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Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud
Contributors: Amy Newman and Howard Cohen.
Letter from the Editor
Cloud Computing for Integrators
Managing a Reliable Cloud Environment
Cloud Security Skills – A Growing Need
private. located in an organization’s data center or off premise. Successful network and systems integrators. and that means moving beyond one’s comfort zone. Cloud computing centers around the concept of sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices handle applications. 2 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. Inc. there is no one true path. With the rise of cloud computing has come many shifts. While IT professionals will be able to leverage many of their existing skills to manage cloud environments.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. available to anyone or organization that wishes to use it. however. private cloud or a hybrid of the two. or a combination of the two known as a hybrid. and that will require a deeper knowledge of newer technologies and services for Internet-connected providers to produce and deliver. This perceived shortage of highly skilled cloud security A professionals presents a unique opportunity for IT professionals. the cloud requires a holistic mindset. Clouds can be public. They will need to think of themselves as cloud integrators. Moving customer data outside of the organization is one of the biggest barriers to public cloud adoption. We hope you find this ebook a useful roadmap as you embark on your journey. will need to think beyond just bringing together the hardware and software components with which they are familiar. for example. There are. best practices for successfully reaching your destination. be it public cloud. its most recent incarnation began around the turn of this century when the concept of software as a service was born. not the least of which is a change in the skill sets required of IT professionals. This ebook will discuss core competencies needed to successfully administer a cloud environment as well as opportunities developing in the cloud computing market place. particularly when it comes to working with public clouds. When it comes to transitioning to a cloud computing environment. Security is another key component of cloud management. .
. It simply broadens the ways in which technologies can be integrated. you’re not alone. optimizing the communications Integrators From the moment there was more than one manufacturer making computer hardware devices and software developers creating applications. which creates the need to expand your knowledge and skills to take full advantage of the new flexibility. Network Integrators Network Integrators focus on the infrastructure that software applications require to run. the focus is on bringing different software systems together to work in concert. “Cloud computing” is not a starkly new and different technology. scalability and agility that cloud computing offers to companies large and small. there were integrators seeking to combine these products into superior solutions for themselves and their clients. Integration makes sense and brings value to information technology clients in that it creates choice at a component level.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Cloud Computing for Integrators By Howard Cohen If so. it is a set of technologies that have been in development for years and that allow us to deliver IT services in new ways.” For systems integrators. The good news is that the cloud does not reduce the need for integrators. but to continue to advance their careers upward through it. Once you’ve trained yourself on these new techniques and technologies. Many systems and network integrators share your concern and are actively seeking to understand what they need to do. with the integrator leveraging lower cost and higher performance to create client satisfaction. Inc. not only to remain in the industry. This includes creating connections between local area networks at disparate locations. information technology integrators have segregated themselves into two fundamental types: Systems Integrators According to the Wikipedia. “systems integration is the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications physically or functionally to act as a coordinated whole. C oncerned the cloud could displace you from your job? Over the past few decades. 3 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. you will become part of a new category of integrator – the Cloud Integrator.
This sharing allows the provider to dramatically reduce the cost to each customer. This is referred to as a “multi-tenant” environment in which each customer is firewalled from the others to assure information security and privacy. manage and archive email. well-known IT industry mainstays. Next: Cloud Integrators Cloud integrators will need to combine skills from both the network and systems Integration worlds. Google Apps for Business and IBM LotusLive. as well as relative newcomers including Amazon. Some of these providers are very large. 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. data preparation and migration. Others are far smaller in terms of resources and funding. and preparing yourself to manage in a cloud environment. storage and some applications. thus sharing one unit of server hardware among many customers. and ongoing training and support to deliver greater profitability from each subscription sale. and monitoring network functionality to assure business continuity and high-availability. particularly servers. particularly servers. Any given customer “Cloud computing moves some of your infrastructure. plus deeper knowledge of newer technologies that will enable them to bring together not only hardware and software components. These resellers employ cloud integrators to furnish their customers with initial planning and design services. Also. instant messenger. may be one of dozens or even hundreds of customers on the same server. and other data will also be critical. which has enabled providers to offer highly attractive pricing for their services. it’s important to recognize the differences between the very different types of clouds you will find yourself working in: public and private clouds. but also services that are produced and delivered by Internet-connected providers. Microsoft. HP and Savvis. Public & Private Cloud When discussing cloud computing. Google and Rackspace. storage and some applications. . assuring the security of data in transit. Public cloud services include Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Intune. training on how to properly migrate. focus on how to Cloud Computing Cloud computing moves some of your infrastructure. These are usually sold by subscription through resellers who function as sales agents. Since public cloud services usually include email and unified communications. to a remote data center operated by a professional provider. Properly selecting the right providers for a particular requirement will be a skill that cloud Integrators will need to develop.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud between them. such as IBM. Inc. 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. Public cloud delivers applications to a wide variety of customers using shared systems.” 4 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. This multi-tenancy is enabled by server and storage virtualization technologies that allow large. to a remote data center operated by a professional provider. along with hybrids of the two. robust servers to run many “instances” of the server operating system.
