Analysis: Defining the Cloud & Migrating to the Cloud

The National Data Center Summit Series rolls on.  Registration is now open for The Fourth Annual Southwest Data Center Summit, which will be held on November 9-10 in Phoenix and the inaugural Greater Seattle and Pacific Northwest Data Center Summit, which will be held on November 17.  

More than 415 senior-level data center real estate and connectivity executives from Texas, Oklahoma, California and other national markets recently attended The Third Annual Texas Data Center Summit, held on October 6-7 in Dallas. More than 60 speakers participated in 12 panels, combing 12 hours of informational panels and networking opportunities. Infomart Data Centers sponsored the official opening night reception at Infomart Dallas. Time Warner Cable Business Class sponsored the official post event reception Connectivity.

Above: RagingWire Data Centers’s Doug Adams discusses new data center development in Garland, TXRagingWire is developing a new on million Square Foot, 80 Megawatt Data Center Campus.

Above: The Maturing Data Center Industry, Including: Renewed M&A Activity, Valuation of the Data Center Operation & the Impact of Cross-Regional International Demand with Miles Loo, Jr., Executive Director, Valuation & Advisory, Cushman & Wakefield Western, Inc.; Rashad Kawmy, Director – Leveraged Finance, CapitalSource; B. Dan Bryson, Executive Vice President – Capital Markets, Real Estate Investment Banking, JLL; Jeff Ferry, Director, Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group and James H. Henry, Senior Managing Director, Bank Street Group

Above: New Construction, Development & Future-Proofing the Data Center Asset: Protect the Investment with Lane Anderson, Vice President, Mission Critical, Structure Tone Southwest Inc.; Hugh Carspecken, CEO, DartPoints
* Tom Leiser, Managing Partner, Skybox Datacenters; Dave Meadows, Manager, Applications Engineering, STULZ Air Technology Systems; Ty R. Miller, Vice President – Central U.S., Digital Realty Trust; and Michael Silla, Senior Vice President, Mission Critical COE, Skanska USA Building, Inc.


At our recent Third Annual Texas Data Center Summit, industry executives who participated in the end-user/impact of the cloud discussion were asked to define the cloud and the challenges of cloud migration.

Moderator: Kirk A. Killian, President, Partners National Mission Critical Facilities

How are industry executives defining The Cloud here in 2015? | Don Douglas, CEO, Liquid Networx

Well, I think that’s kind of a loaded question.  It’s one of those things where it’s what they think their customers really want to hear.

If they have a customer that’s really looking to be part of the Cloud, then they’re going to really emphasize those features.  And then on the other hand, if they have customers who have concerns about security or other pieces of it, they may opt to show hybrid models or anything.

But, basically, I think, in the short run, they’re primarily defining it as anything that’s not on your premises.  That’s kind of how they point to it.

If you don’t control all of it, if you’re using someone else’s technology behind the scenes and anybody’s managing any part of it, they’re kind of lumping everything together that way.

What applications and functions and which corporate customers are you seeing that are most comfortable in migrating into the Cloud?  Which applications are you seeing that they’re embracing that migration versus the applications or functions that you’re seeing more reticence on their part moving in the Cloud? | Theodore J. (TJ) Karklins, CEO, Clearview International, Inc.

I think, if you circle into it, kind of interesting model is, right off the top, software as a service is impacting the Cloud strategy because it’s Cloud at its core.  And so, CRM and helpdesk and marketing automation and all those tools, even property management and real estate, are being delivered software as a service.

They’re circling right back into the datacenter back into our businesses.  But, they’re Cloud applications for our clients.

Go to the other end of the spectrum, at the bottom of the enterprise, and disaster recovery is something people are very–are becoming comfortable with because they’re not doing a great job of it many times.

And I don’t know about you guys, but I’m in this business.  And I get a call every week from someone trying to sell me disaster Cloud recovery services.  And I say, “You know I’m in this business, don’t you?”  And they say–and they just keep coming.

And so, all of those companies are taking down datacenter space, and they’re pulling applications to the Cloud.  And the DR’s not being done well.  So, it’s going to move.  And people are getting comfortable with that because they get better than they have.

You go back up, e-mail, at this point, Microsoft decided they want e-mail more than all of us.  And so, they’re pulling e-mail and SharePoint and some of those traditional applications.  And people are releasing that to Cloud services.

Go back down, test and development, and in test and development, there’s a lot happening there where infrastructure’s old the people are using for that.  It gets too old to use anymore.  And instead of buying new hardware, they’re going to Cloud services and using that pretty comfortably.

Back up to the top of the enterprise, Web services, any kind of Web company, it really works pretty well in the Cloud.  It’s flexible to scale.  You get a good cockpit.  There’s firms like Amazon that do it very well.  There’s other specialty firms, like hosting and rack space that do that very well and flexibly at scale.

And then we have new stuff happening in the infrastructure layer.  Boring over telephony is finally really going to the Cloud.

And desktops, desktop servers are going to go to the Cloud and coming back to the datacenter.

So, those two things have been outside of our view in the datacenter world, and they’re going to come back in because of this trend.

And then we’re down to the core enterprise apps right in the middle, the stuff that people use to run their business, the data that they keep.

And that is kind of working its way slowly.  Everybody’s focused on that.  Amazon wants it.  Google wants it.  Microsoft wants it.  Firms like Clearview, we all want that.

And customers are taking a look at it kind of smartly, and they’re dividing it up.  And they’re saying, “Well, we’ll look at a tiered approach.  We’re used to tiers.  So, some of it, we’ll keep.  Some of it, we’ll send to a nearby service provider that we like.  Some of it, we’ll put to the public Cloud and let Amazon have that.”

So, that tiering of compute is the game that we’re in today.  And I think they’re looking at that with the lens of, “What skills do I have to maintain that?  What capital do I want to deploy or not deploy?”  And they’re kind of making a case-by-case play.  And that’s the phase that it feels like we’re in today.

What trends are you seeing across different types of industries and sizes of companies on those DR apps moving to the Cloud? | Christopher M. Walsh, Vice President, Lincoln Rackhouse

Disaster recovery is absolutely trending.  We’re getting more and more requests from clients.  The–as far as infrastructure as a service, Cloud computing, it’s been around for a while.  And now, it’s here to stay.

You can see Gartner surveys.  There’s a CIO survey recently.  Eighty-three percent of CIOs consider infrastructure as a service as an option, whether that’s for production or disaster recovery.

Now, on the DR side, so, we’ve seen some that have gone in the 100 percent full dive and then others that are just slowly but surely moving applications over.  A lot of times, they’re starting with the less critical, more basic applications, moving those one at a time.

But, we do a lot of advising for the end users.  And basically, right now, in Dallas alone, there’s over 10 different requirements that we have out ranging from 10 kW to one megawatt.  And of those three of the 10 are disaster recovery deployments.

While they are going more the traditional collocation route today, those environments are 30 to 70 percent virtualized.  And every one of those groups have indicated that they will be moving certain applications into the Cloud over the next two, three years.

So, this is all–majority of these are hybrid deployments.  No one deployment is the same.  Every company’s different.  Every requirement’s different.

But, a lot of cases we’re seeing, it’s truly a mixture of physical collocation, public infrastructure as a service, and private infrastructure as a service, so kind of true hybrid solution all the way around.