Microsoft: Cloud Solution Design best practices

Cloud Solution Design is the review and planning process to translate customer requirements into deployed Cloud services that meet those needs.

In this presentation for building a Cloud strategy the Microsoft Enterprise Architecture and Strategy team shared their blueprint for an overall framework to guide Cloud Migration. Most notably they approach this from an Enterprise Architecture-led point of view, including encapsulating Business Architecture best practices too.

Presentation summary:

  • How EA/BA provides the connecting logic between Strategy and Execution
  • Mapping Strategic Goals on to relevant XaaS Cloud Services, through ‘Cloud Pattern Matching‘ (slide 50)
  • Enterprise Architecture to Drive Cloud Strategy and Planning
  • Business Value Driven Methodology
  • slide 20 – connecting business strategy to technology investments
  • Embraces and extends proven Cloud best practices, from NIST, Cloud Security Alliance, et al.

Cloud Pattern Matching

Cloud Solution Design can mostly simply be thought of as a process of “XaaS Mapping”, refering to identifying which particular type of Cloud service might be the best fit for your particular business requirement(s).

In the Microsoft presentation on slide 50 they show this XaaS Mapping, which they describe as ‘Cloud Pattern Matching’.

The customer requirement, eg ‘A1: Customer Portal’, is matched to a Public SaaS option.

This can be applied right through to scenarios including private, in-house deployments, with a common function of each mapping being the exposure and linkage to the underlying enabling technologies in a uniform fashion, across Cloud, SaaS and internal apps.

XaaS Mapping

This top down Capability Mapping can be met by a bottom up cataloguing of potential vendor options to meet your needs, achieved in a super simplistic form through the “Pizza as a Service” analogy, where it compares the increasing scope of outsourced supplier services to how much work you do in the preparation of the pizza dinner.

Siemie Engineering describe an equally simple example of how different vendors offer services at each level, such as:

  • IaaS: Amazon AWS
  • PaaS: Microsoft Azure
  • SaaS: Salesforce.com

Each of these vendors also offers services in the other categories, and there are thousands of other options that also populate this landscape.

Your business requirements can be analyzed and mapped to one or more of these service, indicating which vendors you may want to consider for your supplier short list.

Cloud Capability Mapping

This mapping process can be developed to a fine-grained level, very effectively demonstrated through this presentation from BT on their Milton Keynes Smart City case study, achieved through their Cloud platform (with an accompanying executive level case study from BT).

This focuses specifically on how one sub-section of the overall model is achieved, the management of SLAs for key data services.

Via the capabilities offered by Cloudsoft, BT’s partner for the Cloud Management functionality built into the Platform, they isolate out and map a sub-set of the business model that the CMP can achieve, including:

  • Easy access to information and services
  • Easy monetization of services and data
  • Guaranteed service levels
  • Easy to use developer portal

CBPN Founder and Consultant – Specializes in SaaS, business transformation and enterprise devops.

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