• 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. multi-tenant separation (for Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. applications and networking as before. 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. memory. • 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. storage. • Resource pooling The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model. 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. To expand upon this. to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in. processing. including voice and video.g. and active user accounts).. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics: as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider. and reported providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.. the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time. such as server time and network storage. including resource provisioning. and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. servers.g. Private cloud environments are designed to serve one specific customer with no multi-tenancy.g. networks. or it may be built in an integrator’s facilities and managed by that integrator. applications. bandwidth. A private cloud may be built and delivered from a provider’s remote datacenter. These characteristics offer insight into the broad scope of knowledge cloud integrators will require. controlled. processing. Resource usage can be monitored.. and virtual machines. state. 5 Back to Contents . laptops. In fact. • On-demand self-service A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities. 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. To the consumer. Examples of resources include storage.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud manage multiple data types.. Inc. It’s completely transparent to them. country. In a successful private cloud environment. mobile phones. 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. Many systems and network Integrators will find private cloud to be a very familiar environment to work in. in some cases automatically. or it may be constructed on the client’s premises. storage.g. and PDAs). • Rapid elasticity Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned. as they will still be called upon to do many of the things they have always done in other environments. network bandwidth. the users never “see” or concern themselves with the technology. They will still need to manage servers. with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. or datacenter). 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. network access control for a wide variety of client devices. storage. ondemand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.
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. Storage Virtualization Storage area networks (SANs) can also be virtualized to dynamically allocate storage space not only among users. virtualization of servers. Cloud integrators will be called upon to know how to combine some services from remote data centers with applications that must run on premises. measurement and management of many service components. Inc. Cloud integrators will want to study each to understand the comparative strengths and weaknesses. as well as their requirements. even automatically shutting down machines that have been emptied of server instances. Customers will want or need to keep some data within their own walls until they can completely trust the security of cloud providers. but also among different companies all sharing a cloudbased SAN. such as Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager or VMware’s vCenter. 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. including: Server Virtualization The virtualization engine that underlies server virtualization is referred to as the “hypervisor. thus saving power.” The three primary hypervisor environments are Microsoft Hyper-V. security and data interchange standards. desktops and more. Optimization of the virtualized server environment is achieved by automating the movement of server instances to the most cost-effective server machine available. VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer. Virtualization The most important skillset to master in private cloud computing will be the implementation and ongoing management of the many virtualization technologies. This must be balanced against maintaining the security of company data. as well as monitoring. This requires working knowledge of virtualization management systems. too. Cloud integrators should seek training on 6 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. . storage. Hybrid cloud approaches will be necessary for a long time to come as companies work to transition to cloud computing services. Overall.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. The primary compelling reasons to transition are to reduce their costs and increase service levels.
