DCN July 2016 - Page 19

virtualisation & cloud services NSITION for organisations to consolidate their disparate infrastructure into a sensible, flexible and, dare I say, cloud-like networking, storage and computing platform – which gives you the ability to respond quickly. Optimal balance In simple terms, what is wonderful about the cloud model is, if used effectively, it creates the optimal balance between demand and consumption. The five year DC business plan with its various consumption and growth assumptions these days appears brave and – invariably – wrong. The contrary cloud model lets you keep consuming and adapting as you learn what you really need, then you make a decision based on experience not on future gazing. Sounds simple enough but in reality there is a degree of work or transformation for many to convert their workloads to that utopian model and they will likely have a bunch of applications and infrastructure that on the face of it may or not make sense commercially and technically to shift. Most people, when they start on the whiteboard rethinking their infrastructure, will think to either ignore the current crop of enterprise workloads or park them in the ‘I’ll get to it in a while’ box and focus on those pure digital workloads suited to the ‘classic cloud’ treatment. Whilst this makes sense within the current constraint of many public clouds, long term and for the 50-60 per cent of stuff you’re not thinking about, it’s too narrow for many and frankly unnecessarily restrictive. The challenge with many options presented currently is that you are effectively in a Mexican stand off with a bunch of suppliers who are waiting for you to yield to their way of thinking (it works for them) or you strike out and cobble something together that gets it all sort of working together acceptably. Sketch your digital future Rather than accept this bleak assessment of the current state of IT, you could grab the whiteboard pen to start sketching your digital future. One simple place to start is by creating three buckets of classification for your applications and infrastructure, based on the need to transform or whether they are digitally native: Never transform – leave as is. Generally applications that cannot be virtualised or predate the current accepted level of infrastructure and OS. Might transform – don’t have a strong case for change other than for change’s sake. Definitely transform – you need a better, more scalable platform, etc. Having completed this fairly simple task of outlining what you want to put effort into, as opposed what you simply want to rationalise – what do you do next? Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to say that you only have applications in the ‘definitely transform’ bucket, you are likely to want to create a strategy that addresses all of your needs rather than simply pick off the cloud ones. Parking the existing infrastructure is OK, but it’s not a long term solution. The target platform you need to be aiming for is a ‘Digital Enterprise Platform’. The current received wisdom is that a Digital Enterprise Platform is a collection of specialists; cloud, network, managed services and data centres all neatly managed by yourself or an FFFF&B'GFR6&FFG&W76W2W"VVG2Bf&2FP&62bG&6f&F&V7B@7W'&6vǒ&RF涖rF22W&W2&ƖvFFB&&&ǒv( @VBvV66ǒ7F6FFR6V@Fr2R4FBR&V6VFǒFPf'7B6FVv'6VB&R&VVB( b@( B'&RF( BfN( FR6VvPvFF2&62FBRFFRFrFB( ( B'&^( '&V0"2FR&F&6FW"VfV@6V6F26WF"&GFVV6f"W"6W2d7G&FVw&WfVFr7W&vW2FRW6VvRFR&fP&62FB'&vrBFvWFW