Plan for Portability if You Don’t Want To Get Lost in the Cloud

As explored in greater detail on our Your Infrastructure. Your Way homepage, there are many reasons a robust and secure cloud infrastructure model is increasingly sought after by organisations looking to firm up the backbone of their business operations.

Aside from providing the essential agility and resilience required to accelerate existing and new business initiatives with precision and simplicity. Organisations need to be able to control and govern increasingly complex environments. Especially if they are looking to enhance the portability and management of snowballing data sets on prem, in the cloud or at the edge. By advancing the connective tissue which helps bind data sets together, irrespective of location, organisations are able to establish a far more fluid and seamless experience of data management, which not only bolsters operational efficiency, but significantly enhances the end-user experience.

When it comes to streamlining different clouds of the same type, aka a multicloud approach, multi-vendor capacity is critical. With each providing different kinds of services depending on suitability.  For example, simple data storage that doesn’t need to be accessed regularly could be stored in one cloud, with a fixed cost and low overhead.  And data that requires regular access could rest with a separate cloud provider who may offer a fixed price with no additional transaction chargers. The best-case scenario is to optimise and leverage each individual vendor for maximum results.

This flexibility to access, analyse and move data to advance business operations, safe in the knowledge that your data and cloud architecture play nicely with other environments, is a key demand for any information-reliant business. If you add a layer of interoperability on top of this you gain the capability to replicate or redeploy equally functional services, based on the demands and requirements of the business. When it’s integrated from the start, it makes migration simpler and, by extension, more cost effective.

Cloud providers can try to lock customers into a single platform, but this can prevent the ability to interact fluidly with third-party applications as customers typically use multiple clouds within their overall hybrid cloud infrastructure. Fortunately, the smart cloud platform providers are adapting to this multicloud approach in order to help customers organise their separate data clouds. It’s estimated that about two-thirds of enterprise-level companies now use hybrid cloud environments, according to a May 2021 report by Boston Consulting Group, and require the ability to work from these multiple data clouds.

Freedom of movement, freedom of choice

Cloud services come with their own set of management tools, processes, service level agreements (SLAs) and security challenges. When IT teams are responsible for managing multiple cloud services, switching between platforms can quickly become time-consuming and cumbersome. This can cause unnecessary risk as administrators must configure multiple cloud instances whilst ensuring proper security for each. Data and application portability are trickier as well, adding additional management burden and limiting speed and innovation.

For example, there’s a pervasive myth that you can’t run real applications across two disparate clouds. But Dell Technologies and Microsoft Azure customers can now easily test and demonstrate the value of interoperability by combining Oracle databases with Azure applications. There’s no need for in-depth education on either platform — anyone can instantly use the Azure Portal to harness the power of the two clouds together.

And it’s not just Oracle databases that are easily accessible. Dell Technologies Cloud enables enterprises to seamlessly extend the hybrid cloud experience to over 4,200 additional cloud partners. Thus, unifying and simplifying their disparate cloud environments.

It’s the long-standing partnership between Dell Technologies and Microsoft that allows us to come together and support the needs of our joint customers in this way. And our current partnership is an example of how we offer customer choice and flexibility as you digitally transform with cloud technology. It also deepens the relationship between our two companies and provides you with the assurance of working with two industry leaders.

Moving data is not like moving house

When you move to a larger house, you pack up your stuff, move and then unpack your stuff into a more spacious environment. You have more room, and everything is just that little bit nicer. This is how many people view a data migration, but it’s not that simple. A better analogy might be moving a factory to a new location. There are many complex moving parts to consider and opportunities to reconfigure, update and improve the environment.  Where does everything go? Will your devices function as well as before? The choices you make now could have an enormous impact on the efficiency of your business moving forward.

With many businesses now using multiple cloud services, companies need to move data to and from a variety of modalities to realise value. Put simply, they’ll be targeting a variety of destinations serving numerous purposes. This is the interoperability challenge. As you’re probably aware, this can become complex very quickly, so it’s important to try and keep your data migration as simple as possible.

For example, we have streamlined migration into a predictable, repeatable service that addresses data with a consistent feature set regardless of modality type. We then further simplify the complex by having our experts plan, manage, execute and follow up on migrations. Our goal is to provide you with complete control, security, and value throughout the process whilst remaining on hand before, during and after to ensure that things aren’t just running as smoothly as before, but are running better than ever.

Infinity and beyond

But organising your multicloud estate doesn’t simply end with a successful migration. In the future, you may wish to add more storage capacity, services, features or redundant access paths to an existing hybrid cloud environment. With Dell Technologies PowerFlex and Microsoft Azure Arc, you gain a unique set of capabilities to help you continue to achieve more. You can scale up or down as your needs require and adapt to new priorities as they arise, both flexibly and affordably.

I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds great, but with services like these, you get what you pay for, right?” Well, actually, we like to think that Dell Technologies Cloud services are pretty competitive pricewise. In fact, versus competitive options, we’re up to:

Source: Dell Technologies infographic

Let’s be honest, implementing a multicloud solution isn’t going to be as simple as setting up your new smartphone. It’s a complex operation that involves detailed planning. Without this detail, it can be challenging to determine which applications will run optimally in which clouds to provide the desired business outcomes. Organisations need to recognise that for multicloud to work, there has to be acknowledgement, and therefore a policy, to handle and control data regardless of where it may reside and any given point in time.  This is achieved through the concept of creating the same user experience — a single pain of glass view — to manage data regardless of whether it’s in a virtual storage location, on-prem or at the edge.

This is a fundamental reason why we strive to help our customers plan and carry out the integral elements of any move simply, securely and efficiently. By combining our big picture experience with your knowledge of your organisation’s specific requirements, we can work together to provide a flexible solution that minimises disruption and avoids unnecessary costs.

To find out more about how implementing a multicloud approach can help your business to evolve, visit the Your Infrastructure. Your Way homepage, and gain access to related resources or register for our upcoming in-person events.

About the Author: Tim Loake

Tim is the vice president of the Infrastructure Solutions Group for U.K. at Dell Technologies. Tim is a technologist at heart and is passionate about solving organisations’ problems through the creative use of IT systems. Tim’s team is focused on providing organisations with the ability to make their technology transition as seamless as it can possibly be. Tim wants to ensure that our customers have the very best experience when designing, deploying, and using Dell Technologies infrastructure products and services to achieve their goals.