making it possible to use much less bandwidth and still get better response time. At the core of this new learning will be the need for a deep understanding of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Following the self-service characteristic of cloud computing. similar to the way in which B2B eCommerce supply chain systems like Microsoft’s BizTalk Server connect suppliers. wherever he may be. 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. Cloud integrators will need to develop VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastrcuture) skills on products such as Microsoft Terminal Services. These workflows may be executed within a specific organization or may cross multiple organizational lines. manufacturers. a time when cloud integrators will not be integrating hardware or software. customers and others to facilitate rapid process execution.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud how to manage SANs. even more will require the professional to become adept at securely connecting services from many cloud providers to various interrelated members of supply chains. This foresees. This is far less data to transmit than entire applications. Inc. 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 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. 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. Desktop Virtualization The ultimate cloud experience is the ability to access data. but when combined through programming or other management create useful functionality available over a web browser or web-enabled application. then. 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. applications and other resources from whatever device a user may have. SOA design principles are used during the phases of systems development and integration. of principles and methodologies for designing and developing software in the form of interoperable services. . Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp. in which small pieces of code perform very specific functions that would never logically stand alone. 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. on whatever network he has access to.” 7 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. While many of these opportunities will require enhanced understanding of software development and application delivery. This is a logical consequence of the emergence of webparts. VMware View and others.” It is no surprise that these architectural standards are emerging in parallel with the growth of cloud computing. 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.
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. security standards and how to coordinate them between divergent providers and coordination of directory and name services between vastly different platforms. and systems integrators concerned themselves with the loading of software onto properly configured systems. Similarly. recently introducing control plane Integration for Cloud Services. 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. In just the past few years Dell has acquired Boomi. The cloud integrator will need to be able to translate technology infrastructure into service deliverables. SaaS or On-Premise applications with no appliances. 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. workflow management. making it part of its WebSphere line of products. and 8 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. Summary The world of the cloud integrator will differ widely from that of their network and systems integration predecessors. no software and no coding. . 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. Rapidly deliver cloud integration projects in days and achieve higher return on investment in software as a service (SaaS) and cloud models. HP has also entered into cloud integration.” With introduction of more new technologies to integrate also comes the need for more and better trained Cloud Integrators to bring this all together. calling it “The No.” IBM and Dell have both recently introduced servers that have enough memory and processing power to support several hundred virtualized server operating system instances. private clouds and on-premise applications. Boomi’s Atomsphere® “allows you to connect any combination of Cloud.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. Where network integrators focused solely on communications protocols and standards. 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. not coding’ approach to solve the entire lifecycle of your cloud integration. the cloud integrator will need a broader education in both of these disciplines and much more. interprocess communications. 1 Integration Cloud™”. IBM acquired Cast Iron Systems. Leverage reusable process templates and use a ‘configuration. Inc.
presentation and application skills. and all will need to develop far deeper capacity planning. network and data security and systems management skills. 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. nimbleness and profitability than ever before. while network integrators will want to focus on session. 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. System specialists will want to take the time now to improve their understanding of internetworking transport and network protocols. The future promise of all of this is a computing environment that is richly resourced. This will require disciplinary cross-training on a whole new scale. and all of the information being shared about cloud computing in general are still in their formative stages. 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. creating the opportunity for businesses that use them to achieve higher levels of agility. NIST. 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. . 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. highly flexible and scalable. provisioning. Because users will feel the need to keep certain applications and data sets housed within their own walls. All of the standards described in this white paper.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud speak two languages simultaneously.” 9 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. “The world of the cloud integrator will differ widely from that of their network and systems integration predecessors. Gartner. Inc.
newhorizons. retain and apply new knowledge.aspx . and VMware. allow us to offer the courses you need to leverage your current skills and adopt new ones to gain a competitive advantage. and what we plan to do well into the future. New Horizons helps the world’s workforce stay proficient with the latest technologies and achieve their career goals.com/Cloud-Computing. New Horizons is the world’s largest independent IT training company. award-winning learning methods have revolutionized the way students learn. It’s what we’ve been doing better than anyone else for 30 years.As the world of cloud computing continues to evolve at light speed. Cisco. www. including Microsoft. Our partnerships with major developers of cloud technology. With 300 centers in 70 countries. Our innovative.
