Virtualization Technology News and Information
How to Achieve a Well-Architected Cloud Environment
Author: Mike Zolla, VP Cloud Infrastructure, Virtustream

For many organizations and IT leaders, implementing a successful cloud environment is a daunting task. At the root of this implementation is first understanding what a well-architected cloud is and defining exactly what an organization wants its cloud environment to achieve while considering unique IT needs.

While needs vary based on the organization, at its core a well-architected cloud performs and delivers the exact services the organization requires at the best possible price point - all in a secure, scalable environment that meets regulatory compliance requirements. But most importantly, a well-architected cloud is one that organizations can trust because its cloud service provider takes all necessary measures to provide the right services and maintain the trust of its users. After an organization defines exactly what it's looking to get from the cloud, it needs to understand the various, unique elements that go into building a well-architected cloud.

Step 1: Define and Understand Specific Business Requirements

First and foremost, an organization needs to define and understand the specific business requirements it hopes to fulfill through the cloud. Generally, most cloud users are looking for performance reliability, resiliency, security and compliance as the foundational components of their cloud. The organization additionally needs to define the technical requirements, such as scalability, recovery, backup and network connectivity. An organization also needs to strongly consider the scalability needs of its cloud and the organization's plans. This is crucial because the bigger things get, the more technically complex they become, so organizations need to think about their investment model and expansion plans.

Step 2: Identify the Right Cloud Partner

Understanding what goes into a well-architected cloud is a good first step, but achieving one is another story. Based on experience working with various customers, the best way to achieve a well-architected cloud is to identify partners with a track record of success and borrow from their expertise and best practices. It's imperative to be strategic from the beginning in both planning and execution, while also considering current and future business needs. The most successful customers are those that plan and architect their cloud with their future in mind. They strategically assess both the applications that are central to their business, as well as their future capacity needs. When a cloud is well-architected from the beginning, the economic benefits will come.

Every organization making the move to the cloud is trying to achieve something different, alleviate specific pain points and plan for future growth. Virtustream's customers, for example, are looking for a cloud environment that can meet various needs, from making IT departments more efficient, reducing IT spend or scaling with rapidly growing business or consumer demand. Through our work with customers spanning various industries, we have found one of the most important things to investigate in choosing a cloud partner is if the partner's solutions meet your non-negotiable demands.

Step 3: Work to Alleviate Pain Points

As cloud has become a default paradigm, IT leaders will start making bets on multiple cloud platforms if they haven't already, and cloud providers will need to work together to deliver a seamless experience. In fact, according to a 2018 study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Virtustream titled, "Multi-cloud Arises from Changing Cloud Priorities," a vast majority (86 percent) of global respondents describe their current cloud strategy as multi-cloud, with performance and innovation as the top measures of success. In the next few years, most CIOs will have to manage multiple clouds, service level agreements, touch points and data flows across different platforms. Cloud service providers will need to alleviate these complex pain points and play well with others to eliminate roadblocks and create a consistent experience across clouds.


About the Author

Mike Zolla

Mike Zolla is vice president of Cloud Platform & Data Center Operations for Virtustream.  In this role, Mike oversees new cloud services from inception through deployment within the cloud platform. He is focused on accelerating innovation by leveraging real-time data to make sound business decisions. Mike also works closely with technology partners, and internal stakeholders to develop programs that will increase performance and drive automation.  Mike hold a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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