By Paolo Ticali
So, which is the big reason companies/organizations are moving on the Cloud?
The answer is simple…….APPLICATIONS !
Yes, applications are the WHY….
In every company there are a huge number of applications, and the IT is responsible to support these big number of apps. But there are some aspects that are critical when these applications are important and vital for the business outcomes….
All these aspects, if applied to thousands of applications can create some difficulties in term of management. This is where the cloud can help ….it is basically the “HOW…..”
It can help because enables organizations to deliver on demand a service that can be flexible in term of consumption and payment options.
Based on the Cloud utilization increase, we have seen a new way to develop applications that fit perfectly the cloud requirements. So there has been a shift on the way application are built and we called them Cloud Native applications. With this term we describe app architectures designed to take advantage of the benefits delivered by cloud environments.
According to different survey run in 2020 ( Link survey IDC ), 90 percent of app initiatives focus on modernisation. Which are the approaches an organisation can follow when it’s times to move on the Cloud direction?
5 R…..or 6 ..7..it depends
Rehosting an application, more commonly known as a ‘lift and shift’, makes the least change to the architecture of the application. It is the simplest migration there is as it involves you moving your application from one environment to another. Rehosting your application is suitable for a legacy migration or if you have an IT team with limited cloud knowledge.
Refactoring an application is when you refactor the code to open your ISV up to new business opportunities.
Before you can even start thinking about moving to the cloud, you need to make sure your application is cloud compatible. Rearchitecting an application is when you completely re-write your application to better fit in the cloud. This is usually the case for a legacy or ageing applications that aren’t compatible with the latest cloud providers.
The four key reasons why you may want to rearchitect your application are:
Sometimes, applications don’t meet the businesses current needs. Application with a new code base that will align with a cloud-native approach is the best solution.
It’s best to replace when you don’t want to invest in a development team to revive your application that is based on an old technology.
The 5R are the five migrations strategies defined in 2011 by Gartner. But in the following years different vendors have provided their different migration strategies with some more R or different R…..
For VMware these are the 5R to be considered for the migration strategy
There is another aspect that we should consider when we discuss about applications….
With the increase of the numbers of apps we have seen an explosion in data, making the scalability and relatively low cost of cloud capacity attractive to store and manage data. The data generated is also an input for new applications that are required to analyze this data with ML and AI solutions. It is basically a loop-cycle …….
new app —> new data—>new app—> new data…….
So, this is also another justification on why the cloud …….. (Less time and resource intensive respect the standard IT Ops)
“Public-cloud is an IT model where a service provider manages on-demand computing services and an infrastructure that different organizations share.
The largest hyperscalers , this is the way we refer these entities, include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure and more. They offer enterprises an on demand self-service solutions that are most popular on the Line of Business as they services are easy to acquire and this allow to reduce the TTM for their products.”
“Private-cloud is a cloud deployment model where all the services and infrastructure are hosted and managed internally to the organizations within their own intranet.”
“Edge computing is a distributed computing model in which data processing occurs as close as possible to where the data is generated. The term in English edge computing, contrasts the processing at the edge of the network with the centralized one typical of cloud computing
An edge-cloud takes processing power to devices and sensors at the very ends of the network and close to the place where the data is generated. This approach can result in improved response times with less complexity and cost.”
“Multi-cloud refers to using a combination of clouds, which can be two or more public clouds, two or more private clouds, or a combination of both public and private clouds.”
“Hybrid-cloud describes environments that span both private cloud and public cloud platforms to provide a flexible mix of cloud computing services. In term of meaning we should clarify that most of the organization use to mix hybrid with multi cloud, giving them the same meaning. This is not the case for the company I work for, where with Hybrid we refer to a consistent SDDC solution that can span accross different public cloud providers.
This definition is an important differentiation because, by using a consistent software-defined infrastructure stack, companies can manage these environments using same tools and skill sets.”
The Cloud adoption is a journey, and a successful Cloud Strategy can help companies to implement well their Business and Applications strategies that on the other hands are operationalized by a Cloud Operating Model that is powered by a Cloud Management Solution.
The value of a Cloud Operating Model is in helping your company to adopt cloud best practices and cloud management technologies, allowing you to support your business with the agility it needs. Clearly this kind of adoption involves restructuring the way your teams work together, going to create consistency across environment, independently they are on premises or on the cloud.
So, now, we should ask ourselves ….What kind of difficulties Should I consider to adopt this model ? Which benefit I will get? How the actual organization might be be impacted by the Cloud Strategy adoption? Which kind of changes do I need to put in place to be successful with this new journey?
Let’s start from the actual IT organization and which kind of difficulties do I need to take in consideration?
As you can see from the above image, every single enterprise has to manage different Cloud Providers and this will require different teams, different expertise, different tools. This is clearly a challenge for the IT department that is not organized to manage this level of diversity.
