Benefits of a Multicloud Strategy

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You may be surprised that a recent survey by RightScale found that 85% of enterprises have a multicloud strategy.   Also, interesting is that applications run on an average of 1.8 public clouds and 2.3 private clouds.  Utilizing a multicloud approach is more of a consideration than ever before for a number and combination of reasons:

  • Different business needs may require a different set of cloud skills and specialties
  • A company may want to reduce its dependence on just one cloud vendor
  • The enterprise may be looking for a strategy to reduce down-time and data loss
  • Or, all of the above

Similar to the decision making process behind running some systems on traditional IT and some on cloud, a multicloud strategy takes into consideration what cloud offering will perform best given the need.  Multicloud strategies are about giving the enterprise more choice and even more control. As Meenagi Venkat of IBM Cloud  writes, “it [multicloud] is a way to avoid putting all your IT eggs in one cloud provider’s basket.”

Silicon Angle further reports that enterprises that use multicloud environments that leverage new technology trends such as DevOps and application containers have greater agility and faster time to market.   According to the reported study these same organizations or “dynamic cloud users” tend to see a 26% improvement in application uptime versus 19% for static cloud users and dynamic cloud users also see a great improvement in costs.

Here are two everyday use cases for a multicloud strategy:

Providing better customer experiences.  Customer demand for information and applications can be at any time and from any device. A multicloud approach allows you to utilize the cloud technology best suited for the workload while also allowing you to overlay cognitive capabilities that can provide more real-time analysis for better customer interactions.

Managing risk. Just as Mr. Venkat above advises it is important not to put all your IT eggs in one basket.  Using a multicloud approach can help minimize the risk of downtime or even poor performance by creating redundancy and also the ability to move applications to better performing clouds.

Having a multicloud strategy does require the right tools to help manage the added complexity.  A trusted IT partner can help you determine what benefits would come from a multicloud approach and how to get ready to implement and manage long term.

Bluemix Cloud Computing Solutions Drive Value for Businesses

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By Doug Polen, Evolving Solutions Software Sales Specialist

Can Walmart really influence its vendors to migrate away from AWS cloud computing solutions?  If I was a supplier to the retail behemoth, I’d certainly want to consider my options.  AWS is the Uber of the cloud marketplace, but there are other players in the marketplace that offer viable cloud solutions.   Consider IBM’s Bluemix…

You may ask – what is IBM Bluemix, I’ve never heard of it?  Is that Softlayer?  IBM has a cloud computing solution?  These are things I have heard multiple customers say to me over the past couple of months as I have been working to create brand awareness in the Upper Midwest.  Bluemix is IBM’s IaaS and PaaS cloud solution, the IaaS components were previously branded under IBM’s Softlayer acquisition.  Earlier this year, it was merged with the Bluemix PaaS catalog of offerings which was originally launched back in 2014.

Why should you care about Bluemix now that IBM has gotten serious about IaaS and PaaS cloud computing solutions?  There are many finite details, but the top reason for a medium to large enterprise would be Private Cloud.  Many organizations are just fine with sharing their cloud environments in the public space, but as organizations embrace Hybrid Cloud models going across multiple data centers and cloud providers, how do you know your “stuff” is secure?  IBM is able to offer Public, Private, Semi-Private and Local cloud computing solutions for customers to choose what makes sense in their world…while this is likely to change, it can be a very compelling reason for customers to opt with Big Blue.

As a customer, you’ve got options.  It all depends on the use case and what you are trying to accomplish.  Based on my interactions with the IBM teams and my customers, there are some key offerings within Bluemix that are Hot on the Truck at the moment:

  • VMWare Solutions (Hytrust, Veeam & Zerto alliances)
  • Virtual Servers
  • IBM Watson Services for Cognitive Computing Capabilities
  • Weather Company Integration
  • Websphere Application Server
  • Data & Analytics Services
  • Application Integration with API Connect and App Connect

I am excited to see IBM break down many of the silos that previously made it challenging to work with.  Given the robust catalog of offerings, there are multiple ways to procure these cloud tools and services (pay/go, gift card model or subscription).  If you are an existing IBM software customer, be sure to consider the Bridge to Cloud programs at renewal time, you could get a low cost test drive of the Bluemix platform for a couple years.  Nothing on your software renewal that is eligible to bridge…ask for a small sample of Bluemix, you’ll likely see some additional discounting on your annual maintenance bill.

