Nicole McGarry Senior Manager of Cloud Automation Product Marketing with Quest Software (, says:

Really Get to Know Your Users
Whether you’re administering a public, private, or hybrid cloud, a key focus of your deployment must be the end user. It’s critical to take the time to really understand how they are going to use the services you provide, what roles and permissions they need, what approvals processes should be in place, and how you will administer their privileges. You should avoid confusion caused by having too many or even too few constituent groups, and you must understand that plans will change… make sure your original implementation is extensible to accommodate the rapidly changing needs of your user base.

Guarantee Resource Delivery – Your Users and Admins Will Love You for It
“Self-Service” means a lot of different things to a lot of different people… to be successful managing a cloud deployment, you need to develop a rich understanding of the expectations held both by your end users and your administrators. Key to the adoption of any self-service offering is the necessity for consistent, guaranteed system behavior. For example, if ATMs only had cash to dispense sporadically or if online hotel booking systems only reserved rooms occasionally, users would quickly become fed up… and their frustration would quickly become IT’s headache.

The same is true in the data center. To drive adoption of the self-service delivery model in the cloud, it’s absolutely critical that users can count on the system. They must be able to check availability, reserve, and deploy resources on their own schedule, without intervention by an administrator. Only then can IT breathe a sigh of relief.

Take a Long, Hard Look at Existing Processes
The final thought on cloud best practices is that the cloud paradigm is fundamentally different from traditional data center management… take the opportunity to evaluate existing processes to see if they make sense in the cloud. Keep asking, “is there a better way to do this?” Many groups look at the existing way of delivering services and simply try to automate it. This brings to mind that old management saying, “paving the cart path.” The cloud opens up whole new avenues of possibility in IT service deployment. It will serve your company well to take the time to understand how the cloud and its underlying technologies can best be leveraged for your specific needs, without unnecessarily holding on to the past.