Much has been written about the benefits of cloud computing. Cost savings are one of the biggest benefits cited, but how can you make sure you're actually maximizing your savings? Diversity analyst Ben Kepes has written a white paper for Rackspace called Moving your Infrastructure to the Cloud: How to Maximize Benefits and Avoid Pitfalls. This paper is a good introduction to the subject of cloud computing and would be of benefit to anyone making a decision about migrating to the cloud.

Refreshingly, the white paper is available in HTML instead of as a PDF and requires no email address or registration to view.


Capacity vs. Usage

Kepes emphasizes the following financial benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service:

  • Economies of scale - IaaS vendors can offer cheaper access to infrastructure by purchasing equipment in bulk.
  • Pay as you go for what you use - With cloud computing, you can pay for what you use, like a utility, instead of investing in a fixed capacity infrastructure that may either exceed or fall short of your organization's needs.
  • Cloud services can be paid for out of the operating expenditures budget - And because computing resources are paid for like a utility, they can be paid for out of the operating expenditures budget instead of capital investments.

Kepes emphasizes the need for organizations to select IaaS vendors that allow them to actually take advantage of these benefits. For example, it's important that customers make sure than billing for cloud services is as granular as possible.

Kepes also looks at issues such as Service Level Agreements, support and compliance. This is the first of a series of free white papers by Kepes. Hopefully we'll see further depth as wall as papers for more advanced practitioners.

Photo credits: Flickr user Kevin Dooley