Try These 8 Tools for Cloud Computing

These technologies may already be at your disposal.

Don’t assume you have to blow your budget on new products and services to get a cloud computing platform up and running. You might discover like the state of Michigan did, that you already have the ingredients for a cloud computing recipe.
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • E-mail system: You have one — maybe more than one.
  • Directory service: Any LDAP-based service will do.
  • Scripting language: If you have a Windows Server OS, then you already own PowerShell, which is fantastic. Or if you’re a Unix shop, you already know about the many powerful scripting shells available.
  • Configuration management database: If you don’t have a CMDB tool, create any type of database, rename it CMDB, and you’re in business. PostgreSQL is a wonderful, open-source database.
  • Service catalog: Don’t have one? Create a set of web pages. Notepad and straight HTML are free and fine for this purpose. Describe your services and options and make these pages available to your customers.
  • Web server: This will host the cloud “service interface” web pages. Provide links to these web pages from your service catalog. This doesn’t have to be a dedicated server; you can use one with spare capacity.
  • An IT resource: This will be delivered and managed automatically by your cloud service solution. Examples include data storage, virtual servers or application access.
  • Automation engine: As the plumbing that makes all the components function as a unified, automated whole, this tool manages approvals, performs automated fulfillment of requests, sends notifications and makes usage-based billing calculations.

To read more about Michigan’s cloud computing strategy, see "10 Tactics to Achieve Cloud Computing Success on a Limited Budget."

May 23 2012