This will be translated in difficulties to share best practices and ensure a sufficient level of governance. Consequently, the most pressing concerns for those navigating multiple cloud environments are lack of visibility and increased risk exposure.
Furthermore, this increase of complexity lead to:
where Costs and risks can prevent cloud adoption plans from getting any progressing and providing the expected benefits.
An optimal condition might be the possibility to have a single way to manage the complexity using a different approach where the IT is able to apply the same tools and skill set for all the Cloud Provider.
Basically the IT should move from an old or traditional IT organisation to a new Cloud Operating Model
How the actual organization can be impacted by the Cloud Strategy adoption?
Which are the areas impacted by this Cloud Operating model?
It is clear that this change is something that will not happen in few days……. that means we will have organizations that will run simultaneously both native cloud services and existing “old” infrastructures.
And which are the benefits and the desired outcomes we expect to see from the Cloud Operating Model adoption?
First consideration to do is that adopting the Cloud Model will allow organizations to move from a structure with different teams, that have few specific responsibilities and deliverables on different area like Network, Storage, Application developers, Security etc, to a new one where, instead, this barriers between team are removed and a new delivery method is introduced based on the automation of the majoity of the tasks.
Which benefit I will get?
Based on the previous explanations, companies will see different benefits as:
Instead, in term of outcomes coming from the Cloud Operating Model we can summarise them in the next image
Which kind of changes I need to put in place to be successful with this new journey?
Or to better clarify, how to move to a Cloud Operating Model?
Typically there is a sort of surprise when organizations are starting to use the cloud…….the surprise is to realize in that specific time that the existing infrastructure is not appropriate for the cloud services…….
and typically, these are the areas that require a sort of review……
So, what changes are needed to the People subset?
Organisation should move from an old way to work with basically disconnects group to a new DevOps organization where Developer and System Engineer work “together”. Furthermore with the cloud, Developer will be empowered to use what they want and what they need with a really reduced interaction or dependency from the IT Infrastructure team. But this might lead to a sort of complexity in term of visibility and accountability. To avoid any kind of confusion in term of management new roles will be defined and some organisations will introduce the CCoE Cloud Center of Excellence with the aim to document standards and policies for the cloud operations and adoption of a Multi cloud strategy.
In the below images we have the explanation on the transition we need to consider in term of people
Typical IT organisation
In the new Cloud organization, we can see the presence of some new roles/teams
CloudOps: This is a cross team that is responsible for delivering and managing cloud services.
PlatformOps: This is a cross team responsible to provide standardization, consolidation, and automation on the platform layer to meet business goals.
What about processes?
This is another big area that is impacted by the transformation and there are some of them that should be considered “mandatory ” to have a successful Cloud Transformation.
Applications developers and Operations team must work together to support the faster and better creation of software. The DevOps process flow that is showed in the above image and as you can see is based on specific activities that are executed in collaboration between the different team involved with the aim “to move in production” through continuous development, integration, testing, monitoring and feedback, delivery, and deployment.
What about technology?
To support the big numbers of applications running in an organization, the IT ops should be able to move from a model where all the traditional tasks were executed manually to a new one where automation is the differentiation key. This platform is what we call Cloud Management Platform.
Let’s go to the end.
Which is the solution to choose to start the cloud journey?
To truly implement a multi-cloud operating model, you need consistency, visibility, automation, financial management, operations, governance, and more across the cloud silos you have today. VMware Cloud Management is the way to obtain all these results together.
What VMware would like to achieve is the ability to Run applications in many clouds and to allow this, VMware will help their customers to Build, Run, Manage, Connect and Protect any applications on any cloud
The following part cover the 3 capabilities of the VMware Cloud Operating Model:
About the Service Delivery, VMware Cloud Management automates provisioning while offering a modern self-service consumption experience to your developers, so you can deliver a rich set of services via easy, self-service access.
vRealize + Tanzu will enable Application Developers supporting the DevOps processes
About the Operations,if optimizing performance at minimal cost is the desired outcome, VMware Cloud Management will assure optimization on the app level by giving workloads the resources they need when they need them. Capacity and cost analytics will allow you to make intelligent decisions about where to deploy new projects, when and what to migrate, and how to correctly migrate. vRealize and Tanzu will support to optimise Performance and Cost and maximise efficiency.
About Governance, If reducing cloud complexity and risk is your priority, VMware Cloud Management will provide guardrail security, compliance, and fiscal control and governance. Cost optimization, will allow you to control the costs allowing you to better decide applications placements across clouds providers.
CloudHealth in conjunction with vRealize and Tanzu will improve the investment across the clouds and will mitigate risks to use a multi cloud strategy
If we want to translate this in a more comprehensive view we can consider the following images where we can see the different type of clouds available
and how the VMware Cloud Management will be used to manage all of them
I will take some times to add more information on this topic…..stay tuned?