Most enterprise clouds are still relatively young. Even so, these clouds represent critical initiatives that support strategic business goals. I have recently begun to field requests to assess the state of cloud initiatives. Therefore, I created a short assessment, a health check, to determine if a cloud is on track to meet expectations.
The mindset for a cloud health check is different from one used to assess a more mature “legacy” information technology (IT) environment. An assessment of mature IT environment is more of a point-in-time analysis, looking for gaps between the current actual state and current desired state. An assessment of a younger cloud environment is more of a dynamic analysis, looking for gaps between the current actual state and a desired future state.
This is somewhat like our mindset with our own health checks. As children, we get checkups and our parents will want to make sure that we will, in the future, grow up to have positive attributes like height, strength and intelligence. As adults, we want to check that our health, e.g. measures like cholesterol, is within optimal ranges for our current age.
Some are anxious about getting a cloud health check and want to know what happens beforehand. The assessment begins with questions about history, trends and business drivers. Those are followed by more questions about IT process and workloads, aspects vital to the success of a cloud. Then there are evaluations of various capabilities. The goal is to determine recommendations on infrastructure, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities. An agenda might look like this
Sample Agenda for a Cloud Health Check