You may be searching for the most efficient and affordable way to process business transactions. Or, perhaps you’re looking for the most effective and economical approach to successfully handle business growth. Scaling out to the cloud can help you meet these objectives. This approach temporarily increases server capacity by providing enterprises with a pay-as-you-go expansion model to meet peak demands and manage increased application loads. Then, as that capacity requirement diminishes, or as the application load dwindles, the business scales back to use resources from their traditional data centers. Oftentimes, these workloads need to interact with the back-end systems. By architecting one without consideration for the other, you can run the risk of shifting a logjam to another point. However, you can avoid this risk and achieve the benefits of cloud computing by architecting the middleware bridge between the mainframe systems and your cloud environment.
It’s important to take an elastic approach that allows you to use middleware management to request services as well as automate their provisioning. Application release automation supports that approach, tying into middleware management and ensuring different applications work together correctly. The technology should enable a seamless transition by allowing you to dynamically monitor business processes executing in the cloud just as you would in a traditional data center.
Many business services depend on the mainframe to process user requests. The mainframe is frequently connected to distributed servers by middleware technology. Even when you’re scaling out to the cloud, many of your business services will remain dependent on application components hosted on the mainframe. Middleware integration becomes key to linking the cloud and the mainframe.
• Understanding your current technology usage and its impact on performance. Adding applications without planning for increased capacity simply “builds a line at the gate,” and only so many people can fit through a gate at one time. Maintaining visibility into performance is the critical first step to successfully scaling out to the cloud. For example, one IT organization implemented an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and all the information being requested for the CICS application came through this ESB. However, they weren’t monitoring the ESB and consequently didn’t know how much capacity was available. Once they used technology to monitor their ESB, they determined they were 60 percent over planned capacity and were able to address that challenge.
• Provisioning capacity. When the source for capacity has been identified and there’s recognition that performance is impacted, you need to dynamically provision the capacity.
• Measuring and monitoring. An organization maintains awareness by monitoring and measuring the customer experience in the cloud. When you’re able to satisfy the customer demands using on-premise data center resources, then you can de-provision the resources from the cloud, thereby minimizing costs.
Choosing Technology for the Cloud
It’s important to have predictive notification about performance—the ability to accurately predict which applications or business services are going to be impacted when services are delivered. Predictive analytics provide visibility into the future of your business performance and allow you to detect when you will no longer be able to meet service levels. As a result of that visibility, you can add cloud resources so you can continue to meet user expectations.
Appreciating the importance of expanding capacity begins with maintaining awareness of performance every day. Measuring and monitoring current infrastructure capabilities enable a business to accurately assess and predict the need for scaling out to the cloud. Consistently measuring and monitoring, even after scaling out, ensure you can support business services that ultimately impact the end user. Middleware management and cloud technology give organizations that capability.
That constant monitoring and visibility into the cloud, along with seamless automated transitioning to expansion, enable you to get the most value as you move to the cloud. This can make the difference between a cloud strategy that’s simply a clumsy bolt-on to your existing IT infrastructure and a cloud strategy that’s an invaluable IT tool—one that enables your business to keep operating seamlessly at optimal performance and expand capacity when required.