Is Migration to the Public Cloud (“Hyperscale”) Right for You?

Cloud this, cloud that. Everybody is talking about their cloud applications and migrating their company’s infrastructure to the public cloud. So, it’s logical to assume that you should also migrate all your apps to the cloud, right? That’s not always the case. Every circumstance, application, and organization is unique and it’s important to properly analyze your situation to make sure you are making the right choice.

In many cases, migration to the public cloud is a very attractive option; however, it’s imperative that you first assess whether it adds business value – through an assessment of all applications.

In addition to going all-in on public cloud, there are several other cloud deployment methods.

Where to Start When Determining if Cloud Migration is Right for You

It is imperative that you understand what you are trying to accomplish with your cloud migration. What is it that motivates you to complete this process? Is your company looking to scale quickly and establish a more agile infrastructure? A practical Q&A offers greater ability to pivot and increase flexibility with business processes and decisions.

If you jump into cloud migration too quickly, you can cause problems for yourself down the line that may cost your organization money and time. Before starting your migration, it’s important to have clear answers to questions surrounding your cloud migration.

Nail Down Your Motivation with These Questions:

Understanding your motivation for cloud migration is the most vital part in deciding on whether you want to migrate to the public cloud. But, finding the right questions to help further assess your need for cloud migration is the truly difficult part. To help, I’ve put together a short list of three key steps – and corresponding questions – you will want to address before finalizing your cloud migration decision:

1.    Which Applications?

If you are unsure about your applications and if you should migrate them to the cloud, you’re in luck. There are services such as Amazon Web Services Application Discovery Service and the Azure Cloud Migration Assessment tool to help assess whether an application is capable of and/or encouraged for migration to the cloud. You’ll want to ensure that your applications will be secure and that your business will see a positive boost in performance.

2.    Which Approach?

The most common approaches are either lifting and shifting applications (“rehost”) or completely developing a new architecture and design (“refactor” or “rearchitect”).  Lift-and-shift can be done more quickly but with greater limitation.

Unless you use the Racemi platform to migrate and optimize applications at scale, using the rehost method lacks customization potential and the ability to fully utilize the cloud’s scalability and agility. Therefore, many older legacy systems would be better suited for the refactor method to develop and host the application more effectively. It can be more expensive and will take longer but will be the right choice in the long run for certain applications.

Make sure you do your due diligence regarding possible cloud migration strategies.

3.    Assessment of Available Cloud Migration Tools:

There are many ways in which you can migrate to the cloud; lots of services from cloud providers and third parties that can help you to make the most from your migration.

Typically, when migrating to the cloud, there is quite a bit of data involved for an organization. There are both online data migration techniques and offline data migration techniques. Most public cloud providers offer both options and can help you determine which option is right for your business.

Offline data migration literally means putting data onto physical disks/drives and sending them to your cloud provider whereas online data migration is done through a network. As archaic as offline data migration may seem, it can be a more cost-effective way of migrating large amounts of information.

Bringing It All Together

Whatever you do, don’t just jump into it. Before deciding on your cloud migration needs, make sure to do your research and determine whether it is right for your applications. There are several other key steps you should take when crafting your cloud migration strategy.

Do you have any other thoughts on migration? Public cloud assessments?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

There is plenty of information available to choose the right hyperscale public cloud provider(s).


Are You Up To The Challenge? Seizing Big Opportunities In Big Data

Big data has captured the tech world’s attention with the market expected to grow over $34 billion dollars in worldwide IT spending, but what exactly is the value? A new generation of technologies is leaving solution providers with a challenge to understand what this big data value is and what it means to their clients. As more organizations invest in new technologies as well as services that are purpose built for big data, the potential for the market to grow is limitless and some solution providers are already breaking into this. By helping organizations apply big data and building custom applications, the challenge is not for the faint of heart but can result in big payoffs. “Much of the buzz surrounding big data is there because it’s new. So new, in fact, that many organizations don’t really understand what the term means or how big data technologies — be it the open-source Apache Hadoop framework, NoSQL databases or new analytics tools — can drive value in their organizations.”

One of the biggest opportunities for big data is by helping customers determine big data use cases. Determining which analytic tools and how to use them is the basis for a broader, bigger, data strategy. “In addition to defining use cases, the technical complexities introduced by big data present an opportunity for solution providers. Some organizations, for instance, are looking to adopt new data management and infrastructure technologies to handle the “three V’s” of big data — the velocity, volume and variety of the unstructured data at their fingertips.” New data coming from social media sites and mobile devices can’t be optimized with a traditional relational database. Looking for next generation technologies is another opportunity to provide a more scalable and distributed data storage that gives solution providers the opportunity to implement and train their clients. Big data is also a driving force behind cloud-based storage systems that offer more flexibility and availability to handle large, unstructured volumes of data.

