Reframing the Cloud in Terms of Apps and Storage

When developing an organization’s cloud strategy, it is useful to construct it in terms of the desired end results. This has less to do with the infrastructure behind it, and more to do with the actual applications that are running: things like VMware, Oracle, SQL, and Db2 (in certain cases). But where does your data fit into that?

Going one layer down, a big component of any organization’s intellectual property is the data itself. To put it in layman’s terms: Your smartphone could go out the window, but what you will really miss is your pictures. The same applies for your organization’s mission-critical data. The layer of data management into the primary public hyperscalers is a key part of a comprehensive hybrid multi-cloud strategy.

Greater Agility, Greater Responsibility 

Much of the impetus behind cloud migrations is to take advantage of greater agility of both location and capacity. The fact that cloud workloads are distributed globally creates opportunities to move workloads and data to the most appropriate location based on an organization’s needs and policies. Organizations with infrastructure that is outdated, poorly sized, or in the wrong geographic location to meet user needs see the cloud as a resource to expand their compute and storage capabilities on demand. But leveraging the elasticity and scalability of public cloud requires planning.

Without a systematic plan and the correct technology solutions to back it up, all the operational tasks you have done for years in your on-premises data center will go to waste. For example, you will have to rewrite code for each of the major public hyperscalers. If you learn that one of the public hyperscalers is less suited for your needs, you will need a way to replicate those applications and data between the different cloud environments you plan to utilize.

Running apps in the cloud is less expensive, until it is not 

Another critical element to consider is economics. Many people think that moving to the public cloud will automatically reduce overall costs, but they do not always consider the details. For one, IT leaders often struggle with simply turning things “off.” Enterprises are constantly storing data, and developers are constantly spinning up new applications and often just keep them running. That might not be the right strategy long-term. Effective cloud economics requires identifying the applications you are no longer using and turning them off to curb unnecessary costs.

Cloud is highly secure, but still requires planning 

Security brings further ramifications to cloud strategy. The primary public hyperscalers employ large, fully dedicated teams focused on security; this dwarfs the security capabilities typical of enterprise IT teams. But new ransomware threats mean all it takes is for one person’s account to be compromised. If the account provides sufficient access to your data, you will be faced with a difficult choice between paying up or losing business-critical systems and data that are next to impossible to recreate.

Successfully Managing Data on Public Clouds With NetApp

Successful cloud strategies require comprehensive planning and collaboration between line of business stakeholders and IT leaders. And one key aspect of the cloud is the data itself. Evolving Solutions has partnered with NetApp for over 20 years to manage the data side of cloud migrations. NetApp solutions enable you to get the same experience in the cloud as you are accustomed to with your on-premises IT infrastructure. Your organization can leverage the full power of cloud innovations while the data it is storing on-premises is easily transported into the major public hyperscalers. Backups are stored in immutable copies that cannot be altered or deleted, leaving your operations less exposed to ransomware attacks.

Ultimately this saves both time and money and, more importantly, enables businesses to move workloads interchangeably between the public hyperscalers. For example, if Google is providing a service at one rate and AWS provides that same service at a lesser rate, that same code can be transported between the different clouds, resulting in reduced cost. You also have the flexibility to bring it back on premises, should the need arise.

The proof point is that none of NetApp’s competitors can offer this type of flexibility because NetApp is the only hybrid cloud service provider that is native in the world’s biggest clouds—and is proven with more than 4,500 clients. Ultimately, getting this storage piece right is key to weaving together a successful cloud strategy.

Contact us to learn more about how NetApp can be a part of your hybrid cloud strategy.


Jim Pross

Systems & Storage Consultant

Jim is a Senior Solution Architect at Evolving Solutions and joined the company in 1999. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn here.

Photo of Jim Pross

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