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Step 1: Research Networking and Auxiliary Services in the Cloud
The executives at BallotOnline have been impressed with your research on cloud computing thus far. While there are a variety of cloud providers, BallotOnline is considering using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, two of the top providers in the market. BallotOnline’s executives want you to help determine which would be the best provider for the organization.
You will start with learning about internet networking basics and cloud networking. You will also research many cloud services that cloud providers make available to their customers to help them take full advantage of cloud service and deployment models.
Step 2: Research Cloud Trends, Best Practices, and Migration Issues
The cloud computing revolution is redefining ways that companies of all sizes use information technology. The cloud landscape shifts rapidly, and current trends reflect this rapid pace of change. You likely got an idea about this in the last step when you conducted research on cloud architecture. Now, continue gathering information for your final report by assessing:
- issues outside the company, such as emerging issues in the industry, regulatory changes, and general trends in cloud computing to gain an understanding of how these issues may influence BallotOnline’s decisions;
- best practices for cloud implementation and assess whether BallotOnline can benefit from these;
- cloud migration strategies for the application and data, since BallotOnline is moving an existing web application to the cloud, making sure that the application is configured properly for the system architecture of your cloud deployment; and
- IT change management techniques that could help BallotOnline make this transition.
In the Discussion: Cloud Trends and Migration Issues forum, post your findings and discuss them with your colleagues.
In the next step, you will propose an architecture to use for the company’s cloud deployment.
Step 3: Research Typical Architectures of Cloud Deployments
In the previous step, you considered best practices and trends in the cloud industry. Next, you will have to look at the kinds of architectures needed for cloud.
Because most elements of cloud deployments are implemented in a virtualized environment controlled by software, the degree of freedom in defining your deployment of cloud reference models is unprecedented. You can define the number of virtual servers required and the configuration, and even change them dynamically as needed. You can also define your virtual local area networks (LANs) and subnets, and place servers in them to implement network security requirements.
The basic cloud deployment components are cloud consumer, cloud provider, and cloud carrier, with cloud brokers and auditor as possible additions.
Typical cloud architectures of cloud deployments vary from single server (suitable for proof-of-concept engagements) and multiserver architectures with various servers carrying different software components and occupying different security zones, to geographically dispersed deployments to achieve high availability, resilience, and speed of delivery. There are several issues to consider when selecting a server architecture, including cost, scalability, performance, and use of management.
For this step, research the typical architectures of cloud deployments and begin to consider what might be a good fit for BallotOnline. Discuss your findings and thoughts with your colleagues in the Discussion: Cloud Architectures forum.
In the next step, you will continue research, this time on trends in cloud computing as well as issues that can arise during data migration.
Step 4: Propose Cloud Architecture for BallotOnline Deployment
Now that you have looked into cloud architectures, in this step, you will propose the cloud deployment architecture for BallotOnline, applying the knowledge of typical architectural elements of cloud deployment from the project’s initial step. You will also consider trends and migration issues from a previous step. Your recommendation should consider the company’s business requirements.
Recall that the company has an existing web application that it wants to move to the cloud, and also that the company wants to expand its business to other parts of the world. In earlier projects, you learned about and analyzed the IT business requirements for BallotOnline. Among them were demands for application and data security, data encryption, and separation for deployments overseas. Also, the application should handle load peaks during election times in different regions.
Specific technical requirements state that BallotOnline is a web application, written using the popular open-source LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) software suite and the PHP application.
Describe your proposed architecture by submitting a report with a drawing of the architecture (hand-drawn or computer-created) diagram and explaining its elements in the dropbox below.
There are some sample drawings here under typical cloud architectures to give you an idea.
In the next step, you will begin researching the specific providers, starting with Amazon.
Step 5: Research AWS
You’ve described your proposed architecture and included a diagram to provide leadership a way to envision the system. Now, it’s time to look closely at the leading cloud providers to see if their services will fit BallotOnline’s needs.
Each cloud provider provides a unique profile of services, so it is good practice to compare cloud vendors and evaluate their reliability, performance, ease of use, cost, security and compliance measures. As more providers enter the marketplace, many will specialize on specific needs and use cases, making this evaluation even more critical.
Based on your research, determine to what degree AWS supports the elements of the BallotOnline business and technical requirements.
Share your thoughts with your colleagues in the Discussion: Amazon Web Services Feasibility forum. In the following step, you will do the same for Microsoft Azure.
Step 6: Research Microsoft Azure
Now that you have had a chance to research AWS, it’s time to explore Microsoft Azure, another cloud provider that could be used to deploy the proposed architecture. You should also consider issues related to Microsoft Azure pricing.
Based on your research, determine to what degree Microsoft Azure supports the elements of the BallotOnline business and technical requirements. Share your thoughts with your colleagues in the Discussion: Microsoft Azure Feasibility forum.
Now that you have completed research on the cloud providers, in the next steps you will work on proof of concepts for each provider.
Step 7: Generate AWS Proof of Concept (POC)
With your research complete, you will now deploy a simple one-page PHP application to the AWS cloud. It will allow you to explore deployment methods, ease of use, provisioning speed, etc., for the Amazon cloud.
As you may have already discovered in your research on AWS, it makes a cloud migration tool called Elastic Beanstalk available for customers to migrate their existing applications into the AWS cloud. We will use this tool to deploy your AWS proof of concept (POC).
Follow the steps in the AWS lab instructions to complete your AWS POC.
In the dropbox below, upload the URL linking to your application running in the AWS portal.
Step 8: Generate Azure Proof of Concept (POC)
Now that your AWS POC is complete, you can proceed with a similar POC deployment for the Microsoft Azure cloud.
Follow the steps in the Azure lab instructions to complete your Azure POC.
In the dropbox below, upload the URL linking to your application running in the Azure portal.
You are ready for the last step: writing the final report with recommendations on the cloud providers for the BallotOnline executives.
Step 9: Write the Final Report Evaluating AWS and Azure Providers
Now that you have completed your research, shared your ideas with colleagues, and explored the two vendors, it is time to compile your findings and recommendations for the BallotOnline executives. You may find these considerations for cloud provider selection helpful in making your decisions.
Use the Final Report Evaluating AWS and Azure Providers Template to write your report and submit your work to the dropbox below.
Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below, which your instructor will use to evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have incorporated all of them in your work.
- 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
- 2.3: Evaluate the information in a logical and organized manner to determine its value and relevance to the problem.
- 2.4: Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
- 2.5: Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks.
- 5.4: Articulate insights to leadership on the appropriate course of direction on the identified IT business needs.
- 6.1: Articulate the systems architecture of the cloud – cloud infrastructure, cloud service, cloud platform, and cloud storage.
- 6.6: Evaluate and select cloud providers (AWS, Azure, VMware, Google Cloud, IBM).
- 6.8: Review, evaluate, and utilize emerging technologies related to cloud to support business needs.