servers. storage and other resources is enabled by virtualization technologies. and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Inc. applications.” This is challenging because many. storage. the cost of hardware. Each of those customers pays a fraction of the cost of the infrastructure used to support them.. . reliable state that provides an optimal user experience requires careful management. storage. In large part these savings come from the economies realized by using a “shared pool of configurable computing resources. many different definitions of everything having to do with cloud computing. Prior to the introduction of virtualized servers. each server only ran one instance of the server operating system. including networks.” Because they are shared. 10 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. we need to establish a common understanding of just what it is that needs to be managed “in the cloud. For the purposes of this article. Virtualized servers run dozens. in that it added the cost of communications with that server. of instances of the server operating system in a multitenant environment. and soon hundreds. Moving that single-user server to a remote data center actually increased costs. sounds very similar to what most network managers are responsible for managing right now and. 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. software C and operations is distributed among all users. ondemand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e. achieving a stable. Before we can discuss the management of a reliable cloud environment. The list of resource examples. servers. in fact. networks. many people have offered up many.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. One of the primary benefits of cloud computing that is cited frequently is cost savings. The ability to share server. creating substantial cost savings per customer.g. applications and services. This allows one unit of hardware to serve dozens and soon hundreds of customers. it is. 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. Just like any other service delivery method.
• Private cloud: The cloud infrastructure is designed. they do manage operating systems. and what new skills they will require in this new environment. That includes networks. Automated billing must also be managed in a cloud provider’s data center. but it will also take full advantage of their existing expertise. networking and other fundamental computing resources. it will need a fully automated system to help manage the systems. • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) allows the customer to develop his own applications using programming tools and utilities supported by the provider. and how it needs to be managed. the correct answer depends upon perspective. Cloud Computing Services Customer From the perspective of the technology specialist working for a company that is using cloud services. 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. While customers do not manage or control the underlying infrastructure. and because cloud providers need to offer customer selfservice capability. and the core enabling technology behind it. infrastructure and that is typically accessed using a web browser. developed. what needs to be managed are very much the same things that any data center has had to manage. • Public cloud: The cloud infrastructure is owned by a cloud services provider who makes it available to the general public or large industry group. It is important to remember that “cloud” is a broadly applied term. The concerns and requirements that revolve around a public cloud delivering software as a service. The NIST definition of cloud computing identifies three fundamental service models that will help us to better understand these new skill requirements.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Fundamentals of Cloud Computing Delivery With this understanding of what cloud computing is. • 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. As with so many things. storage. • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provisions processing. These are: • Hybrid cloud: Especially in the early period of transition. we are ready to begin to answer the question of what needs to be managed. what needs to be managed. storage and bandwidth performance to assure that their systems exceed their contracted service levels and provide the best possible customer experience. servers. which generally distinguishes IT capabilities that are provided as a service. . applications and services. If the infrastructure is instead located at a provider’s data center. They also need to monitor server. and continuing in many environments where some specific types of data must remain on premises by regulatory or fiduciary requirement. and deployed for use by one organization and is usually located on premises owned by that organization. by whom. The change will require these specialists to acquire new skills. storage. it is referred to as a Virtual Private Cloud or Remote Private Cloud. Because a cloud provider’s data center houses hundreds of servers. usually from a remote data center. some customers will construct systems that combine their on premises resources with cloud services. SaaS is usually delivered from a public cloud. how it creates cost savings. Inc. 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. such as IP communications. applications and data. has changed and will continue to change and improve as cloud computing technologies and best practices mature over the next several years.
Customers have the right to demand specific performance from their cloud services. That is what makes this such a critical metric. Since their customers subscribe to and pay for a specific service level. “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. In fact. the majority of problems they actually resolve focus on carrier outages or reductions in service. bandwidth. 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. . are extremely reliable and rarely fail. Some may manage both. Proper vigilance through aggressive network and systems management can help to assure it. When Microsoft announces that its online services will provide a service level of “three nines. The primary concerns of the cloud computing user boil down to two fundamental concepts: routers. With cloud computing. 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. measured. I/O. and each can introduce latency. When the service is unavailable. alert. while others focus on the underlying infrastructure. switches. Inc. measured as a percentage of uptime.” 12 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. Latency translates into user dissatisfaction. modems. and reported for much the same reason. will be substantially different from those of a private cloud providing infrastructure as a service.” it is committing that the service will be available 99. Some technology professionals will be required to provide end-user support of the end-user services. Performance monitoring looks at CPU. and any other factor that can potentially create delay.9 percent of the time. users stop working. which is the provider’s commitment to high availability. storage. software as a service. and other cloud services must each be separately monitored. • Availability or Quality of Service Every cloud service subscription includes a Service Level Agreement. including • Performance There are many moving parts to any compute environment.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud for example. many more services are introduced that carry a Service Level Agreement. but independent monitoring is required to assure accuracy. The carriers themselves report on Quality of Service regularly. and report on network hardware failures. memory utilization. Technology professionals will need a broad familiarity with every part of the infrastructure to enable them to identify and evaluate potential bottlenecks and anomalies. 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. and other network interface devices. network. Many network managers report that the network hardware. The Quality of Service for cloud-delivered servers. Most network management services promote themselves based on their ability to identify.
