The 1960s was a period rich in revolution and counterculture, encompassing everything from the Vietnam War to the space race to Woodstock. It’s hard to believe that during the midst of so much turbulence, the earliest sections of the ‘information superhighway’ were already being laid – what we often think of today as “the cloud.”
Fast forward nearly 50 years later, and the Internet – once described as a “Galactic computer network” to access data and programs from any site, connects virtually the entire human race with varying levels of quality in efficiency, bandwidth, and price.
“The one thing you can bet on is that the cloud is always changing,” said Len Whitten, Sr. Director, Cloud Services Product Management, Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS). Whitten, who has been building cloud environments for organizations since the early days of the Internet, says companies are turning to the cloud to keep costs down, deploy IT quickly, and help them scale, react, deploy, and test their IT environments. “The cloud is an effective way to accomplish these tasks and more,” he explained, “and Sungard AS gives its customers the tools to meet those challenges.”
“If you want to roll up 100 VMs (virtual machines) quickly, I can do that today, where I couldn’t do that in the past,” noted Whitten. “Before, you had to build a data center out of scratch and order your own racks and servers. If a customer already had their own cloud, it was hard to monitor and manage it.”
Moreover, a provider like Sungard AS can offer more security than a customer could on their own because a cloud provider can develop and scale expertise that an individual customer would never be able to match without considerable expense.
“It’s getting easier for companies to let go and house their cloud environment completely within their partner’s infrastructure. A few years ago, there was huge reluctance to give up control,” Whitten added.
Customers typically wanted to know what would happen if a server went down – and what they should do if their CEO called them in the middle of the night for a status report. “If you hire the right vendor, they will constantly manage and monitor that environment for you – which is frequently more than any one company can do on its own,” Whitten stated.
“Make sure you engage with your partner – don’t be afraid to outsource your security protection to someone who’s really good and willing to do it on your behalf,” Whitten advised.
He added that organizations shouldn’t worry about displacing employees when signing on with a cloud partner. Instead, organizations can focus their precious IT resources on opportunities that add to the bottom line, instead of having them scan the horizon for threats.
It may sound like you need superhuman strength to manage and protect your cloud. Ironically, before the Internet was developed, DC Comics introduced The Justice League in 1960, a team of superheroes who together handled threats too massive for any single hero. Made up of the world’s greatest super heroes, the Justice League characters could surround and subdue each new threat.
Sungard AS’ own team of IT super heroes, the Resilient 4, features a malleable techno-warrior known as “Cloud” whose bionic flexibility provides unprecedented computing power, ensuring your hybrid IT environments, critical applications, and data are ready and available for action.
Much like Sungard AS’ “Cloud,” Whitten envisions two key super powers being indispensable for any IT leader: “If I could assume superhuman powers to help customers with the cloud, it would be the ability to be both invisible and flexible,” Whitten said. “In fact, that’s what we do at Sungard AS. Being present without getting in the way allows customers to accomplish what they want without worrying about the details. We are right there with them, always watching and taking the hits for them.”
Related Business Solution: Cloud Services