To the Cloud: Cloud Powering an Enterprise

Pankaj Arora, Raj Biyani, Salil Dave

Published by

McGraw Hill

ISBN

9780071792219

RRP

£30.00

Reviewed by

Alex McLachlan MBCS

Score

4 out of 10

I found this a rather disappointing and superficial book with a very Microsoft-oriented viewpoint on the cloud.

The authors are all senior Microsoft staff and have been intimately involved in Microsoft's move to the cloud. Microsoft has some very good services and offerings, but I think the authors should have covered more of the alternatives to Microsoft such as Amazon and Salesforce (which are barely mentioned).

The book has a good structure and is well laid out. There are four main sections with useful summaries at the end of each section:

Explore - gives a good introduction to the cloud and the terms such as SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, public cloud, private cloud and so on.

Envision - discusses developing the vision and business case. There are two pages on cost/benefit analysis including the shift from CapEx to OpEx and areas of potential savings. However they don’t mention some of the pitfalls to look out for, such as the need for careful analysis of per user per month changing models.

Enable - talks about how to select the approach that is right for your organisation, choosing the right partners and the training and policies needed. The authors point to the cloud as an enabler in moving to more agile approaches to development and the introduction of the DevOps model. The section has some useful checklists and guides, on security and compliance for example.

Execute - gives guidance about what to consider in moving your own applications to the cloud, including the impact on enterprise architecture, the implications on network bandwidth and design issues such as automatic scaling.

This book is of most use if you are looking for an introduction to the cloud, but lacks detail. It doesn’t cover the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular current cloud offerings and any adoption issues. Although there are a few case studies in the epilogue, these are rather superficial and don’t go into any of the practicalities and potential pitfalls of moving to the cloud.

Further information: McGraw Hill

September 2012