Cloud Adoption for Enterprise IT: Part 1 of 4

June 25, 2019

Part 1: Cloud Adoption Roadmap & Cloud Strategy

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By John Valentine, Kovarus Cloud Practice Manager

As the cloud practice lead at Kovarus, I work with customers daily to understand their goals, successes and pain around cloud adoption. The cloud is an incredibly powerful option as it overcomes many of the traditional infrastructure challenges organizations are used to dealing with. However, as with any new technology, there are also a unique set of challenges customers often run into along the way. As more and more organizations embrace the public cloud, it’s important to take a step back and learn from the successes and mistakes of the early adopters.

Every customer is different, and the ways in which they use the cloud are often unique. However, the challenges organizations face in their current cloud environment, or in planning for a new cloud project are quite similar. Often, I hear the following in one form or another:

  1. I have no visibility into who is using what and my costs are unpredictable.
  2. I moved workloads in the cloud and now have similar or more issues to on-premises.
  3. I am spending far too much time on manual processes in the cloud.
  4. I have networking and security issues and concerns in my cloud environment.
  5. My cloud initiative failed, either partially or completely.

There are of course other challenges customers face, but these are the most common complaints I hear. To avoid many of these common issues, it’s critical to follow a process and have a strategy. This applies whether an organization is a born-in-the-cloud startup, or a large fortune 100. This process should be an iterative one, where we can build from the previous success. In this 4-part blog series, we’ll see how Kovarus helps customers be successful with their cloud projects.

  • Part 1: Cloud Adoption Roadmap & Cloud Strategy
  • Part 2: Cloud Management
  • Part 3: Cloud Operations
  • Part 4: Cloud Connectivity & Security

As you can see from the graphic, there are quite a few steps we must take before we actually start migrating or spinning up new workloads. This is where many customers run into issues; they start at the end and try to clean up the mess later. Let’s walk through this process to get a better understanding.

Cloud Strategy

It may seem obvious, but just like with any traditional data center project, we need to have a strategy before we begin. This is sadly the step that most customers either spend far too little time on or skip altogether.

Cloud Provider Selection — Our first step is to actually select our cloud provider(s) we want to use. This may be a full-fledged bakeoff where we compare costs, features, etc. and determine the technical and financial winner, or we may just go with the one that we have credits for, like the features of, etc.

Tooling — Once we’ve selected our cloud provider, we need to determine which set of tools we wish to use. By this, I mean do we want to use more agnostic tools such as Ansible, Terraform, and Jenkins or do we want to utilize the native cloud offerings like CloudFormation and Resource Manager. If we are building out a hybrid cloud or multicloud environment, it may make sense to use agnostic tools so our code is mobile, where that may not be as critical if we’ve chosen a single cloud-only approach.

Application Portfolio — Now that we’ve chosen our cloud and the tools, we need to understand our current application architecture and its dependencies. This is fairly challenging for most organizations as it’s hard to determine the number of applications we actually have, the dependencies, their architecture and the SLAs for each one. Kovarus has a number of tools and resources to accomplish this. Once we understand our applications, it’s important to decide what we are actually going to do with each one. We can decide to replace, refactor, rehost, or retire that application.

Next: Part 2 — Cloud Management

Looking to learn more about modernizing and automating IT? We created the Kovarus Proven Solutions Center (KPSC) to let you see what’s possible and learn how we can help you succeed. To learn more about the KPSC go to the KPSC page.

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