How to Optimize the Hypercloud
The nooks and crannies of cloud efficiency can spell major opportunity for partners as they support their customers.
Four cloud experts will discuss how businesses can bring value to their use of platforms like Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. The “Optimizing the Hypercloud” panel, part of the cloud conference track, will take place at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, April 17-20, in Las Vegas.
Jo Peterson, vice president of cloud services for Clarify360, will moderate the discussion.
Channel Partners/Channel Futures spoke to the three panelists: Heidi Munson, director of Sales at North and South America for Cloudcheckr, Alvaro Gonzalez assistant vice president of channel sales for TierPoint, and Lisa Mclin, Rackspace’s vice president of North American channel sales and alliances.
The speakers shared their thoughts on the subject of cloud optimization, and we have listed some of their responses below. We edited the answers for length and clarity.
Channel Partners/Channel Futures: What is cloud optimization?
Lisa Mclin: Public cloud is the primary catalyst driving digital transformation. As Rightscale’s recent State of the Cloud report stated, 92 percent of surveyed organizations plan to adopt public cloud as part of their cloud strategy. This is what will create the “Hypercloud Cloud,” leveraging the best of multiple clouds to optimize cost, application releases and speed to market.
Cloud optimization is the ability to leverage the best cloud for each application seamlessly. Rackspace focuses on leading and supporting our customers to this cloud-optimization destination.
Alvaro Gonzales: There can be no doubt that cloud in general and hyperscale in particular have been a tremendous disruptor of IT. Sometimes this has made possible real advances in agility and cost efficiency, but other times, along with the use of hyperscale cloud, has come a level of complexity or misalignment that causes real pain and excess expense. I would define cloud optimization as a process of aligning use cases, workload needs, and overall business concerns – not just IT concerns – with using the right set of platforms in ways that provide overall improved value to the business. Optimization is finding a balance between what is most technologically advantageous, what is most operationally advantageous, and what is most commercially advantageous for the business.
Heidi Munson: Savvy enterprises have realized that managing a rapidly scaling environment in the cloud can be a struggle. Cloud management platforms, like CloudCheckr, can help simplify and streamline the process of optimizing workloads in a dynamic, ephemeral environment. With optimization provided by cloud management, organizations gain visibility and control across resources, with self-healing automation for critical tasks to keep infrastructure safe and stable.
CP/CF: Could you name one area where cloud optimization can save a customer time and money?
HM: AWS Elastic Block Store (EBS) is Amazon’s most widely used cloud storage service — and with good reason. It is designed specifically for use with EC2, is suited to a wide variety of use cases, offers four different volume types, and boasts an extensive range of options and features.
However, it also represents a significant chunk of your monthly AWS bill. So it’s essential you use EBS wisely by striking the right balance between cost and performance, and eliminating unnecessary waste on storage resources. Best practices, such as tagging resources, monitoring utilization and cleaning up unattached volumes and orphan snapshots, are key to getting a bigger bang for your buck from your EBS deployments.
You should also minimize the time-consuming and costly manual processes involved in maintaining your EBS storage. For example, you could implement a solution that automates your snapshot schedule, saving you time and ensuring you never miss a backup. Finally, you should integrate migration processes into your storage life cycle, such as rotating instance logs from EBS to S3 or Glacier. By offloading this data to less expensive storage, you can make even further savings on your monthly cloud bills.
AG: We hear more and more cases in which business have decided to commit to a hyperscale cloud strategy but get bogged down in the many complexities of getting things off the ground. There is a sort of success paradox that leads to businesses [who make] this decision due to the demands of growth being the ones who may be less equipped to deal with keeping up with the demands of present revenue generation. [At the same time they are] trying to plan and carry out a transformation strategy in a model where they do not have an established base of experience or expertise. In this instance, ongoing operations can suffer delay and expense … at the same time, the new structures being put in place hit delays, false starts, or cost overruns due to having to learn to fly the plane while it is in the air. A well-considered strategy takes this into account to ensure that the expertise to assess workloads for the right location and type, experience to foresee and avoid pitfalls, and the actual resource time to execute the transformation are all part of the strategy and the plan.
CP/CF: What is one thing you hope your audience will take away from the panel?
HM: Properly managing cloud spend can reduce AWS expenses by 30 percent. It’s a matter of balancing the many AWS cost variables. A unified cloud-governance platform makes optimizing and automating costs much easier.
AG: The one thing that I hope the audience takes away from the panel is a better understanding of the real importance of ensuring that all the pieces needed to get to an optimized cloud strategy are in place. The existence of very broad self-serve tool sets does not mean that all – or even most – transactions with a cloud platform are a good servant to an overall cloud strategy.
LM: I want the audience to know cloud is powering digital transformation, allowing today’s organizations to innovate faster, respond to market demands more nimbly and exceed ever-growing customer needs and expectations — all at a reduced cost. But organizations often lack the skills and experience to manage the complexities of cloud adoption. When planning a cloud strategy, it’s critical that organizations ensure they have the skills, experience and resources needed to not only successfully move to the cloud but to ensure they are taking full advantage of the capabilities the cloud delivers.