Data management and storage is taking a large chunk out of big data, but opportunities in analytics can offer up another sweet spot for solution providers. The idea of connecting-the-dots between big data and business value will allow the business or client to make proactive rather than reactive decisions. “The real promise of big data is really to start automating a lot more of the decisions in the business — it’s not a supercharged business intelligence model, and it’s not a model of creating dashboards on bigger data sets so people can make manual decisions,” said Ron Bodkin, founder and CEO of Think Big. “It’s about ultimately building predictive models that automate response and going from one-off decisions to a process of continually improving those decisions.”

From creating custom applications to investing in new partnerships, the opportunity for big money in big data is there and waiting for providers. Taking the big risk is not for all but, understanding and profiting from it will be worth the risk. To continue reading about more opportunities service providers can take advantage of and the full article from CRN, click here.


Cloud Migration Services: Application Modernization vs. Lift-and-Shift

There are many cloud migration strategies and deployment models for you to choose from in today’s cloud landscape. It can be difficult to balance the cost and the desired results. The planning stage of cloud migration alone may have you second guessing your choice to migrate.

One thing we do know is that the time to migrate is right now. Companies are afraid of falling behind, thus even the largest organizations are migrating. However, it’s not just as simple as migrating or not migrating. The question you must ask is, “Do we modernize our applications or do we simply lift-and-shift to the cloud?”

Lift and Shift on the Rise

Boutique technology-enabled service cloud migration solution providers, like Racemi, have offered lift-and-shift cloud migration services for years. Large global system integrators (GSI’s), like Accenture, have offered application modernization services for equally as long. As often as companies would like to modernize everything and migrate completely to the cloud, this is not always an option, nor the most value.

Balancing the needs of your business and understanding which applications need transformation and which simply need to be migrated directly will optimize the cost and effectiveness of your organization’s cloud migration. Determining which option best suits your needs will govern the timeliness of the migration and the benefits you will receive. If you’re nervous about how cloud migration will affect the development of your business operations, you can ease your worries.

Enterprises are Split on What’s Most Important

Forrester Research surveyed 594 North American and European infrastructure technology decision makers whose firms (all over 1,000 employees) are planning to implement, have implemented, or are expanding cloud. One question stood out:

“In regard to modernizing your existing business application portfolio, which of the following action(s) will your firm take?

  • 68% of organizations will “migrate existing applications to the cloud”.
  • 59% of organizations will “evolve our application portfolio to promote agility and innovation”.

As you can see, the majority of decision makers decided they will both migrate their existing applications (i.e. lift-and-shift) AND evolve and transform their current application portfolio to make their business more agile and innovative. Therefore, a balance of application modernization and direct cloud migration is VERY important, especially in large organizations. There are benefits to both methods and striking the right balance can greatly benefit your organization.

If you’re still second guessing whether migration is right for your business, you’ll definitely want to take a look at Why Some Enterprises Lead in Cloud Adoption – and others lag behind.

Models to Assess for your Company

The importance of a balance between direct migration and application modernization is clear, but getting started is never easy. Here are four simple migration models to get you on the right track:

  1. Direct Migration (Lift-and-Shift). Direct migration is by the far the fastest method. You are basically copying the current application portfolio and moving it to the cloud with little to no changes. Direct migration is a cost-effective, quick way of migrating to the cloud but provides very little customization and application optimization.
  2. Lift-and-Extend (Optimize). The lift-and-extend method, used by Racemi, offers increased ability to customize and enhance applications. Essentially, an organization’s applications will be re-hosted in the public cloud and can be adjusted while hosted on a PaaS layer. This method makes it so an organization can simultaneously migrate its workload to the cloud while also making steps to modernize its applications. Many successful Enterprise organizations have used this method – many others will follow.
  3. Hybrid Extension. Hybrid extension is similar to lift-and-extend, except instead of changing much of an application itself, you leave the bulk of an application’s functionality untouched, and kept in a private cloud, on-site, or a managed hosting provider instead of on the public cloud. That way, a GSI (or other service provider) can build out additional capabilities in the public cloud first.
  4. Full Rebuild. The full rebuild method is true to its name. Applications can be completely rebuilt in their new destination architecture. Larger, more experienced GSI’s are best suited for this type of work as it is very time intensive, expensive and requires deep expertise. Organizations should utilize this method only for a small number of highly important workloads.

Bringing It All Together

The time to migrate is right now. However, it’s not just as simple as migrating to the cloud or not migrating. When planning your organization’s cloud migration, evaluating a combination of the above options – and avoiding the cloud migration “gotchas” – will optimize your chance of cloud migration success.

 

(All facts and information from March 2017, Forrester Research article titled, “Vendor Landscape: Cloud Migration Services”.)


Why Some Companies Lead Enterprise Cloud Adoption…and Why Some Lag Behind

Sometimes you may feel like other businesses are ahead of the game by migrating to the cloud, but you’re not completely convinced of the benefits. Maybe it’s not clear why switching to cloud-based services is any better than continuing business as usual.

Simply put, businesses who adopt cloud technologies have a different mindset that helps them leverage technology so they can develop a more robust and profitable business. Cloud enables companies to move faster, increases agility and can dramatically improve business intelligence and analytics.

Here’s why the companies that lead in cloud adoption are better off for it, while others lag woefully behind.

