So this topic came up in one of the sessions at the Cloud Computer Expo during a Terremark session and I think that it stands alone for those of us in the enterprise software space.
When you say “Mobility” in the context of clouds people start to think about moving VMs between environments but if you accept that all enterprise clouds will have some element of hybridity (wow, that’s a real word!) then you have to accept that there will be differing levels of mobility depending on what you are looking at. You are going to have systems in the cloud and systems on premise and they are not going to work in isolation.
Here’s my swag at a list of potential mobile elements.
- VM images – infrequent. You don’t want to move these puppies around other than in a very controlled fashion. Movement between dev, test and production or from on-premise to off-premise during initial deployment perhaps. Moving VMs because you change cloud vendors is rare and probably not a good idea.
- Data objects – frequent. The chances are that data may be flowing back and forth on a regular basis. Best case (least movement) you are going to bring data back on premise as you realize that it is:
- Needed by another process
- Just became a record (formal or informal)
- Is subject to a subpoena
- Should never have been out there in the first place
- Metadata – frequent. Probably even more frequently than data objects. Imagine that you have an ERP system in the cloud but you store your attachments on premise. The synchronization of metadata about these attachments needs to be mobile.
- Log data/reporting – frequent. Not a big payload but there’s a good chance that your internal team are going to want to be able to store and analyze log/reporting data locally. If they don’t then you probably have not finished your audit qualification process yet.
- Configuration Information – moderate. Maybe it is user account information, group membership, policy changes…whatever it is you will have to be able to push/pull this on a periodic basis.
- Software (patches, etc.). Oh yes…depending on the model, someone needs to push changes out to the actual enterprise software.
Is this a comprehensive list? Have you ever seen a comprehensive list from me? I’m guessing that you get the point though; you will probably never see a real ‘Cloud only’ deployment of enterprise software and the thing that makes it hybrid is that relationship to the other systems. Why never a ‘Cloud-only’ enterprise deployment? Because by definition enterprise software means playing as part of the larger enterprise ecosystem and you don’t do that on your own.
Oh, the graphic? You need to be British and over the age of 35 to understand that one.