and IP addresses and DNS properly managed. Servers must be provisioned and managed. Inc. . Each of the following segments of the cloud environment will require constant. although the tools to do so will be much more Capacities Management. Specialists will be best served by expanding their skills for each segment. Users can increase server resources with a simple request to respond to increased demand from additional users or larger workloads. The cloud’s virtualized environment must be load-balanced. The same requirements for security and regulatory compliance apply in a cloudbased infrastructure. Network specialists need to recognize that servers have become simply another element of the infrastructure and adjust skills to accommodate. but also to broaden your understanding of the entire infrastructure from network to systems. 13 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. the cloud provider’s infrastructure is very similar to onpremises infrastructure.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. It will become paramount not only to deepen existing skill sets. it will also compress many responsibilities into each specialist involved in the management of the environment. 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. add network protocol management to your skill set. feature-rich and faster to use. Scalability can also significantly impact speed to market for large e-commerce organizations. Cloud-based strategies create the requirement to return to a broader. careful management. Provisioning & Proactive Scaling One of the most attractive and distinguishing features of cloud computing services is that they offer tremendous elasticity. Especially in e-commerce applications where a lack of access availability translates into lost revenue and potentially lost customers. beyond the disciplines on which they have traditionally focused. Technology professionals who have traditionally focused on any one of these areas must recognize that just as cloud computing compresses process requirements and infrastructure. The Information Technology ecosystem is completing a cycle that started with the rise of the technology generalist. more generalized knowledge of every factor that can impact availability and performance. This scalability must be carefully monitored and managed so that the increased resources can be removed when no longer needed. server replication. managers and infrastructures need to respond quickly to increased resource requirements. Network connections between the user community and the cloud data center must be optimized. close. If you have focused previously on servers. The good news for technology specialists is that they will be able to leverage most all of the skills they have already acquired. followed by granular specialization. The cost savings realized from cloud computing can easily be lost to inadvertent overprovisioning. data mirroring and data compression. Both primary and backup storage must be adequately provisioned with configurations for blocklevel snapshotting. Infrastructure Management Even though it may be located at a distant data center. with properly placed virtual machines and data workloads.
Services Management Each service delivered from a cloud environment depends upon many factors.” Cloud customers expect solutions to be totally business-relevant and focused on overcoming corporate challenges. memory. Optimal economies can be realized by rightsizing each server precisely to its specific use case and adjusting as requirements change. such as CPU utilization. In other words. 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. Applications must be correctly configured for optimal 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. including CPU. Inc. While cloud providers routinely provide a self-service capability to instantiate and configure servers. Resources must be provisioned and managed. While most cloud server providers include provisions for load balancing. requiring the same administration and management as they would if they were physically located at your own location. storage. will need to develop superior skills in delivering support remotely using session shadowing and other collaborative tools. The technology specialist must still perform all the processes that were required when the server was local. the network should be completely transparent to the user. Monitoring. Those who have traditionally specialized in server management will recognize many of these as areas they have managed for a long time. availability. This is as true of emerging cloud environments as it has ever been in on-premise deployments. network access and availability. memory. IT managers will want to be able to adapt services to suit their particular environment. allowing him to focus on the data and the processes he needs to perform with it. throughput. which depends in large part upon the quality of user support. errors. user-support specialists Server Management It is important to remember that cloud servers are still servers. managing cloud computing requires greater focus on applications and everything that affects them. storage I/O. 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. Technology professionals must change their orientation accordingly to address each service as a service by preparing themselves to deal with the entire support system. . Support Management The most important goal of any IT endeavor is to deliver the best possible user experience. Because it abstracts the infrastructure and focuses on the delivery of services. and active processes. and interacting with servers. alerting and reporting must be maintained to assure rapid response to anomalies or outages. Application Management The cloud brings us to an evolution in the use of the word “solution. high availability and fault tolerance. To take fullest advantage of the remote infrastructure of the cloud. 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. 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. including all of the above. those 14 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. and the network. storage and bandwidth. resource utilization. and user satisfaction. Managers need to know how to measure response time.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.