We are Evolving Solutions, Let’s get to work and help you understand how Bluemix cloud computing solutions can bring value to your organization. Contact us today.

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Doug Polen is a Software Sales Specialist at Evolving Solutions.

 

 

 

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Trends Shaping Cloud Computing Strategy

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“From cost containment to hybrid strategies, CIOs are getting more creative in taking advantage of the latest offerings and the cloud’s economies of scale,” writes Clint Boulton for CIO.   Mr. Boulton provides the following break down on the current trends shaping cloud computing strategy and solution adoption.

Cloud Computing Adoption

First the numbers, Forrester Research reported the following cloud computing adoption statistics from a recent survey:

  • 38% of enterprises are building private cloud solutions
  • 32% are also adopting public cloud services
  • 59% are adopting a hybrid cloud solution

Forrester also found that enterprises are speeding up their adoption because they need more flexibility and capabilities to scale to meet changing customer demands. Cloud computing solutions are proving to be the means to achieve their goals.

Trends Shaping Cloud Computing Strategy

In the coming years, these trends are shaping what cloud computing solutions enterprises choose and how they evolve their cloud strategies.

  • Hyperconverged infrastructure bridges a gap. As CIOs weigh the security risks of public cloud services against their workload and data requirements, some decide they would rather turn to private cloud services.  Building a private cloud is no small task, but new hyperconverged infrastructure solutions are helping to accelerate the use of private cloud.  Hyperconverged infrastructure offers packages of compute, storage and networking that ease the build out of a private cloud
  • More containers. Container use has grown as IT sees the advantages of using them for easier portability of software code. As use grows, cloud computing strategies will also change, because containers can add another level of complexity
  • Rise of public cloud apps. Forrester has found that more enterprise CIOs are trusting the public cloud for application hosting. With more success stories, leaders will gain more confidence and take a new look at their current application hosting strategy

Take a step back, how is your own cloud strategy evolving? Are you seeing these trends affect your choices and plans? Evolving Solutions has the expertise to help your company evaluate and determine the best cloud computing strategy, and ultimately, the best solution.  We work with you to develop a cloud strategy tailored to your needs. Contact us today and learn more about our cloud services.

NIST Definition of Cloud Computing

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Let’s take a step back and look at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) definition of cloud computing. NIST is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and works to promote the economy and public welfare by providing technical leadership for measurement and standards infrastructure. Industry expert and blogger Bernard Golden writes for CIO, “I think the National Institute of Standards and Technology has done a great service in codifying its definition [of cloud computing], and I rely on it to communicate the key characteristics of cloud computing — and, more importantly, to draw the distinctions between cloud computing and the traditional IT approach to infrastructure management.”

From the NIST definition of cloud computing, “Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interactive.” NIST provides the following definitions of the essential characteristics and service and deployment models for cloud computing.

Essential Cloud Computing Characteristics:

  • On-demand self-service: consumers can unilaterally provision computing capabilities as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  • Broad network access: capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanism that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms.
  • Resources pooling: The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand
  • Rapid elasticity: capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand.
  • Measured service: cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service.

Service Models

  • Software as a Service (Saas)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Deployment Models

    • Private cloud
    • Community cloud
    • Public cloud
    • Hybrid cloud

As the array of cloud computing solutions and services continues to grow, the NIST definition of cloud computing grounds our understanding of what cloud can offer versus traditional IT solutions.

Contact us today to speak more about where cloud can work best for your company.