The Right Fit for Cloud Implementation

Tired of trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole?
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We all know cloud is transforming the way businesses deliver services to their internal consumers and external customers alike. For IT organizations that feel they’re behind on cloud adoption, it may be tempting to just do something for fear of not being able to provide the IT services their stakeholders need and expect.

As I discussed in my last blog post, we know having a strategy and roadmap are key to success. Once you’ve developed that strategy, it’s time to jump right in and start building – right?  As with everything else in technology, it’s not quite that simple.

It’s All About the Apps

Many organizations start their journey by looking at the hardware components required to build their cloud. But it’s important to remember the business doesn’t run on hardware. The business depends on the applications that run on the hardware, and not all applications are created equal. Back in my first post in this series, I compared finding the right cloud platform for your applications to putting a square peg in a square hole. As the ubiquitous children’s shape-sorting toy reminds us, you must put the right shape into the same-shaped hole. You can’t simply push, pound or wish a square peg into a round hole.

Finding the right cloud platform for your applications is critical to cloud success. While some existing applications are already suited to be migrated directly to a cloud environment, others will need to be refactored to cloud native technologies before or after moving to cloud, and some may ultimately be retired or transitioned to SaaS. It’s far better to analyze your entire application estate to create a plan for which applications are best suited for which cloud landing zone. Only then is it time to talk hardware to support those landing zones.

Multiple Choice Cloud

When I was in school, my favorite type of test was multiple choice. I always knew “all of the above” would be an option and figured that was usually the answer. While I don’t recommend giving this test-taking advice to your children, when it comes to cloud, “all of the above” is usually the right answer.

Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud report found 89% of respondents already have a multicloud strategy and 80% are taking the hybrid cloud approach by combining both public and private clouds. Organizations aren’t doing this simply to follow trends or have something to talk about at cocktail parties. This approach provides organizations with a powerful combination of IT services and capabilities across multiple cloud vendors, enabling them to move faster and consume the services they need based on their individual needs. With this flexibility and agility, organizations can provide the services their cloud consumers need through a common service catalog regardless of which cloud the service actually runs on. Multicloud is more than just using more than one cloud service.

It naturally follows that when you are choosing your cloud platform, it needs to have intrinsic multicloud capabilities. Dell’s cloud platforms are based on industry-standard Microsoft and VMware technologies, providing capabilities for on-premises private, hybrid and public cloud environments. Our customers choose Dell APEX Hybrid Cloud and the Dell Integrated Systems for Microsoft Azure Stack to get the best of hybrid cloud along with public cloud capabilities, all wrapped together into a single, easy-to-use console.

Automation For the Win

My teenage son is a bit of a smart home automation mad scientist. He has smart bulbs, light strips and buttons in his bedroom, and he loves nothing more than to create complex automations that trigger based on multiple different criteria, like time of day and even the weather. I can hardly follow his automations, but they work well for him and deliver what he needs.

Without realizing it, my son has grasped a concept with which large enterprise organizations often struggle. That is, automation is key to driving technology adoption and making the user experience seamless, predictable and consistent. Whether your requirement is to change the color of your bedroom lights based on the weather outside or provide application stacks and development environments for your developers, automation is the key.

I mentioned in a previous post that your cloud needs to have “batteries included,” meaning the cloud needs to do more than just let you log into it. Your cloud needs to have a service catalog populated with the most common services your cloud consumers need and automation behind the scenes to bring all these services together in a seamless and consistent way. The goal should be to drive consumption of the cloud platform and deliver tailored experiences for your cloud consumers. Make sure you understand the needs, goals and objectives of all your stakeholders before implementing your cloud platform. Doing so will drive you to build the right cloud with the right services and capabilities to meet their needs.

Bringing It Together

Cloud implementation is more than just putting a bunch of hardware in your data center or creating a new Azure subscription. Organizations must consider a variety of factors, including understanding their application estate to make intelligent application workload placement decisions, seeking a cloud platform with intrinsic multicloud capabilities and implementing intelligent automation to tie it all together and drive consumption of the cloud.

By taking a thoughtful approach to cloud implementation, you can deliver a cloud that helps your stakeholders deliver the business outcomes your organization needs to succeed.

About the Author: Matt Liebowitz

Matt Liebowitz is the Global Multicloud lead for the Dell Technologies Consulting Services Portfolio. He focuses on thought leadership and service development for multicloud, automation and data center related Consulting services. Matt has been named a VMware vExpert every year since 2010 and is a frequent blogger and author on a wide range of cloud related topics. Matt has been a co-author on three virtualization-focused books, including Virtualizing Microsoft Business-critical Applications on VMware vSphere and VMware vSphere Performance. He is also a frequent speaker at the VMware Explore and Dell Technologies World conferences.
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