Migrating to the Cloud: The Sullivan University Experience

Migrating to the Cloud: The Sullivan University Experience

Emmanuel Udoh, Mohammad Khan, Michael Grosse, Drew Arnette
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/IJGHPC.2016010106
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The growth in data traffic within higher institutions has always been accompanied with the adoption of a more scalable IT infrastructure. With the increasing budgetary constraints, cloud computing (a disruptive technology) presents an attractive means to address the scalability challenges while realizing the potential of ubiquitous IT services. The on-demand business proposition of the cloud provides virtualized resources (software, platform, and infrastructure) with far-reaching efficiencies that have lowered the initial and operating IT costs for both small and large organizations. In migrating to the cloud environments, various organizations encounter challenges and experiences which are worthy of considerations by new entrants and established users. In this paper, the authors present the experiences of Sullivan University in transitioning to the complex cloud environment, in which a mixture of pilot and phased conversion steps were deployed in the migration process.
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2. Cloud Environment

The current cloud environment has a history of contributions from different computing areas. Shaping the cloud paradigm shift are contributions from virtualization, service-oriented architecture, grid-utility computing and distributed systems. Some insights are given below.

According to Udoh (2013), virtualization has been exploited to create the illusion of unlimited power for hardware platform, operating system, data, memory, and storage device or network resources. The consolidation of servers has enabled more to be done with less hardware, thus supporting more users per piece of hardware as well as delivering and running applications faster (Udoh, 2013). In that vein, the cloud’s virtual resources are typically cheaper than dedicated physical resources connected to a personal computer or network. Virtualization, which is only one possible service that cloud can deliver, is not always necessary in cloud computing; however, it has helped to centralize administrative tasks, while improving scalability and workloads. In a similar development, service oriented architecture (SOA) is well suited for web development and applications that can run in the cloud (Internet) rather than on local hardware (Chapell, 2003, Clark, 2007 & Mohamed, 2007). It allows the connection of discrete chunks of information in real time with the power to orchestrate a new application by providing parts of the existing applications with a new interface that is event-driven. With SOA, programmers configure the services to run on the Internet in ways that allow combining and reusing data (integration of existing or legacy applications) in new applications and with ease of service discovery (Iskold, 2006, Flinders, 2007, Udoh, 2013). Instead of a full-scale development of a new program (from the scratch), SOA extends what exists to the cloud where live data is accessed and accessible.

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