After the selection of the cloud model (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS), a public body has to select not only deployment model (private, public, etc.), but also must select the solution or provider that will use. We consider the IaaS model the most relevant for the usage by public bodies, so the IaaS market had been extensively analysed in the project duration.
IaaS is a diverging market with IaaS providers that range from small start-ups with products based on open source solutions, like OpenStack or CloudStack to big companies like Amazon, Rackspace that follow their own approach and have big market shares. We have collected the following advices for the selection of the appropriate cloud provider or cloud platform.
Calculating the actual cost of a cloud provider is not always easy, as IaaS is more than just subscription fees.
For public administration, it is important to extensively check SLAs and agreements prior to signing contracts.
For ensuring that public cloud offers adequate security, question about the disaster recovery mechanisms that are used.
For private cloud installation both open source (OpenStack, CloudStack) and commercial (VMware VCloud, Microsoft Azure) can be used. Before selecting the platform to be used, an evaluation regarding compatibility should be done to both infrastructure and software level.
Complexity of installation can be a differentiation factor. Many companies provide support of the installation of both open source and commercial offerings, so it might be better to contact a specialized company for the installation.
There might be some compromises to be made in order to find the ideal point between maturity and state of the art. In our pilot examples we had to invest to the latest version of Ubuntu OS(16.04) in order to benefit from the Long Term Support and this also imposed a specific version of OpenStack.
Security of the cloud platform should be taken under consideration, including an analysis of the underlying technology that each platform uses.
Extensibility of the platform is also important, especially if planning to create an initial cloud setup that grows with the organization needs.
Cost analysis of the IaaS should be done and it should take under consideration both one off and running costs, including the pricing for the license of the solution, the installation resources cost, the resources spent for the hosting of the Cloud infrastructure services and the efficiency of the VMs that are created, in terms of the compute power available to the deployed service.
In many cases using a Cloud Brokerage platform can be helpful. Cloud users have to choose between a huge number of vendors and they would also have to manage the integration between the various platforms. The overhead involved discourages many businesses from building multi-cloud environments, obviating many of the benefits of the cloud. In STRATEGIC we try to make governmental bodies confident with cloud usage and try to help on the diversity of IaaS market by supporting multiple IaaS cloud providers that can be used for the deployment of services of governmental bodies.
The usage of Cloud Application Management solutions is highly recommended for entities interested in fast deployment. Cloud Application Management is an emerging category of solutions that is expressing the need to move and manage application workloads to the cloud, instead of the more traditional Cloud Management solutions that are just orchestrating the physical or virtual infrastructure level. STRATEGIC Service Store is a multicloud service with lifecycle management & a marketplace that enables governmental bodies to use both private and public clouds for the easy deployment of services. The multi-cloud coverage and the support for both private and public clouds allow STRATEGIC Service Store to be used by public bodies to create hybrid and federated clouds and exploit the benefits of cloud computing era with minimum effort.