Bridging Technical and Operational Expectations When Migrating to Cloud

Cloud isn’t the shiny new thing it once was, but that doesn’t mean that organizations have mastered what it takes to get the most out of their cloud investments. As businesses shift to SaaS-based solutions to reap the benefits of an OpEx consumption model, cloud computing is playing an integral role in digital transformation. The trend is only expected to accelerate as organizations embrace new ways of working and operating. According to Deloitte, “Cloud has become the primary location for businesses to store data; most have moved even their applications to cloud platforms, and many of those businesses that have their data on-premise today are soon planning to migrate to cloud.”¹

While flexibility and scalability have long been the rallying cry for organizations moving to cloud, today’s SaaS model is fundamentally changing how business applications are deployed and managed. Once dependent on enterprise infrastructure and networking, the rapid adoption of—and growing preference for—SaaS applications has caused industry-leading vendors to acquire or develop SaaS-based services in an effort to meet the demand for OpEx solutions. As a result, apps that were once hosted in an enterprise data center are now hosted by vendors. This creates a new enterprise operating model that relies on hosting providers, application providers, or public cloud providers when application changes are needed—a dramatically different approach to application deployment and management.

It all sounds good in theory—free your business from capital expenditures, gain unprecedented flexibility to scale as needed to meet business demands, and get out of the data center business so resources can focus on initiatives that help you grow. But, like everything that sounds too good to be true, migrating to cloud can bring some unwelcome surprises, and, if not done correctly, costs can spiral out of control.

In one survey, respondents estimated that nearly half of their cloud spend is wasted on unused or idle resources. Not surprisingly, respondents also indicated that reducing cloud waste is a priority for their organization, with 76% saying that it’s a very high or important priority.²

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Respondents estimated that nearly 50% of their cloud spend is wasted on unused or idle resources.²

It’s a Brave New Cloud World… Are You Feeling Brave Yet?

In a traditional data center or colocation model, hardware and software vendors were responsible for providing features and functionality and configuring them to meet customers’ needs. This meant that vendors needed to continually add and build new capabilities into solutions in order to stay competitive and keep customers happy. It also necessitated that organizations become technically capable to use the features bundled into a solution—for instance, a storage device with snapshots, deduplication, management, and governance.

Today, a cloud operating model requires trained and skilled technical resources capable of managing and optimizing an entirely new environment. In fact, 67% of organizations are adding new roles and functions due to cloud investments.³ Cloud architects and cloud systems administrators are being added to organizations faster than other roles are, and these high-value resources are now responsible for administering the features and functionality of the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings from cloud providers because, unlike a data center model where hardware and software are purchased to your specifications, you are now responsible for building the solution to meet your needs. In the cloud, custom tooling is required, you may need to think about using infrastructure as code, and service level agreements (SLAs) drive performance metrics, as opposed to those typically associated with data center operations, such as uptime.

That’s a lot of change, and it can expose the gap between what an organization is technically capable of doing and what needs to get done in the cloud. Investments in retooling and reskilling may be required, which not only adds costs but can also delay the realization of the value cloud can deliver. At the same time, there is often a gap in technology expectations due to a lack of clarity about what a cloud provider delivers. For example, what happens when a virtual machine is stood up in a hyperscaler and the host fails? How is a VM managed? What services are provided? Yes, cloud providers can offer replication capabilities and take snapshots, and you can set up security and switching, but it becomes your responsibility to know what you need and to build it from the ground up—it just doesn’t come included with the service. You have to actually turn services on and enable them, and that means knowing which services and when to optimize both functionality and cost.

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67% of organizations are adding new roles and functions due to cloud investments.³

There Is No Cloud Easy Button, But There Is an Easier Way to Close the Cloud Migration Gap.

It can be an eye-opening experience for organizations to discover that there’s nothing turnkey about the cloud. Features and functionality are not provided by default, and it’s not as simple as moving VMs to the cloud and expecting that everything will operate as it did in your data center environment. This can be painful for organizations that have built capabilities on top of the enterprise data center. The costs incurred every time a feature is turned on can diminish the savings organizations anticipated by moving to cloud, and unless your team has the knowledge and skill to know when to turn features on and off—and is vigilant about monitoring application services—costs can skyrocket.

This is where EchoStor cloud managed services can help bridge the technical and operational capabilities gap. With the experience to ensure that you have the features and functionality that you’re used to in a data center environment, our team can optimize your cloud spend by efficiently taking advantage of the benefits of cloud and a new consumption model. We give you the flexibility, agility, and financial benefits of a managed services model backed by an organization with deep expertise and proven business outcomes.

Leveraging EchoStor Virtual Assistant to protect, optimize, deploy, and secure your cloud investments, EchoStor cloud managed services eases your transition to cloud by ensuring that your cloud strategy is executed efficiently so you’re not overspending in the cloud.

The costs incurred every time a feature is turned on can diminish the savings organizations anticipated by moving to cloud, and unless your team has the knowledge and skill to know when to turn features on and off—and is vigilant about monitoring application services—costs can skyrocket.

Discover how EchoStor managed cloud services can help you close the cloud migration gap with the technical and operational know-how to make cloud work for your business.

¹ Ramachandran K, Linthicum D, Why organizations are moving to the cloud, Deloitte, March 2020.

² StormForge, 2021 Cloud Waste Survey Findings, 2021.

³ IDG Research, 2020 Cloud Computing Study, June 2020.

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