Evaluate Approaches to Cloud for Optimal Business Results

Organizations are seeking to scale operations for increased business success and faster results. Inefficient IT infrastructure limits the growth and dulls their competitive edge. Understanding the essential steps for successful hybrid cloud adoption makes it easier for small enterprises and businesses to control data and scale to meet changing demands.

Evaluate Approaches to Cloud for Optimal Business Results
Evaluate Approaches to Cloud for Optimal Business Results

Read more in this article about:

  • Changing business environments
  • Importance of strategy
  • Overcoming adoption pain points

Table of contents

Introduction
Changing Business Environments Require Cloud-Enabled IT
Importance of Cloud Adoption Strategies
Overcoming Adoption Pain Points
Pressure to Modernize and Scale at Will
Case Study: Brewing with Hybrid Cloud
One platform: Multiple Clouds, Unified Management
Zero-Touch Services and Security
Conclusion

Introduction

As organizations seek to scale operations for increased business success and faster results, many are grappling with inefficient IT infrastructures that limit growth and dull their competitive edge, as well as disparate silos supporting numerous applications that only foster greater complexity and sprawl.

The premise of cloud — in particular, public cloud as a way to streamline operations and costs — sets up businesses to be easily overwhelmed with choices and approaches that appear sound, requiring guidance on how best to innovate their current infrastructure strategy to efficiently meet short-term and long-term resource needs. To address those requirements, virtualization and private cloud offer alternatives that allow these companies to scale as needed, extend their architectures and seize greater control of data, improving processing and eliminating data movements and latencies.

An increasing number of small enterprises and businesses seeking to more fully control IT spend and data are turning to hybrid cloud, a computing environment that integrates both public and private cloud platforms. This flexible cloud approach enables organizations to customize their infrastructures for future growth and access a unified experience to scale operations. By providing the right infrastructure for applications and workloads, companies can achieve greater resilience to successfully meet total cost of ownership (TCO) targets.

Understanding the essential steps for successful hybrid cloud adoption — from cloudready servers that deliver efficient application performance and flexibility to hybrid cloud architectures — makes it easier for small enterprises and businesses to control data and scale to meet changing demands. Here’s what you need to know.

Changing Business Environments Require Cloud-Enabled IT

IT infrastructures continue to evolve as a result of hardware and software innovations focused on accomplishing the needs of business. More services options (specifically, more cloud services options, including private, public, hosted or hybrid versions) can streamline infrastructure consumption to help businesses reach faster time-to-market needs. In fact, research from Gartner predicts that by 2022, up to 60 percent of organizations will use an external provider’s cloud managed service offering. Small enterprises and businesses in particular need versatile infrastructures with agile, cloud-ready servers. These organizations face risks and production shortfalls if they don’t accurately predict demand and adopt the most complementary resources to help achieve key market objectives and remain competitive.

Once a clear strategy is in place, organizations can assess future resource needs and choose a stepping-stone approach to long-term IT resiliency and consistent performance. Hybrid cloud and consumption models can offer effective (public) cloud-like approaches to help organizations deliver results while meeting cost targets with a cloud-enabled IT approach.

Compliance and governance play important roles in securing an evolving IT model. Threat proliferation has required businesses to be especially vigilant as they transfer information and migrate workloads: Organizations increasingly need to control their own data to conform to GDPR guidelines and other consumer privacy regulations. Moreover, in contrast to security lapses and breaches in public cloud environments, cloud-ready servers boast built-in safeguards and a trusted, secure foundation.

Importance of Cloud Adoption Strategies

Given the vast number of product options and IT choices, a persistent question remains: How can IT leaders select the most versatile, secure resource approach to achieve their business goals? As IT needs evolve, organizations require the flexibility to extend architectures and seize control of their data, confident that their operations will remain protected.

The pressure on IT to modernize infrastructure and meet business demand — as well as add cloud resources — can be daunting. Administrators need to not only guarantee that the most optimal infrastructure is in place, but also allow room to rapidly scale.

By employing a well-planned expansion strategy, IT teams can fine-tune and customize a platform until it delivers the precise level of resources the business requires. With the right strategy in place, operations can scale as necessary, unify management and take advantage of automation options.

Overcoming Adoption Pain Points

As IT leaders evaluate how to optimize their infrastructures and quickly deliver business results, they’re wrestling with focused IT budgets that limit their resource options. A small enterprise or business can be at a critical disadvantage if its infrastructure is not optimized for growth or requires constant modifications to stay competitive.

