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Best Practice in the Cloud: An Introduction Using ITIL® to Seize the Opportunities of the Cloud

Michael Nieves

April 2014

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The purpose of this white paper is to introduce the challenges of managing an IT environment in a cloud setting. It identifies the benefits of cloud computing and the potential unintended consequences – and how ITIL provides the foundations for best practice in a cloud environment.

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Current rating: 4.2 (5 ratings)


24 Dec 2015 SimonJPitt
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I think the paper here is very strong and agree with many of the concepts although I am yet to see ITIL address the issues of each of the core processes when operating in a Cloud Environment. It would be interesting to see more of the view of Configuration Management with Dynamically changing relationships, Change Management with your client in control, Capacity Management with Automation and Availability Management in a Cloud Environment from a Technical Perspective and then the Challenge of Service Level Management and Service Reporting when the client/end user has the ability to turn on and off resources, bring up servers, hibernate - a challenging landscape for Service Delivery Managers
27 Dec 2015 NK
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Good reference material but I still would like to highlight
some of the challenges that ITIL still facing with cloud computing which are:
-Because Cloud and SaaS apps are based on a pay-as-you-go model, they have the potential to operate under the radar of ‘traditional’ IT service management infrastructure - particularly with relation to procurement.
-Dealing with Private and Public cloud services will require different approaches. Public clouds are great in terms of their cost savings but cab be less reliable, especially when you look at security, compliance and service level agreements. These problems are not there with Private cloud services – but they don’t come cheap. As a result, many organisations use hybrid services.
-ITIL’s configuration management database (CMDB) – is designed to hold information about assets and resources that exist in an IT environment – what happens when those resources don’t physically exist any more?

Cloud computing challenges have always been there. Companies are increasingly aware of the business value that cloud computing brings and are taking steps towards transition to the cloud. A smooth transition entails a thorough understanding of the benefits as well as challenges involved. Like any new technology, the adoption of cloud computing is not free from issues. Some of the most important challenges are:

Security and Privacy
The main challenge to cloud computing is how it addresses the security and privacy concerns of businesses thinking of adopting it. The fact that the valuable enterprise data will reside outside the corporate firewall raises serious concerns. Hacking and various attacks to cloud infrastructure would affect multiple clients even if only one site is attacked.

Service Delivery and Billing
It is difficult to assess the costs involved due to the on-demand nature of the services. Budgeting and assessment of the cost will be very difficult unless the provider has some good and comparable benchmarks to offer. The service-level agreements (SLAs) of the provider are not adequate to guarantee the availability and scalability. Businesses will be reluctant to switch to cloud without a strong service quality guarantee.

Interoperability and Portability
Cloud providers still lack round-the-clock service; this results in frequent outages. It is important to monitor the service being provided using internal or third-party tools. It is vital to have plans to supervise usage, SLAs, performance, robustness, and business dependency of these services.

Performance and Bandwidth Cost
Businesses can save money on hardware but they have to spend more for the bandwidth. This can be a low cost for smaller applications but can be significantly high for the data-intensive applications. Delivering intensive and complex data over the network requires sufficient bandwidth. Because of this, many businesses are waiting for a reduced cost before switching to the cloud.

Challenges are always there for us to surpass, in the case of adopting cloud computing system it is but important to think of the positive things that it brings to the organization and be prepared to face such mentioned challenges above. Because despite of all of this, cloud remains to be very reasonable, effective and efficient.

Although ITIL helps make sure that proper security measures are taken at all important levels, namely strategic, tactical, and operational level but there are still certain gaps need to look into carefully from technology aspect.
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