The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Unemployed
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Storage Room
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – iPhone Anticipation
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Fathers Day
How To Set Off With Confidence On The Road To Cloud Computing

How To Set Off With Confidence On The Road To Cloud Computing

How to Set Off with Confidence on the Road to Cloud Computing

At its most basic level, traveling along the IT transformation journey from conventional data centers to the dynamic, intelligent environments of cloud computing is an adventure in self discovery that has a way of changing you as much as your technology.

You may start out thinking you know who you are and where you are going, but as you dig deeper into cloud computing, your goals will inevitably change as your awareness of who you are expands.

No Leap of Faith Required

The good news is that it is possible to start the journey toward cloud computing one step at a time from wherever you are, and even realize some efficiencies and performance rewards in the early stages. No leap of faith required. Implementing cloud computing is a pragmatic decision that needs to be executed with a painstaking attention to detail and a deep and broad understanding of your organization.

It can be a challenging process, but the payback is worth it: If you can define it in enough detail, you can have it. The first step is knowing where you are today.

A comprehensive assessment of your IT environment begins by identifying what’s in it. There are off-the-shelf tools available to collect data on everything in your environment. For example, there are tools that inventory every device in your physical environment, others that examine your virtual environment and others that look at your application layer. No one tool is going to be enough. You need to determine more than just how many devices you have, you also need to understand where your systems are under or over-utilized as well as the dependencies of the various workloads.

A detailed assessment will identify what resources are being used effectively as well as where there are inefficiencies associated with server sprawl. A large enterprise I visited recently had multiple, highly-virtualized server farms. An examination of how these resources were being used, however, revealed that one was only operating at 20 percent capacity and another one the same size was only 30 percent utilized. It’s great that their server farms are highly-virtualized, but inefficient server farms — virtualized or not — still waste time and money. And moving an inefficient virtualized environment to the cloud does not make it intrinsically any more efficient.

If someone screams…

During your initial cloud assessment you also need to look at the condition of the data center facilities where your virtual infrastructures live: Are they energy efficient, are they overheating, are they overcrowded?

I met with an IT director recently whose data center was jammed full of devices, only half of which were turned on. When I asked him how he knew what systems he actually needed, he said, “I turn it off, and, if someone screams, I know I need it, and I turn it back on.” A detailed assessment of your IT environment in preparation for a move to the cloud can provide the data you need to progress from a reactive to a proactive, approach to IT management. Instead of having to guess if an asset is needed or not, you will know.

The status of disaster recovery and business continuity is another area of uncertainty in many IT environments. Most IT departments have a DR plan, but too many haven’t updated it on a regular basis. They dutifully send their tapes off to some storage facility and think they are protected. A review of the availability requirements for mission critical data can be a startling eye opener. Having to send off a team of technicians to the tape storage provider to download their raw data and return with a trunk full of tapes that still need to be uploaded, may not, in fact, be possible within an acceptable recovery window.

While you are reviewing your DR plan, you should also re-evaluate available DR services. Advances like DRaaS with high availability replication can recover your data and have you up and running in hours instead of days…or longer. Thinking about DR, as a result, has become a whole lot easier  for those IT directors who are willing to evaluate their risk of downtime and consider new ways of protecting their data.

Across the Aisle

Just assessing your technology environment is not enough. A comprehensive assessment should look at your organization from three distinct points of view: your technology team, the business leaders IT serves and the finance executives who have to agree to pay for it all. The true potential of cloud technology can only be realized by tightly aligning technology with business objectives.

A healthy relationship between IT and business leaders is a good sign that an organization has the level of cooperation and maturity it will need to successfully leverage cloud computing. I could tell one organization was ready to move forward with a cloud strategy by the way the CIO answered a single question: When I asked what challenges IT had with business leaders, he said, “None. The first thing I did when I got here was set up a taskforce with IT and business stakeholders that focuses on how we align business with IT throughout the organization.”

