At the core of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is an architecture that provides seamless cloud-based service delivery, cuts unnecessary IT costs and reduces the operational friction which inhibits business agility and value. As a result, IT departments now think more strategically about how to use infrastructure and hybrid cloud solutions to benefit their businesses.
According to CenturyLink’s 2014 Global IT trends report, “within five years, companies will have outsourced approximately 70 percent of their infrastructures.”1 Since many IT departments already virtualize their onsite data centers, or have a private cloud setup, the conversation about utilizing an IaaS or hybrid cloud computing model has become a little more comfortable. Once companies became familiar with the benefits of virtualizing physical infrastructures and data centers, it sparked an interest in outsourcing IT entirely, leading to rapid cloud service adoption and growth.
Instead of being a one-size-fits-all solution for IT departments, these cloud solutions require a thorough understanding of business operations and needs. Cloud distributors offer numerous IaaS and hybrid cloud services, so it’s essential to consider the following when designing a solution that satisfies all IT requirements for clients:
Know The Benefits and Common Uses of IaaS from a Cloud Distributor
IaaS and hybrid cloud solutions offer the elasticity, security and agility that IT departments require, with a growing set of platform and application services available on the market. From Microsoft Azure to IBM SoftLayer, every client can find an IaaS solution that addresses their largest IT pain point, whether it’s storage, security, application development and deployment, management, networking, etc. To determine what services would benefit your clients the most, consider the common uses of IaaS and hybrid cloud solutions:
Development and Testing
Dev-test is a low-risk first step to cloud. By using a cloud for development and testing
workloads, clients will free up valuable on-premise capacity by running a pre-production
environment in the cloud. Then, at their convenience, they can choose to deploy their
application in a cloud-based or on-premise datacenter.
Packaging and Extending Existing Applications
When a client has reached their next application upgrade cycle of an existing virtualized
desktop or application. Now, they will have the option to host or extend the applications
in the cloud rather than on-premise.
Backup, Storage and Disaster Recovery
Every business needs to protect their critical information and minimize downtime in the
event of outages, failures, disasters or other disruptions. Clients look to the cloud to
extend their existing data center for backup, storage, and will strive to achieve active
replication between physical locations in case of a disaster.
Modernizing Enterprise Applications
Clients may look to the cloud to design, build and host their new business-critical application or virtual desktops. It’s much easier to modernize an application if the infrastructure is already taking care of the workload performance and reliability.
Next Generation Applications
These type of applications typically have to “talk” with existing applications in order to
work. In this instance, consistency and performance is critical because the application
will need to perform the same way every time, all the time. Relying on the cloud means that clients won’t have to write new code for their applications due to limitations of a chosen infrastructure.
Understand Current IT Operations and What is Lacking
In terms of IT operations concerns, some clients will strive for a common management platform to monitor and manage security, consistency and governance across data centers; clients that are focused on development, however, may just be looking for on-demand self-service infrastructure with readily available application development tools and services.
Here are some technical questions for clients that will help determine what services should be prioritized when designing an IaaS or hybrid cloud solution:
- Do workload or application interdependencies exist?
- Does the workload or application require specific compute resources?
- What type of storage does the application require?
- How do we connect to the workloads once running in the cloud?
- How do we protect everything from disaster, theft and cyber attacks?
- How do we administer, manage and monitor the cloud infrastructure?
- Does the cloud distributor offer an acceptable service level agreement?
- Is there ongoing, 24/7 support?
Your client’s answers will keep the dialogue going about outsourcing more IT needs to the cloud, and give better insight into the scope of the project. With a proactive approach, it becomes easier to address potential barriers and challenges before they become a problem, and ensures a seamless migration to IaaS cloud services.
Tech Data has a team of technical experts and professional service offerings to guide you through these challenges. We ensure that you have the tools you need to strategize, assess, design, deploy and optimize the perfect IaaS and hybrid solutions for your clients. Contact Tech Data today to learn more about our best-in-class infrastructure services, education and cloud marketplace tools.