Guest post: Jonathan Alexander, Senior Manager and EMEA Cloud Management GTM Leader, VMware
Businesses and whole industries are changing fast, with cloud – and increasingly multiple integrated clouds (multi-cloud) – being the key platform underpinning the transformation. My colleague Matthew Steiner, EMEA Cloud Strategist at VMWare, says you’ve got one of four choices in the face of such accelerated change.
You can put your head in the sand as your industry changes and your competitors race ahead. Or you can choose to follow, which means when your competitor develops an e-commerce capability, you do the same. Alternatively, you can innovate: do something new in your field; or you can disrupt: develop something completely game changing.
The majority of disruptors are using public, private, hybrid and multi-cloud, and these are the players that will be among FTSE 100 companies in the years ahead. As for the followers or the head-in-the-sands, they’re yesterday’s news.
The fact is, most traditional in-house IT structures are too slow to react super-fast to new business demands and give users what they need. Hence the need for the whole spectrum of cloud infrastructures.
There are a number of things to consider when looking at hyper-scale public cloud or multi-cloud. What are the things you need to do in it – the types of workloads and your business outcomes? You need to understand the capacity, and workload cost, and whether it’s compliant with your security or availability policies.
The ongoing operating costs are important as well, and these are often difficult to determine. If you put a server on your data centre floor, it most likely has a predictable cost per MIPS. However, when you’re in a public cloud environment, costs are less predictable.
In moving to multi-cloud, remember you still need a CMDB of where you’ve put things in the cloud, so the business can access the apps and services you’re offering. Traditional ITIL methods may be too slow for this, so be prepared to learn new methods.
Remember that not all megaclouds are equal, says Matt. There are hyper-scale megaclouds, like Amazon, Google and Azure. Also consider boutique clouds that specialise in particular app platforms such as Salesforce or SAP. Private clouds also have their place for deploying predictable or sensitive workloads.
At VMware we have our vCloud Air network, a secure private cloud for VMware workloads, which can be used as part of a hybrid cloud. It’s of a similar magnitude to Amazon but offers greater compute and application performance – up to 40% better than Azure or AWS at a comparable cost.
Soon, most enterprises will have a combination of all of these: megaclouds, specialist and private cloud – because the future is hybrid. But the most important bit will be the management layer that bridges your estate, with which you can deploy, monitor, move, scale and decommission apps and workloads across multiple clouds.
At the end of the day, everything is going public and multi-cloud. At this stage, you just need to make sure you’ve picked the big brand megaclouds, got familiar with the specialists out there, Cloud ingot your head around multi-cloud management, and moved into a position where you can innovate or disrupt. So, are you ready to change the world?