture are as necessary here. malware and firewall penetration. firewalls.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Like on-premise networks. storage virtualization and even desktop virtualization. as professionals now need to allow for security standards and provisions in addition to their own. Until they are completely comfortable with housing certain data remotely. Network The fact that the core of the network is physically removed from the edge does not change the fact that there is a network connecting them. In an IaaS or PaaS environment. the infrastructure for user access within a company’s facilities is still vulnerable to attack and must be properly protected. but more and more often virtual private clouds are being provisioned within the data centers of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers and other co-location or hosting facilities. server virtualization. sharing the domain name amongst them. phishing.

Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Be Secure in your Future with Cloud Security The rush to Cloud Computing is accelerating exponentially.and the emerging CSA STAR (Cloud Security Alliance Security Trust and Assurance Registry). it also creates the need for ambitious security specialists to broaden their knowledge and add significant new skills. . This increases not only the need for more cloud-savvy security technology professionals. measures and methods implemented by cloud providers to determine the extent to which they can be trusted with corporate data assets. Opportunities and Threats) will become mandatory. CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor). These include developing the ability to assess the security policies. Risk Management and Compliance) as well as SWOT analysis (Strengths. Those wishing to establish themselves as true cloud security experts should consider pursuing industry standard credentials such as CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) governed by (ISC)2. A working knowledge of GRC (Governance. Weaknesses. procedures. More systems in more combinations will produce more complexity and more potential security points of failure. 21 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. a globally accepted standard for audit. Inc. control and security professionals governed by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) .

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