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. Technology professionals will want to learn more about optimizing virtual machine placement and adjusting storage Quality of Service parameters. Since cost savings is such a primary driver of cloud adoption. it would require the replacement of hardware and incurrence of significant downtime. Technology specialists need to plan their growth path now to secure their place in the management of cloud-based computing environments. CPU and memory utilization. Virtualization specialists will need to be able to evaluate the relative benefits of optimization against the potential latency introduced by the process. including reservations. The evaluation of optimal location is governed mainly by two criteria. Management of Virtualization Virtualized servers are also still servers. I/O and throughput. storage placement. it is powered down and later powered back on when it becomes needed again. While it makes things far simpler for users. including active processes. Skills in server provisioning. . aggressiveness and frequency. In an on-premise environment. “Cloud computing enables IT managers to add computing resources as needed to accommodate peak periods of activity. and performing optimally. Failure to reduce the capacities will incur unnecessary expense. IP address and DNS management. 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. the greater the savings that will come from carefully managing subscribed compute resources. shares and limits. and then reduce back to normal when the peak has ended. it will fall at least in part to the IT department to manage utilization to maximize these savings.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud server instances must be carefully monitored to ensure they are functioning properly. The cloud environment facilitates server problem resolution in that a troubled server instance can simply be deleted and replaced in seconds. Managing Costs Cloud computing enables IT managers to add computing resources as needed to accommodate peak periods of activity.” 15 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. the increased flexibility. Inc. The larger the cloud implementation. As their involvement in cloud computing grows. technology professionals will be required to become more adept at the financial management of user/provider relationships. requiring management and load balancing of their resources. and scaleability of the cloud also brings increased complexity for those who are responsible for managing and maintaining these platforms. and then reduce back to normal when the peak has ended. Should an entire machine become unnecessary to the operation of the cluster. elasticity.
.com.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. 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.newhorizons. 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. visit www.
Similarly. 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. 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. At the same time they have created a tremendous opportunity for technology professionals to fill a perceived shortage of highly skilled cloud security professionals. recently engaged the research firm of Frost & Sullivan to produce The 2011 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study. but theft of data. The Security Skills Gap • A clear skills gap exists that jeopardizes The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium ((ISC)2). and more than 40 percent of respondents reported using software as a service.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. Inc. 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. Also. . data spillage or accidental release of protected data are not the only concerns. many operated by different providers with differing security policies and provisions. M organization involved in certifying information security professionals. This year’s survey repeatedly illustrates 16 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. data leakage. One major cause for concern is that the customer’s data would no longer be housed within its own walls. and that these concerns have created one of the biggest barriers to cloud adoption. But more than 70 percent of professionals reported the need for new skills to properly secure cloud-based technologies. a not-for-profit professionals’ ability to protect organizations in the near future. The need for strong user authentication and authorization technologies increases in an environment where the network edge consists of the entire internet. leaving the perception that the data is out in the open where it is vulnerable to theft or attack. 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. More than 50 percent of information security professionals reported having private clouds in place. increased and more complex security will be required in an environment that features multiple network cores.