They recognize the significant cost savings

It’s understandable that businesses are always looking for ways to not only make more money, but reduce costs as well.

If you’re one of those businesses, migrating your workloads to the cloud makes perfect sense. You only pay for the resources you use, and you don’t have to worry about the extra maintenance and support costs that come with internal systems. Cloud providers handle all the operational work for you, and over the lifetime of a business, the subscription-based service will yield significant savings.

Conversely, with internal systems, you’ll be taking on the additional costs of backups, upgrades, support and emergencies.

They know how valuable scalability is

If you need to scale your business (and that means handling more data), you’ll need to figure out how many more resources you’ll need and then invest in more infrastructure.

Forward-thinking businesses know that Cloud Computing allows them to scale services easily, and react in real-time to changes in the market and their business. Migrating to the cloud means you don’t need significant planning for infrastructure that you may or may not use.

They believe in having the best to perform the best

When you migrate your workloads to the cloud, employees have more time to spend on activities that have immediate results rather than getting bogged down by operational issues. When there is greater productivity on the employee side, it provides a great value to your customers and even greater value to your overall business.

They want the best security

Public cloud services have received an unwarranted reputation that they are somehow less secure than onsite servers. But even those onsite servers need to be monitored regularly, patched and maintained from online threats, and if you don’t have an expert on hand, holes in security can be easily exploited.

If you migrate to the cloud, you’re in great hands. Cloud providers have cyber security experts on call, frequently audit their servers for potential threats, and have physical barriers including barbed wire and 24 hour surveillance.

 

 

 


The Racemi Channel Strategy and Rules of Engagement

Racemi knows all about the channel. We employ a 100% channel-based go-to-market strategy. Our goal is to drive value for our customers and profitability for our partners based on the following Racemi philosophy:

1. We work with fewer partners. This allows us to build tighter relationships and work more closely and frequently with our partners. Our personalized service offers a higher quality customer experience where partners can take full advantage of our expertise, experience, and capabilities.
2. Our process of working with smaller quantities of partners leads to minimal partner-to-partner competition. This strategy paired with Racemi’s sales engagement processes allows for higher profitability for our channel partners.

Racemi Does 100% of Our Business Through Channel Partners

1. If a customer contacts Racemi directly, we always refer these opportunities to the proper partner and subsequently help the partner to successfully deliver these engagements. Partners with the proper training and in the proper region will be given priority.
2. Any opportunities that are sent to Racemi by approved partners will not be shared with others. Racemi will support the submitting partner opportunities per our normal joint sales process.
3. Racemi will support partners on marketing efforts for new or existing customers. These activities will be written out in detail in the joint business plan specific to each partner.

Racemi Training Support

We will dedicate our sales and pre-sales resources to applicable partners that meet entry criteria and are committed to a joint business plan. We will train you to be self-sufficient in the pre-sales and customer sales process. This is done through a combination of scalable training and field-based mentoring for your sales and pre-sales personnel.
1. Racemi offers support on all deals during your training/mentoring period. We’ll do everything in our power to make sure your customer is successful and you will be profitable on these initial jobs.
2. Once you have completed initial training and mentoring, Racemi will increasingly reward our partners for sales and pre-sales activities that you take on for a specific opportunity.
3. There are two ways we measure (and reward) value based on your investment in training and expertise:
a. Completion of the training and mentoring process – Our partners will receive incremental pricing on each opportunity submitted after the training and mentoring period.
b. Field and customer experience: Once the partner has accumulated more than 2,000 workloads migrated with Racemi, incremental pricing will be given on each opportunity thereafter. The best part is that this incremental pricing stacks with the incremental pricing from completing the training and mentoring process.

Racemi’s Pricing

• Pricing and price discussions will happen directly between the partner and the end customer. All quotes to partners shall be via Racemi per our standard joint sales process. Racemi sales and pre-sales teams will work with approved partners on submitted opportunities as they are needed.
• We will only work with partners who have a signed business plan and contract in place with Racemi.
• We will maintain confidentiality regarding all partner accounts and opportunity information.
• Pricing is based on the level of investment that the partner has made with Racemi and who has taken the lead on specific sales and pre-sales activities on the opportunity.

Deal Registration Procedure

• Due to Racemi’s limited number of partners, it is expected to be rare for there to be multiple partners that ever register the same opportunity.
• Instead, the primary purpose of our deal registration approach is to schedule and allocate Racemi sales and pre-sales resources as necessary to support partners in successful customer pursuits.
• Once a partner-sourced opportunity is approved, Racemi will work to support the partner from a cooperation and go-to-market perspective.
• Partners must enter their deal registration into the Racemi Partner Portal themselves.
• Deal Registration Criteria:
o Budget must be determined for the project.
o Partner must be working with the Authorized Decision Maker for the project.
o Partner must have identified the Customer Need and understand the Racemi products and services that must meet those needs.
o Timeline for the project must be such that the partner can bring the project to an installed evaluation within 90 days of the submission of such deal registration.
• Racemi sourced opportunities are entered into SFDC and will be assigned an opportunity number (i.e. “OPP-1”) and shared with an approved partner.


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