The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – iPhone Anticipation
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Smoke Free Office
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Big Data
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 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.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Popular Archives

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility A CIO friend of mine once told me that a hybrid cloud model enables him to “own the base, rent the spike” when it comes to unplanned events. Let’s face it – maintaining unused infrastructure for rare or random IT events is expensive and unnecessary in a cloud…

Five Reasons SMBs Fear The Cloud

Five Reasons SMBs Fear The Cloud

Five Reasons SMBs Fear the Cloud Fear of the cloud has been around since the Cloud began. SMBs were traditionally afraid of security issues, while large companies fretted about increasing the complexity of their IT infrastructure. What many budding start-up companies don’t realise is Cloud Computing helps place them on a level playing field with…

The Cloud In 2015: Eight Trends To Look For

The Cloud In 2015: Eight Trends To Look For

The Cloud In 2015 For organizations of all sizes, in 2014 the cloud emerged as a critical part of the default consideration set when implementing any new application – in large part due to the cloud’s proven ability to handle data storage and processing demands in an elastic manner, improved verifiable standards around data security and…

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020 The cloud, big data, the internet of things, and wearable technology have all featured heavily in Forrester’s latest list of fifteen technologies to watch before 2020. It is becoming a reality for businesses that they need to adapt and change to an increasingly technologically-minded customer base. Traditional marketing…

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…

Recent

Is The Internet of Things A Perfect Storm?

Is The Internet of Things A Perfect Storm?

Is The Internet of Things A Perfect Storm? There has been a great deal of discussion surrounding the Internet of Things over the past couple of years as more companies are taking an active and aggressive interest. IBM for example has recently decided to invest $3 Billion over the next 4 years. “Our knowledge of…

Digital Transformation: Miracle and Wonder

Digital Transformation: Miracle and Wonder

Digital Transformation These are the days of miracle and wonder. I’ve been leading a small, global research team at the Tau Institute for the past few years to examine the dynamics of IT adoption in more than 100 countries throughout the world. We’ve developed several indices that show how well these nations are doing on a relative basis. We ranked the nations…

Cloud Security Hottest Issue At RSA

Cloud Security Hottest Issue At RSA

Cloud Security Hottest Issue The integral integration of cyber security and cloud technology seemed to be the hottest issue at the busy RSA 2015 Conference in San Francisco. Interested parties packed security and cloud service booths for the duration of the conference. Several prominent publications covered the increased importance of securing their private information that’s…

Contact Us

Sending

Technology Sponsors

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

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