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Technology Insights for Leaders in State & Local Government
Try These 8 Tools for Cloud Computing

Try These 8 Tools for Cloud Computing

These technologies may already be at your disposal.

posted May 23, 2012

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."

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