Assessing cloud readiness for your data centre
Clients recognise the pressure internal IT departments are under pressure to provide much higher value to the business, while dealing with limited resources. Many IT organisations I talk to have already moved some workloads to the cloud and have a desire to move toward a private cloud environment within their own data centre.
Because of this, it is important that IT departments begin to provide cloud-like offerings like those of public cloud providers – elasticity, agility, self-service, automation, metered usage, and more – in a private cloud infrastructure that operates from behind the company firewall, while having the flexibility to provide external cloud services where and when it is best suited, so the company can gain maximum benefit.
So where do you start?
IT needs to understand where you are now and where you want to be – your data centre strategy and where cloud fits in.
To fully understand how to get from where a client is on the path for their data centre or cloud strategy, we need to help the client determine exactly what the current state of their IT environment looks like today.
Dimension Data’s ‘Data Centre Development Model’ assessment looks to do just that, while also defining and understanding what the desired state looks like, and the strategic roadmap to help the client get there.
Cloud readiness also needs to be assessed if the end goal for the client is a public, hybrid, or private cloud. In the industry, we recognise five stages of cloudy maturity or readiness. Without reaching a certain level of maturity, it becomes difficult for a company to take advantage of this move.
Stages of assessing cloud readiness:
- Consolidate: In the NZ market, with the proliferation of VMware, HyperV and other virtualisation technologies, we can pretty much tick this one off
- Integrate: The focus of this stage is to look tointegrate diverse storage and networking systems together, as well as work on standardising operations, processes and practices.
- Automate: When a client is able to automate processes or workflows, they then start to reap the benefits of ahighly streamlined, virtualised, and automated data centre.
- ITaaS and self-service: the internal IT department has pretty much begun to provide most of the components of a private cloud environment.
- Hybrid clouds: Most industry experts expect hybrid cloud environments to be the most common deployment.