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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Atmosera Talks Migrating Web Assets to the Cloud - Benefits, Pitalls and More


As many companies are migrating their Web infrastructure to the cloud, including Microsoft Azure, they are realizing the advantages of managing Web assets on these platforms.  But there are also issues that have challenged companies making the transition.

To find out more about both the good and the bad and how companies are minimizing the bad, I reached out to John Trembley, Chief Marketing Officer, Atmosera

VMblog:  Increasingly who controls where Websites are deployed?

Over the past year we have seen a clear shift with marketing teams being in the driver's seat. A corporate website, and especially e-commerce sites, have become the lifeblood of most companies. As a result, budgets have increased and marketing teams are on the hook to deliver better performance, speed up the pace of updates, improve reliability, and reduce overall costs. 

VMblog:  Why are more companies turning to public clouds like Azure for their corporate Websites and e-commerce sites?

Trembley:  The need to achieve better performance and reliability has many looking to the major cloud providers because of their footprint, reputation, and usage-based pricing. In some cases, marketing teams are seeking solutions on their own, circumventing their IT departments. There is a strong desire to make sure websites are deployed on modern infrastructure and no longer sitting on a server under a desk, in a on premise data center, or a single colocation facility.

VMblog:  What are the key benefits these companies seek to leverage?

Trembley:  Clouds such as Azure offer compelling capabilities for geo-distribution across the globe, flexible architectures, configurable Information Security and compliance options, and pay by the hour usage. An overarching goal is to deliver a consistent performance and ensure rapid page loads regardless of where the visitor is located. Some customers are even starting to request guarantees for maximum page load times as part of their contracts.

VMblog:  What are some of the pitfalls to watch out for?

Trembley:  Deploying in a cloud such as Azure is far more complicated than many realize. The leading cloud providers have done an amazing job creating feature-rich offerings but that means there are many considerations and options which have to be thought through. This demands expertise and real world best practices to understand how to map the needs of as a specific company's website to the features available to develop the underlying infrastructure.

Many companies have tried it on their own and failed. These failures are manifested by missed deadlines, reduced functionality, lackluster performance, and cost overruns. This all leads to disappointment which is not a reflection of the underlying cloud's features but rather the inability to select the proper components and configuring them to deliver what the website needs.

VMblog:  There are many consultants and integrators who can help move a site to a new environment, why is that not enough?

Trembley:  For decades, there have been a range of consultants and system integrators (SIs) supporting IT decisions. Many have expanded to cover cloud deployments and can offer some valuable professional services. The challenge comes from the fact that cloud capabilities are constantly evolving and a company's need are also changing quickly.

Consultants and SIs mainly focus on one-time engagements and are not usually motivated to stay engaged day-to-day with a company to evolve their technology roadmap and implement changes. Clouds also require frequent care and feeding which has to be handled by a team of experts who understand what they are doing to keep the environment running at its best.

VMblog:  Why do they need a managed service provider and how does this add value?

Trembley:  There is a growing ecosystem of managed service providers who specialize in deploying customers in one or several of the large public clouds. This is in part the result of needing experts who can guide the selection of components. It is also the result of investments by companies such as Microsoft to build out a network of certified partners who can reach customers which their own teams cannot effectively scale to support.

Managed services are predicated on securing a recurring revenue relationship between the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) and the customer. Contracts are typically one to three years with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and increasingly financial guarantees which the CSP stands behind. The motivations for a CSP are very different. As a result, successful CSPs bring real world experience and best practices which they rely on to architect environments. They understand that whatever they build for a customer will be their responsibility to maintain and evolve. This is why CSPs typically have 24x7x365 support teams and manage end-to-end solutions including networking, connectivity, security, and advanced monitoring which are integrated as part of the environment supporting the customer's website.


Published Monday, December 04, 2017 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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