Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo

@CloudExpo: Article

Enabling Enterprise Cloud Models

Current design limitations

In moving to the cloud, Enterprise IT needs to get their arms around the cause/effect and limitations that existing datacenter infrastructure design has on their agility to adopt and exploit cloud-computing models. Previous datacenter design choices have resulted in not meeting the needs of the business.

In particular, these design choices have resulted in complexity, waste, performance barriers, and cost models that don't work for the business. Lack of understanding and transparency of what has been done in the past will continue to create misalignment with business needs if not addressed. Moving to an enterprise cloud model without understanding the datacenter infrastructure mistakes is like automating and extending an already bad process.

It is important that the reader does not take this to be an attack on any work products they may have done in the past. All of us in IT have made some if not all the mistakes below - usually due to influences or drivers out of our control.

To fix this and enable enterprise cloud models, we must not employ the following datacenter design limitations that include:

Supply-driven management: Most datacenter infrastructure teams design and manage from the bottom up. The typical approach is to standardize, partition, allocate, and implement a "vanilla" solution of compute and storage that is attached to the network based on the topology of the datacenter floor. Provisioning is then designed for peak workloads leveraging a bottom-up-designed platform that has been selected for typical reasons of vendor rationalization, price, etc. The business workload and service requirements incorporating factors of performance, price, or efficiency are not incorporated and misalignment of needs and inconsistent service delivery begin to occur.

One size fits all: Most datacenter infrastructures and typical vendor strategies are built around a perceived "standardized" footprint. The problem is that this is designed typically from the bottom up with little or no correlation to the workflows, workloads, information, content, and connectivity requirements of the business and its competitive needs. Such disconnects result in poor performance, unnecessary costs, waste, and in agility issues for both the business and IT.

Spaghetti transaction flow: Transaction flow across traditional datacenter infrastructures must deal with a design that does not consider proximity of the various devices that comprise a service unit that delivers processing to users. This results in significant performance impacts (user experience of the business suffers) whereby compute, memory, I/O fabric, disk, storage, and connectivity to external feeds are provided in terms of layout, not in terms of service delivery. Performance can be impacted by 30-fold due to this approach. Moreover, this creates waste in terms of unnecessary network traffic congestion and bandwidth usage (ROE suffers).

Definition of "insanity": The continuous use of a typical datacenter layout incorporates homogenous pooling of various classes of resources. Servers by multiple classes are typically in multiple pools; storage by file or block are in different pools in their own area of the datacenter; network load balancers, network switches, and network routers are pooled/deployed across various areas of the datacenter. This approach is not designed for business impact, business needs, optimal workload throughput, or time-to-provision or optimal space/power usage. The average provisioning cycle in datacenters with this type of layout are measured in weeks or months versus the minutes or days needed to provision, troubleshoot, or perform to meet the needs of the business.

Bottom line: Enterprise Cloud models will enable IT to take business to the next level of competitive advantage. If the supply chain of IT does not provide the delivery paradigm that enables a cloud utility model, it will fail the business in realizing its potential. The journey to the enterprise cloud begins with understanding the limitations of current design approaches.

More Stories By Tony Bishop

Blueprint4IT is authored by a longtime IT and Datacenter Technologist. Author of Next Generation Datacenters in Financial Services – Driving Extreme Efficiency and Effective Cost Savings. A former technology executive for both Morgan Stanley and Wachovia Securities.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
Despite being the market leader, we recognized the need to transform and reinvent our business at Dynatrace, before someone else disrupted the market. Over the course of three years, we changed everything - our technology, our culture and our brand image. In this session we'll discuss how we navigated through our own innovator's dilemma, and share takeaways from our experience that you can apply to your own organization.
Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, software-defined solution with rich machine intelligence.
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactures motherboard chipsets, network interface controllers and integrated circuits, flash memory, graphics chips, embedded processors and other devices related to communications and computing.
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve full cloud literacy in the enterprise world.
Wasabi is the hot cloud storage company delivering low-cost, fast, and reliable cloud storage. Wasabi is 80% cheaper and 6x faster than Amazon S3, with 100% data immutability protection and no data egress fees. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, Wasabi is on a mission to commoditize the storage industry. Wasabi is a privately held company based in Boston, MA. Follow and connect with Wasabi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the Wasabi blog.