|By PR Newswire||
|April 1, 2014 10:37 AM EDT||
NEW YORK, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Implementing cloud computing is a pragmatic decision that needs to be executed with painstaking attention to detail and a deep and broad understanding of an organization's needs. The good news, according to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), is that it is possible to start the journey toward cloud computing one step at a time from wherever the organization is today, and even realize some efficiencies and performance rewards in the early stages. It's a challenging process that requires CIOs to clearly define where they are as well as where they want to be, but the payback is worth it: If it can be defined in enough detail, it can be done. To help, Logicalis has put together a four-point checklist that will help CIOs and IT managers set off with confidence on the road to cloud computing.
"We recently had the opportunity to engage with a customer who had an aging infrastructure and needed to modernize, yet at the same time wanted to build a model for a longer-term cloud strategy," says Brandon Harris, Vice President, HP Solutions, Logicalis US. "Logicalis worked with the customer to assess their current infrastructure and applications. We were able to help them implement a new infrastructure with HP Blade Servers, HP 3PAR storage and HP OneView for management, thereby supporting the virtualized environment they needed today while building a framework for a VMware cloud stack in the future. That foundation and future cloud stack will enable them to leverage a public cloud from Logicalis to extend their capacity in a flexible model as they grow, and to do so with confidence knowing that their IT decisions were based on a thorough assessment of their business needs, the ability of their existing infrastructure to meet those needs, and the new compute capabilities required to take them where they want to go."
Four Steps that Build Cloud Computing Confidence
- Identify the Right Strategy: The key to confidence on the road to cloud computing starts with developing the right plan. Consult with a cloud expert who can help you develop a proven cloud strategy, avoid compliance issues, determine how to best balance your capital expenses and operational expenses for the best ROI, examine where automation fits into your plan, and build a rock-solid service model that fits your company's needs and budget. "Failing to plan is planning to fail," warns Kevin Gruneisen, Senior Director of Cloud and Data Center Solutions, Logicalis US. "Setting off on the road to cloud computing without fully exploring all the options or developing a strategy and a cloud plan that truly fit your specific situation can cause you to wander off course right from the start."
- Inventory What You Have: A comprehensive assessment of any IT environment begins by identifying what's in it. There are off-the-shelf tools available to collect data on everything in an organization's IT environment. For example, there are tools that inventory every device in the physical environment, others that examine a virtual environment and others that look at the application layer. No single tool is going to be enough. CIOs need to determine more than just how many devices they have; they also need to understand where the 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. Inefficiently used servers – virtualized or not – still waste time and money.
- Assess the Condition: During an initial cloud assessment, the IT team should also examine the condition of the data center facilities where the 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," Gruneisen says. "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."
- Update BC/DR Plans: The status of disaster recovery and business continuity is another area of uncertainty in many IT environments. Most IT departments have a BC/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. As part of this step, be sure to re-evaluate available DR services. Advances like DRaaS with high availability replication can recover data and have the company 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.
"Just assessing your technology environment alone is not enough, though," Gruneisen says. "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."
Want to Learn More?
- Do you have a blueprint for IT Transformation? http://www.ict-log.us/uXFwJ
- Five points to consider when developing a cloud strategy: http://www.ict-log.us/uXFDA
- Read about eight must haves for implementing DR as a Service here: http://www.ict-log.us/uXFKb
- Read a Logicalis white paper, "Advanced Technologies Make Thinking About Disaster Recovery a Lot Less Scary," here: http://www.ict-log.us/uXFPp
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.
Logicalis employs nearly 3,500 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.4 billion from operations in Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $5 billion.
For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.
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SOURCE Logicalis US
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