” 17 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. It is only they who will suffer from compromise or corruption of their corporate data assets. fully three-quarters of the more than 10.” Ponemon suggests part of the reason behind this as being.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. “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. • Professionals aren’t ready for social media threats. Each of these data sources will have its own security provisions. While they may be able to successfully prosecute a lack of due diligence on the part of a provider and receive partial remuneration. . According to a recent study by The Ponemon Institute that was commissioned by CA. More than 20 percent of information security professionals reported involvement in software development. 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. • Application vulnerabilities represent the number one threat to organizations. • Mobile devices were the second highest security concern for the organization. They also say their systems and applications are not always evaluated for security threats prior to deployment to customers.” Of course. Further. This is despite an overwhelming number of professionals having policies and tools in place to defend against mobile threats. IT professionals responsible for data and network security at companies that use cloud computing will be expected to step up to meet these requirements. Many believe that security is furnished by the cloud providers themselves. In fact. cloud computing emerged as an area in particular where technology professionals indicated that new skills and new training were required. and just less than 30 percent of respondents had no limits set whatsoever. “The majority of cloud providers believe it is their customer’s responsibility to secure the cloud and not their responsibility. it is they who are required to protect all corporate assets by their stakeholders.000 respondents surveyed expressed the need for new skills training to better prepare for the growing ubiquity of cloud computing. 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. 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. Respondents reported inconsistent policies and protection for end-users visiting social media sites. In this study. “The majority of cloud computing providers surveyed do not believe their organization views the security of their cloud services as a competitive advantage. ultimate responsibility for data and network security always rests with the customers themselves. Inc.
mobile devices and tablets are overtaking the desktop or laptop computer as the user access device of choice. private cloud and hybrid cloud. Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. Inc. Cloud Security Specialists will be required to get each of these devices to conform to the access control configuration requirements of their network. as it will encourage them to extend their workday through travel time and back to their homes. or any aspect of cloud computing for that matter. protocol analysis and tuning. . Employers and their employees are also grasping the value of social networking to tie their people together with suppliers. Those with fiduciary responsibility for the corporation’s data assets want that access to be well secured and resilient. Any specialist wishing to focus on cloud security. yet secure. to use the same device to do their work that they use to access entertainment and personal information. and fabric design. data structures. more meaningful ways. It has been with us for as long as there has been distributed computing. human resource and legal compliance. network access control. Making this more challenging is the advent of “BYOD” or “Bring Your Own Device” strategies created by the growing “consumerization” of computing. bus. and ease of information access. monitoring the activities of individual users to identify unusual access attempts and other actions has become an important security consideration. It will also substantially reduce the investments required in corporate-supplied client devices. even software development and database management. Cloud Security Specialists will be challenged to achieve and maintain this balance between easy and flexible. flexibility. network access and data management. The Challenge Another fundamental element of the cloud computing environment lies in its openness. Very quickly. storage infrastructure. identifies several basic types of cloud computing environments. the increased flexibility and reach of the cloud substantially amplifies as many vulnerabilities as it does capabilities. will need to expand her skill sets to include every discipline that is involved in making and securing these connections. backbone. including public cloud. This balance between securing the assets and protecting the company. Users want 18 Back to Contents Skills Requirements Will Vary by Type of Cloud Remember that NIST. With many studies agreeing that 80 percent or more of data exploits are committed by people inside the company.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud protect the data while maintaining acceptable access by authorized users. The Cloud Security Specialist should see social networks as yet another way into the network that could potentially circumvent security measures. The corporation wants these employees to use their own devices. It also extends to new skills created not as much by technology as by human involvement. This synergistic nature of cloud computing will require a broad understanding of how all of the components of the infrastructure interact with each other. as discussed earlier. However. including regulatory compliance. and behavioral monitoring and analysis. customers. yet still providing the optimum user experience is not new. data packet architecture. service providers and other associates in deeper. server operations. This includes network communications. increasing the number of access points geometrically. These users want to be able to access their information effortlessly and very quickly.
as more companies migrate their primary messaging systems. collaboration and communication services delivered over the internet. ” 19 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. When subscribing to public SaaS services. This allows users to enter a memorable name. message retention policies and secure message integrity.com.12. and voice over IP or internet telephony. most usually a company’s Internet service provider (ISP). 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. a public cloud is a multi-tenant environment that achieves economies of scale by sharing pools of resources such as servers.227. storage. IM and voice applications to your cloud service provider. SRV. Cloud-based email also increases the need for close attention to privacy standards. and applications among many different users from many different companies. “By definition. . so it is important to develop a mastery of the fundamentals of DNS so you can easily configure and manage this key connection. there will be a growing need to properly manage the interaction with the network’s Active Directory. 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. DNS is managed by various providers. which provides resolves Universal Resource Locators (URLs) or internet names into the actual Internet Protocol (IP) addresses they represent. such as www. a process known as federation. and similar records in the Domain Name System (DNS). Each ISP has different ways of managing DNS. a public cloud is a multi-tenant environment that achieves economies of scale by sharing pools of resources such as servers.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Skills Required in the Public Cloud By definition. the reality is quite the opposite. storage. however. 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.97. such as email or instant messenger. file management and sharing. videoconferencing. Some of the most popular SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings are productivity. there will be a growing need to manage Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS). instant messenger. This easily leads to the assumption that less attention to security is required. Sharing of servers is achieved through virtualization.newhorizons. Similarly. Inc. to cloud-based servers. As more companies decide to allow other companies domains to interactively communicate with their domain. such as email. 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. and the DNS system will report back that this name is associated with the IP address 208. such as hosted email. The primary connection between these services and the customer is achieved through reconfiguration of MX. a series of entries will need to be made to tell DNS to direct all traffic such as email. and applications among many different users from many different companies. Skills Required in the Private Cloud Private clouds are considered private because they are designed for use by only one organization.
