Kevin Gruneisen, Senior Director, Cloud and Data Center Solutions, Logicalis US explains why resolving on-premise infrastructure issues is a vital precursor to any successful journey to the cloud.
More and more companies are establishing cloud strategies as the benefits of a move away from on-premise continue to crystallise. But how many, have included in that strategy a comprehensive assessment of their current IT environment?
The answer, in my experience, is “Too few”, and that is a big mistake. Quite simply, that is because most companies’ cloud environments are a reflection of their on-premise environments. So, if the on-premise environment is under- or over-utilised, its cloud environment will be as well – and simply moving an inefficient environment to the cloud will not by itself make it any more efficient.
The truth is that resolving existing IT issues is one of the first and most important steps along a successful IT journey to the cloud; upgrades made to each component contribute to the development of a solid and well-planned converged infrastructure.
Resolving issues with systems identified as inefficient – both physical and virtual – while aligning each new project with the company’s long-term IT vision will help prevent companies from ending up in a technological dead end that, ultimately, forces them to start again.
The consequences of getting it wrong, then, can be significant.
But, on the flip side, getting those fundamentals right can have equally big benefits. Dealing with on-premise issues first is the key to getting everything into the converged infrastructure with the lowest costs per port, the lowest cost for SAN storage, for compute resources, for everything, compared to a discrete physical environment, and to taking full advantage of all the benefits of a shared resources model.
Clearly, this is a job worth doing – but where do you start? We’ve identified three key areas to focus on:
- Virtualisation: The ROI and other benefits of extending virtualisation are well established, but companies also need to rationalise the systems they have already virtualised. It’s no good transforming 100 physical servers into 200 or more virtual servers, because virtual machines have the same support, security and compliance issues that physical machines do - the cost of server sprawl can be significant.
- Blade Servers: Throughout the data centre, blade technology has initiated change. Blades are modular, need fewer cables, require less floor space, use less power, require less cooling and can be managed by integrated management tools.
- Converged Storage: Rather than buying more storage than is needed “just to be sure,” as many IT departments do, CIOs need to carefully select a specific storage solution that meets the company’s current needs, yet leaves future options open. Converged storage area networks (SANs) for virtual server farms, for example, allow IT pros to quickly and easily assign virtual storage and provide high availability.