This CIO knew the flexibility and efficiencies that cloud computing could mean for his IT environment. As important, the business leaders could see how cloud computing would respond more quickly and effectively to their needs, and the CFO understood the value of being able to pay for technology as needed from the operating budget, as opposed to paying in advance from the capital budget for future capacity that they may or may not end up needing. Cloud computing can only succeed if it has buy-in from the top down, and the top needs to understand what they are buying into.

Your Cloud. Your Way.

Most cloud providers and purveyors of cloud technology like to act as if they have all the answers. In fact, you are the only one who really does. The goal isn’t to be able to see cloud computing from their perspective, but to use the viewpoint of cloud computing to see yourself and your business needs more clearly and in more detail. Knowing who you are today will provide you with everything you need to critically evaluate what cloud providers have to offer. You need to be able to do more than just access a cloud environment. Lots of providers can give you access to raw cloud environments. The real value comes from accessing a cloud environment that is designed to be a secure, flexible, highly available extension of your overall, unique IT environment. Don’t settle for anything less.

Dazzling promises, emerging standards and other baffling changes constantly swirl around cloud computing technology. Don’t be distracted. The most important consideration — in fact, the only consideration you need to worry about — is what cloud technology means to you.

My next blog will look at how you take the information you have collected in your assessments and design a cloud strategy that fits your unique set of challenges and resources.

By Kevin Gruneisen, Logicalis Senior Director Cloud and Data Center Solutionskevin

Kevin has nearly 30 years of experience in the Infrastructure Technology business. His key responsibilities at Logicalis are focused on matching Logicalis’ capabilities with the cloud and data center needs of its customers. Kevin joined Logicalis in 2004 when Logicalis acquired Solution Technology, Inc. He began his career in technology with IBM in 1984. 

For more information, Kevin recommends IT pros explore the IT Transformation Journey, a microsite dedicated to this topic, at www.unlikeanycloud.com.

Logicalis

Logicalis

Logicalis Senior Director Cloud and Data Center Solutions at Logicalis
Kevin has nearly 30 years of experience in the Infrastructure Technology business. His key responsibilities at Logicalis are focused on matching Logicalis’ capabilities with the cloud and data center needs of its customers. Kevin joined Logicalis in 2004 when Logicalis acquired Solution Technology, Inc. He began his career in technology with IBM in 1984.
Logicalis

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

FREE! POPULAR RESEARCH TOOLS

Popular Archives

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

Recent

Cloud Infographic – Top Vulnerable Applications

Cloud Infographic – Top Vulnerable Applications

Top Vulnerable Applications  As you use the Internet on a daily basis, you probably come across cyber security topics, but rarely glance at them twice. After all, cyber security threats don’t concern you, right? Well, that’s not exactly true. Cyber attacks are more widespread than you can imagine and they may be targeting your devices as…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Whatever Happened To Alone Time?

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Whatever Happened To Alone Time?

By David Fletcher Are you looking to supercharge your Newsletter, Powerpoint presentation, Social media campaign or Website? Our universally recognized tech related comics can help you. Contact us for information on our commercial licensing rates.  About Latest Posts LogicalisLogicalis Senior Director Cloud and Data Center Solutions at LogicalisKevin has nearly 30 years of experience in…

MOST RECENT - Posted by
New Trends In Cloud Based Education

New Trends In Cloud Based Education

Cloud Based Education With technological progress accelerating and users’ computer experience becoming richer and increasingly complex, the future developments in education technology is very exciting. Students are now able to attend demonstration sessions on how to handle technology through remote laboratories using advanced applications in a truly interactive environment. One of these exciting areas is in telemedicine.…

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats Of Today’s IT Managers

The Many Hats of IT Managers In years past, the IT department of most large organizations was much like a version of Middle Earth: a mysterious nether world where people who seemed infinitely smarter than the rest of us bustled around, speaking and typing languages that appeared indecipherable, yet, which made our world work. They…

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Selling Your Business To Your Employees

Mobility For Your Employees It may seem a radical notion, the idea of selling your business to the people who work for you, but this is the era in which we now work. Employees of all levels are all incredibly aware of their options when it comes to mobility and employability. This doesn’t mean that…

Technology Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7 200px-KPMG
Advertising ROI Plans

Established in 2009

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

CloudTweaks Comic Library

Advertising