Book Review - To The Cloud: Cloud Powering an Enterprise

2nd Apr 2012
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To The Cloud: Cloud Powering an Enterprise
There are many books on Cloud Computing in the market today. Most of them focus on the technical aspects of dealing with designing, developing and deploying applications on various Cloud Computing platforms. The target audience of these books happens to be developers or IT professionals. But when it comes to senior decision makers and CXOs, there are not many resources that give them the big picture of the Cloud. That’s where the book To The Cloud: Cloud Powering an Enterprise shines. It is a prescriptive guide to the CIOs who are keen on adopting the Cloud. It provides a comprehensive framework for the decision makers to systematically move to the Cloud.

where can i buy cigars onlineAuthored by the senior leaders from Microsoft, To The Cloud: Cloud Powering an Enterprise reflects the real-world experience of dealing with internal IT and the challenges of moving to the Cloud. Though all the authors come with strong Microsoft pedigree, this book offers a generic framework to embrace the Cloud running on any technology stack which makes it a credible resource for CIOs.

With less than 100 pages, this is a great read during a short flight. Each chapter is modular and makes it an easy read to absorb the key points effortlessly. Each chapter focuses on a specific milestone of the Cloud adoption lifecycle. CIOs will easily be able to relate to the terminology and nomenclature used in the book. The 4 Es of moving to the Cloud – Explore, Envision, Enable and Execute provide a programmatic approach to the Cloud. Irrespective of the phase that your enterprise may be in the adoption of Cloud, you will find this book as a great reference.

The book has 5 chapters with each chapter addressing an important aspect of Cloud Computing. Here is a quick summary of each of these chapters.

Chapter 1 – Explore: This chapter demystifies the Cloud by explaining the key service models including IaaS, PaaS and SaaS and the implementation models like Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Community Cloud. It defines the key attributes of the Cloud and explains the subtle differences between similar technologies and the Cloud. This vets the appetite of the reader to go to the next chapter to understand the benefits of the Cloud for his organization.

Chapter 2 – Envision: This chapter discusses the key motivations to move to the Cloud. It helps the CIO to make a strong case for the Cloud within his organization. This chapter lays down a plan for the readiness of the organization to bring all the stakeholders onto the same page. By discussing the key scenarios and the typical patterns of the Cloud ready applications, it makes the job easy to identify the initial set of workloads that are ideal candidates for the Cloud. It touches upon the key success metrics that help the organization measure the RoI from Cloud.

Chapter 3 – Enable: Having explained the benefits of moving to the Cloud, this chapter takes a practical approach of defining an end-to-end plan to adopt the Cloud. It starts with the parameters to choose the right Cloud provider and goes on to explain how to design a pilot to move internal applications to the Cloud. This chapter addresses the cultural challenges of moving to the Cloud that spans multiple departments of an enterprise. Finally, it introduces the latest shift in development and operations model called DevOps that changes the SDLC from a waterfall model to an agile and iterative approach.

Chapter 4 – Execute: This is where the rubber hits the road - the application moves to the Cloud! This chapter talks about optimizing applications to take advantage of the Cloud. It emphasizes the fact that moving to the Cloud is not merely fork lifting an application from on-premise infrastructure to the virtualized infrastructure. There are multiple levels of optimizations that need to be done to the applications to exploit the capabilities of the Cloud. This chapter highlights all those aspects that the CIOs and the senior architects consider as the best practices.

Epilogue – Emerging Markets and the Cloud: This is an interesting chapter that discusses the impact of Cloud in emerging markets like India. It covers the evidences of successful Cloud deployments from Infosys, redBus.in, Department of Income Tax of the Government of India and Microsoft’s own implementation of Azure Sandbox at MSIT India. It also discusses the key constraints and barriers to entry in the emerging markets.

Summary

Whether you are a CIO who is yet to define the Cloud strategy or a technology decision maker who is in the process of rolling out a proof-of-concept on the Cloud, this book will provide you with a thorough and practical framework to define a successful Cloud strategy for your organization.

This book can be bought from McGraw-Hill, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Flipkart.com.

Disclosure: The reviewer of this book also happened to be a contributor to one of the sidebars in the chapter ‘Emerging Markets and the Cloud’.

- Janakiram MSV, Chief Editor, CloudStory.in

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