How is Cloud Architecture Adding Value For Customers?

CHICAGO, IL — At CapRE’s Chicago Data Center Summit, a rousing panel titled The End-User Approach to On-Prem, Hybrid, the Cloud, and Tomorrow’s Compute Needs and Initiatives featured an in-depth discussion about the economics and capabilities of various compute architectures. At the conclusion of the discussion, a member of the audience rose their hand to ask a question.

“I’ve been with providers for data centers for a long time. And we’re always talking about the migration of the Cloud, the migration of the Cloud, the migration of the Cloud,” began the member of the audience. “We’re talking about Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and colocation. So, what specifically are you guys doing, from an architectural standpoint, to really add value to your customers?”

“Because I have Fortune 500 companies in our rooms all of the time, and they have no idea what their cloud migration strategy really is,” he explained. Do you concentrate primarily on specific applications, or do you give them a dossier or a roadmap about where they are, where they should head, what they can expect, what the TCO, and all of that stuff?”

The first member of the panel to respond was Emil Sayegh, Chief Execurive Officer for Hostway Services, Inc “It’s a little bit of both. What we have developed is a couple of things that can quickly paint a picture here,” he replied. “We’ve developed a migration capability, more of a professional service. But it’s also complemented with tons of automation tools and what not for large scale projects.”

“Once they get out of their data centers and into our data center, there are direct connects into all of the Public Clouds, so they can begin to create that seamless network between the traditional infrastructure and the Public Cloud,” continued Sayegh. “I’d say these are two quick examples of the capabilities that we’ve developed – helping them migrate out, both applications and data, and then once they’re out, making sure that it looks like a seamless operation with a public cloud component.”

Next, Thomas McKinney, CFM and Director for Data Center Development at FORSYTHE chimed in. “Yeah, it’s very similar for us. We have what’s called CIO Essentials,” he offered. “And that’s a roadmap that takes you from your current state to wherever you need to go. And it’s everything from taking a look at where you’re standing from a financial perspective, to where your applications are, and any potential divestitures or acquisitions, how many workloads you have to move, how many of those are virtualized or on legacy environments, that can be moved to maybe a VxBlock or UCS type of environment. And then figuring that out before we move.”

data center summitAccording to McKinney, figuring out this information is key to their clients’ success. “You can’t do a transformation unless you know where you’re going. And I think that’s one of the mistakes that’s often made,” he explained. “Like, Okay, we’re all in, here we go! But you don’t look at the applications, or know how much legacy gear has to sit there until the end of life.”

“What we are doing though is prepping most of our clients with scalable environments at 10-12 kw per rack,” McKinney shared. “That’s about where we’re landing right now for a full set of UCS chassis and a vBlock or just bare metal. So we see that as “provision now” even though it may be lower in your workloads, but you may be able to slide another chassis in, and scale those workloads up as your migrate off.”

“Often it’s Physical to Virtual still, for some legacy applications, but we just go in Virtual to Virtual on anything that we can right away,” summed up McKinney. “Get that on the roadmap. But it really starts with that CIO Essentials. It’s the planning. You need to understand where you’re starting and where you need to go, and we’ve had a lot of traction with that. A lot of success.”

For more from The End-User Approach to On-Prem, Hybrid, the Cloud, and Tomorrow’s Compute Needs and Initiatives, check out earlier CapRE Insider Reports:

Banner Image (L-R): Thomas McKinney, CFM and Director for Data Center Development, FORSYTHE & Emil Sayegh, Chief Executive Officer, Hostway Services, Inc.