In addition, sometimes organizations deploy multiple workloads to the public cloud and underestimate cloud-related expenditures, then struggle to contain unforeseen costs. For example, public cloud cost overruns can include staffing and other expenditures necessary to ensure secure and efficient data migrations.

Businesses often are unable to accurately assess the long-term pros and cons of a multitenant cloud approach that aligns to their business needs. As a result, they end up redeploying applications or moving data back on-premises to maximize local resources. Instead, organizations can choose a hybrid cloud approach that offers mixed on-premise computing and adds both familiarity for IT staff as well as unified control.

Pressure to Modernize and Scale at Will

Obsolete servers and inefficient storage aren’t enough to meet real-time IT demand or the fast scalability required in today’s digital economy. These local, on-premise deployments simply are not modernized and lack scalability to meet current business needs. On the other hand, on-premise solutions, such as private cloud, offer new capabilities and resources to meet the needs of an expanding remote workforce while ensuring unified control of data and IT operations.

A scalable, cloud IT-ready approach includes policies and procedures that dictate how data is secured both at rest and in transit. The need for increased security points to the growing complexity of managing both a public cloud and on-premise environments: If not scaled correctly, hardware, infrastructure and operations limit business agility and add to the IT burden through increased hands-on management.

Case Study: Brewing with Hybrid Cloud

For New Belgium, there were hidden risks in moving to public cloud that went beyond simple data egress and migration costs. The nationally distributed U.S. brewery wanted to not only run mission-critical and real-time operations locally, but also to achieve greater performance. Furthermore, the inability to fully customize its data management process and keep customer information within its local environment was detrimental.

Since its business was growing exponentially, New Belgium decided an on-premise, hybrid cloud approach would provide an optimal environment to achieve optimal IT performance. The company partnered with Dell Technologies to deploy on-premise PowerEdge servers to handle the data increase and ensure integrity, security and low latencies.

With the return to on-premise servers and management control, New Belgium’s relatively small IT team was able to respond to market demands in real time, a critical factor for small and medium business success.

One platform: Multiple Clouds, Unified Management

Small enterprises and businesses need to optimize their IT infrastructures to accelerate business results, whether those resources are traditional, on-premise, virtual, cloud-based or some combination of each. Dell helps companies deploy solutions that grow with a business to drive agility, simplify management and streamline operations.

For example, Dell Expert Network members can take advantage of a powerful, integrated solution combining Dell EMC Ready Nodes and VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) to enable a full-fledged private cloud deployment. This approach leverages single consoles to fully manage applications and workloads while supporting VMs and containers (Kubernetes). Cluster management within the suite further alleviates the IT burden of maintaining individual servers.

Dell Expert Network members can ease daily operations through VCF and gain greater data mobility by seamlessly connecting to public clouds (Amazon Web Services, Google, and so on). For companies running high performance compute (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI), Dell Ready Solutions keep data close to the compute side for faster processing; then, through VMware cloud connectivity, organizations can bring global data closer to compute, eliminating data egress costs typical of public cloud, while fulling deploying remote management of operations.

An alternative cloud-ready approach includes Dell EMC Ready Nodes for Microsoft Azure, which can be started with a 2-node configuration as well as bare-metal options employing Dell PowerEdge servers certified for Red Hat Linux and other Linux-based approaches — and which can help customers with creating their own cloud for IT self-service models.

Zero-Touch Services and Security

These operational advantages extend to the trusted security foundation built into Dell EMC PowerEdge servers to ensure cyber-resiliency at the hardware level. Security is further augmented at the private cloud stack layers supported by VMware, and Microsoft Azure for example, along with additional protection such as encryption key management and secure, encrypted drives.

Finally, in this time of heightened health awareness and social restrictions, small enterprises and businesses who join Dell Expert Network can work with Dell Services to administer, install and deploy hardware at their site. Organizations can purchase PowerEdge servers pre-configured at the factory with predefined software and remote management options, eliminating the need for IT administrators to physically travel to their business sites to set up new servers. By offloading that extra effort, IT teams can stay safe and devote more resources to dealing with other business issues.

Conclusion

It’s clear that without a digital infrastructure optimized for business growth, companies risk losing their competitive edge. As businesses look for the right technology strategy to power transformation, they want a platform they can adjust and customize to scale with their business. They also want to harness additional value from an infrastructure that powers applications and ensures data mobility across the organization. In the process, these small enterprises and businesses leave behind disparate, siloed workloads and management, and realize a cloud-ready or hybrid cloud approach that scales and extends their architecture and allows them full control of their data, hardware, operations and policies.

Source: Dell technologies

Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.