As a result of the application portfolio expansion, ATN incurred a considerable increase in expenses, which undermined its competitive advantage. Considering the scope of ATN’s operations, virtual servers, ready-made environments, and cloud usage monitors are among the most relevant ones. With these mechanisms deployed, it is reasonable to expect a seamless transition to cloud-based services.
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Migration to a cloud is a complex process. In most cases, its success depends on the appropriate selection of mechanisms for leveraging the cloud solution. The following essay describes three cloud computing mechanisms relevant to the case of ATN.
ATN is a major provider of infrastructural services to a range of telecommunication industries. In recent years, the company has grown considerably and diversified the portfolio to include Internet, cellular, and GSM services. However, the expansion has resulted in a considerable increase in expenses, which undermined its competitive advantage. In response, the decision was made to outsource some of the services, including application operation and maintenance, and run a comprehensive consolidation program.
Nevertheless, neither of the initiatives was able to provide the desired improvement using an existing IT landscape. As a result, the decision was made to turn to cloud-based services. However, the lack of experience with cloud computing created a number of concerns regarding the security and safety of information, integration of legacy services into the new architecture, and compliance with policies and regulations. To resolve the described issues, ATN hired an independent consulting company CloudEnhance and developed a prototype application for automation of a low-risk business area. The positive feedback obtained from the project confirmed the feasibility of the approach and resulted in a strategic initiative that could achieve the same result on a wider scale.
Due to the fact that the majority of the ATN’s services are currently provided using legacy applications, the first relevant cloud computing mechanism is the ready-made environment. According to the case, the initial transition of several low-risk applications to a platform as a service has resulted in a considerable increase in the operations’ cost-efficiency.
The effective transition on a larger scale planned as a result of the initial success would require the existence of a comprehensive set of readily available IT resources that can be used or modified effortlessly by the company (Bhoyar & Chopde, 2013). The resources in question will include development tools, databases, and security measures. The variety of applications and actions currently comprising ATN’s assets also necessitates the availability of a software development kit for the development of new functions and applications.
The second mechanism expected to be a part of the described solution is the virtual server. The diversity of the portfolio of applications currently managed by ATN requires a wide variety of dedicated server solutions. In addition, due to the coverage of diverse fields such as GSM, cellular, and Internet communications, the cost associated with powering, cooling, and maintaining the physical servers is expected to grow considerably.
The attempt to consolidate the services documented in the case further corroborates the assumption. Finally, the growing popularity of the mobile internet as a preferred way of web connectivity suggests the emergent necessity to account for the exponentially increasing bandwidth consumption. From this perspective, virtual servers can be adjusted to effectively fulfill the expectations of sufficiently diverse consumer groups (Xiao, Song, & Chen, 2013). At the same time, specialty cloud-based services are known to be less power-consuming and generate less heat, eliminating the need for cooling. Finally, the machine can be adjusted with a high degree of precision, allowing for greater compliance with specific infrastructure requirements (Rasheed, 2014).
Finally, the third mechanism likely to be leveraged as a part of the described solution is a cloud usage monitor. The density of data flow observed on the services of a major telecommunications provider such as ATN requires a comprehensive management solution for redistributing resources, collecting information to prevent network congestion, and detecting attacks and other malfunction. The mechanism may be in the form of a monitoring agent, in which case it will occupy an intermediary position on communication paths as a transparent service agent. Alternatively, a resource agent can be used, which would allow the mechanism to respond to changes in usage patterns (e.g., by scaling up the service and logging the changes).
One of the most recognized commercial vendors offering ready-made environments is VMware. While it does not provide a single comprehensive solution, it allows adding the components with development features to the service. Virtual servers are offered by the majority of commercial vendors on the market, including Microsoft, VMware, Citrix, and Oracle, among others. The most popular commercially available cloud usage monitors are included in Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, and Amazon Web Services.
The solution proposed by CloudEnhance requires the use of numerous mechanisms. Considering the scope of ATN’s operations, virtual servers, ready-made environments, and cloud usage monitors are among the most relevant ones. With these mechanisms deployed, it is reasonable to expect a seamless transition to cloud-based services.
Bhoyar, R., & Chopde, N. (2013). Cloud computing: Service models, types, database and issues. International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science and Software Engineering, 3(3), 695-701.
Rasheed, H. (2014). Data and infrastructure security auditing in cloud computing environments. International Journal of Information Management, 34(3), 364-368.
Xiao, Z., Song, W., & Chen, Q. (2013). Dynamic resource allocation using virtual machines for cloud computing environment. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 24(6), 1107-1117.