Inc. A deeper understanding of packet communications. In an IaaS or PaaS environment. both public and private. Skills Required in the Hybrid Cloud Many environments will choose to combine services from various cloud providers. as they are in any network. MAC-layer addressing and Ethernet architecture are as necessary here. This leaves them exposed and vulnerable to all the same attacks and exploits as any traditional data center. private clouds are almost always connected to the global internet. 20 Back to Contents Virtualization While not a layer in the classic ISO-OSI model. . as professionals now need to allow for security standards and provisions in addition to their own. Multi-tenant firewalling and the ability to properly monitor it are essential to assuring the security of the cloud to all tenants. and adds one of its own: Physical Private clouds may be built by companies within the confines of their own premises. 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. the responsibilities of the IT professional remain identical to the on-premises environment. The IT professional will need to learn more about Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and database linking and interoperability to properly manage this. However. the infrastructure for user access within a company’s facilities is still vulnerable to attack and must be properly protected. including the various mechanisms within the TCP/IP stack. Until they are completely comfortable with housing certain data remotely. As customers combine messaging services. sharing the domain name amongst them. if not moreso. storage virtualization and even desktop virtualization. many customers will also demand combinations of cloud services with on-premise systems. Private cloud security exists at most of the seven layers of the classic International Standards Organization – Open Systems Interconnect (ISO/OSI) model. Private clouds may be built by companies in their own dedicated facilities. such as Distributed Denial of Service attacks. and that network is vulnerable. this does not relieve the customer from owning ultimate responsibility. to construct their cloud solutions. in which case they have all of the same security requirements as any other data center. there will be a need to properly configure each system to properly interact with the others.Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud Like on-premise networks. the Session layer could more appropriately be termed the Server Operating System Layer. malware and firewall penetration. Even in the case of Virtual Private Clouds that are provisioned in a provider’s data center. The customer will still be the one to install applications and manage them. phishing. Application IaaS allows customers to locate their servers in data centers that they themselves do not need to manage. Hackers can bring them down by using techniques. firewalls. This is true of the infrastructure within that data center only. server virtualization. but the cloud-based IT professional will need to be constantly monitoring and testing the effectiveness of these measures. 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. stateful and stateless inspection technologies. 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. Session In the cloud model. Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. This adds complexity to the security equation. 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. to produce an environment of rich co-existence. Many applications take advantage of active directory services to manage authentication and authorization. are each major contributors to the costsaving and performance-enhancing features of cloud computing.
a globally accepted standard for audit. These include developing the ability to assess the security policies. A working knowledge of GRC (Governance.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. Weaknesses. More systems in more combinations will produce more complexity and more potential security points of failure. Inc. control and security professionals governed by ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) . Risk Management and Compliance) as well as SWOT analysis (Strengths. Opportunities and Threats) will become mandatory. 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.and the emerging CSA STAR (Cloud Security Alliance Security Trust and Assurance Registry). . 21 Back to Contents Cloud Computing: Discover the Skills that Power the Cloud © 2012 QuinStreet. it also creates the need for ambitious security specialists to broaden their knowledge and add significant new skills. measures and methods implemented by cloud providers to determine the extent to which they can be trusted with corporate data assets. procedures. CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor). This increases not only the need for more cloud-savvy security technology professionals.
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