High Availability of Knowledge in Cloud

Information sharing has become an essential part of our lives via social networking medium e.g.  Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress, BlogSpot, YouTube, and LinkedIn. In the era of globalization, management of immense flow of knowledge has presented new aspects to look for innovations. Business Intelligence and Analytics are the need of an hour in the competitive space and it was never as easily available as now due to emergence of disruptive innovation called Cloud Computing. Cloud computing along with its different service models (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) and deployment models (Public, Private, Hybrid) has potential to reinvent the knowledge management in cost-effective manner and maintaining high availability due to agility, scalability, and elasticity provided by Cloud models hence it provides competitive advantage.

19.1 Knowledge Management

This post will provide cloud perspective in Knowledge Management (KM) by explaining cost comparison of KM in cloud and traditional environment, security perspective and cloud Service model feasibility in term of KM, Areas of concern, evaluation of ways to achieve highly available KM with the use of various cloud based application architectures (scalable application server in multiple availability zone of multiple clouds) and its feasibility, scope of innovation and business focus Cloud computing provides in the management of diversified knowledge sources, easy access to information, fault tolerance, and its impact on organizational knowledge base. It will highlight benefits on how cloud resources will help in sharing Ideas, project related information, work experiences, best practices, and to use their time to develop creative and innovative strategies.

Knowledge management is all about management of people and information. The process to convert data into information, information into knowledge, knowledge into intelligence requires people as well as extensive use of technology to provide efficient outcome. It is very essential to capture and store right data to generate right information then to convert information into right context and format to convey it to right people at the right time in order to attain efficient outcome by taking actions. Knowledge management life cycle requires technology at each and every step for efficiency to create knowledge, to capture knowledge, to refine knowledge, to store knowledge, to manage knowledge, and to disseminate knowledge. 

IT infrastructure is necessary in all stages of knowledge management life cycle. File sharing, application sharing, group decision support, community management, blogs, wikis, social network analysis, publishing and distribution, group collaboration activities, analytics – multi dimensional analysis, data mining, visualization, search and retrieval activity,  process modelling, expert system etc. require huge IT infrastructure. There have been different eras of KMS – stand alone and web based systems, social systems for collaboration and networking, and now future will be Cloud computing for agility, innovation, efficiency, and e-learning.

Organization culture is changing due to social networking. Social networking and information sharing has become a part of life in recent years that was not same earlier when sharing of information was not only difficult but organization culture itself was missing. Nowadays, that barrier has been crossed even across organization and across regions. Now, people share almost everything via Wordpress, Blogger, Facebook, Pinterest, Digg, Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Deployment, management, monitoring of traditional content management and database systems is extremely complicated as well as non agile to meet dynamic needs of end users. These challenges results into significant investment in terms of money and manpower for planning, design, development, deployment and other activities.

Effective knowledge management has been on top of the list of most organizations' priority without concrete efforts but time has changed. In traditional environment, knowledge management is one of the most incommodious problems organizations are facing for years. It is a heroic effort that may not produced efficient results. Ever-increasing competition, economic uncertainties, and fluctuating consumer loyalties are all driving large-medium-small organizations of almost all horizontals and verticals to search for innovative ways to address their knowledge management efforts. Cloud computing movement offers one of the desired options to remedy those traditional environment challenges.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Comparison for Knowledge Management Application

Server Description
AWS Instance
Server Details
Static IP
*Other S/W
Web+App Server
4 CPU, 15GB RAM, 64 Bit
200GB (C 100GB, D 100GB)
Windows 2008 R2
*SharePoint 2010
Database Server
4 CPU, 15GB RAM, 64 Bit
300GB (C 100GB, D 200GB)
Windows 2008 R2
*SQL Server 2008

19.2 Knowledge Management Application Architecture in AWS

Other S/w costs not factored in costing. KX Team to procure and install other S/w (Sharepoint 2010 & SQL Server 2008 Enterprise)

In the following section, we have used TCO Comparison Calculator for Web Applications that includes a total cost of ownership comparison which takes into account the full costs of running your knowledge management application in traditional infrastructure and compares it to the cost of running it in Amazon Public Cloud infrastructure. It is not a cash flow analysis.

One of the significant differences between cloud infrastructure and on-premises infrastructure is the pay per use billing model. Cloud service providers let consumers to pay for servers, storage, and bandwidth is actually being used. In traditional environment, compute and storage resources are often underutilized or not available to enable organizations to handle usage traffic.

The infrastructure details are based on the details of the physical infrastructure provided in the online tool. The cloud infrastructure is an estimate of the physical infrastructure described. Calculator results are estimates, and actual results may vary but it provides sufficient details to get insight.
Load balancing, auto scaling and pay per use billing model combination provides high availability and better user experience with cost benefits without under utilization of compute and storage resources. The load remains at a fairly constant level over time as you may suggest Steady State of KM application usage. If you have specified 2 or more web / application servers you will have at least one load balancer. 60% data utilization factor for the on-premises storage specified in the calculator settings. The calculator uses Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances and Medium Utilization Reserved Instances. Administration costs includes planning, purchasing, inventory, cost of capital, recycling, maintenance, and other ongoing costs associated with owning and operating infrastructure. There is no cost for datacenter overhead in the Public Cloud model. It is included in all the individual service pricing.Type equation here.

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