Welcome!

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

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

The Key to Private Cloud Is Removing IT Stratification

Design flaws at the top of the stack will highlight limitations at the bottom of the stack

One of the leading problems plaguing IT organizations is the high costs of operations and maintenance.  The industry average is roughly 70% with some organizations going as high as 90%. Picking apart these costs one often finds a stratified organization focused on narrow bands of computing with little crossover between the bands.



Moreover, the weighting of political density between layers often makes it too risky for basic collaboration between the stratified layers. Hence, when problems arise, each layer attempts to solve the problems only with the tools at their disposal. The result is the Operation Petticoat wired together with chewing gum and bras that we call IT.

JP’s IT Axiom #124: Design flaws at the top of the stack will highlight limitations at the bottom of the stack. Likewise, the design at the bottom of the stack impacts performance at the top of the stack.

There’s no escaping the fact that a poorly-designed application will put undue burden on the operating infrastructure. A “chatty” application impacts bandwidth. Improperly designed database queries will consume memory and disk capacity. Poorly-designed storage architecture will limit the amount of I/O per second (IOPS) and, thusly, limit the speed of retrieval of data to the application. IT transformation is about moving from a stratified organization to an agile organization through the use of DevOps culture and other collaborative techniques.

Short of correcting this organizational challenge, the stratified layers will attempt to correct issues using the tools at their disposal. Hence, infrastructure & operations (I & O) will scale linearly with memory, servers and storage to correct design flaws in the application. Software engineering will add specialized code to work around limitations in the infrastructure, such as timeouts and latency. Removal of the stratification in favor of collaborative teams means that issues can be rooted out and solved appropriately.

Moreover, this stratification has greater implications for delivery of private cloud services to the organization. Indeed, while many organizations focus on delivering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) from their private cloud, it begs the question, “What is cloud strategy for the organization?” IaaS implies that the consumer will manage their own applications in the cloud and that IT is simply the supplier of infrastructure services. I posit that this is merely an extension of the stratification of IT with the I & O layer delivering within their swimlane. However, it misses the greater opportunity for the business a whole, which is to deliver reliability, quality, trust and scalability for data and applications in a consistent manner.

Hence, IT organizations should be focused on delivering Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to the business as this will provide a consistent way to design, build, deploy and manage applications resulting in lowering operational overhead while delivering greater overall agility. By delivering IaaS, the business loses the opportunity for this consistency as engineering teams are now responsible for building and deploying their own application runtime platforms. Even if a single vendor’s application platform is used, the various configurations will make it more difficult to support, lead to longer repair cycles and add undue complexity to operational concerns.

Private cloud computing represents a unique opportunity for the business to reduce operating overhead significantly through the three C’s: consolidation, consistency and congruence. To achieve this goal, IT needs to break down the stratified layers and formulate workload teams comprised of members from various parts of the IT organization and together become responsible for the workload’s availability, performance and consumer experience.

More Stories By JP Morgenthal

JP Morgenthal is a veteran IT solutions executive and Distinguished Engineer with CSC. He has been delivering IT services to business leaders for the past 30 years and is a recognized thought-leader in applying emerging technology for business growth and innovation. JP's strengths center around transformation and modernization leveraging next generation platforms and technologies. He has held technical executive roles in multiple businesses including: CTO, Chief Architect and Founder/CEO. Areas of expertise for JP include strategy, architecture, application development, infrastructure and operations, cloud computing, DevOps, and integration. JP is a published author with four trade publications with his most recent being “Cloud Computing: Assessing the Risks”. JP holds both a Masters and Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Hofstra University.

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
For enterprises to maintain business competitiveness in the digital economy, IT modernization is required. And cloud, with its on-demand, elastic and scalable principles has resoundingly been identified as the infrastructure model capable of supporting fast-changing business requirements that enterprises are challenged with, as a result of our increasingly connected world. In fact, Gartner states that by 2022, 28% of enterprise IT spending will have shifted to cloud. But enterprises still must determine which clouds are best suited for each application, in order to achieve IT governance, while accounting for complex data privacy requirements. It's safe to say that enterprises know their future looks cloudy, and that this infrastructure will soon become a mix of multi, hybrid, and on-prem enterprise clouds.
Cloud-Native thinking and Serverless Computing are now the norm in financial services, manufacturing, telco, healthcare, transportation, energy, media, entertainment, retail and other consumer industries, as well as the public sector. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. DevOpsSUMMIT at CloudEXPO expands the DevOps community, enable a wide sharing of knowledge, and educate delegates and technology providers alike.
The term "digital transformation" (DX) is being used by everyone for just about any company initiative that involves technology, the web, ecommerce, software, or even customer experience. While the term has certainly turned into a buzzword with a lot of hype, the transition to a more connected, digital world is real and comes with real challenges. In his opening keynote, Four Essentials To Become DX Hero Status Now, Jonathan Hoppe, Co-Founder and CTO of Total Uptime Technologies, shared that beyond the hype, digital transformation initiatives are infusing IT budgets with critical investment for technology. This is shifting the IT organization from a cost center/center of efficiency to one that is strategic for revenue growth. CIOs are working with the new reality of cloud, mobile-first, and digital initiatives across all areas of their businesses. What's more, top IT talent wants to w...
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
Public clouds dominate IT conversations but the next phase of cloud evolutions are "multi" hybrid cloud environments. The winners in the cloud services industry will be those organizations that understand how to leverage these technologies as complete service solutions for specific customer verticals. In turn, both business and IT actors throughout the enterprise will need to increase their engagement with multi-cloud deployments today while planning a technology strategy that will constitute a significant part of their IT budgets in the very near future. As IoT solutions are growing rapidly, as well as security challenges growing exponentially, without a doubt, the cloud world is about to change for the better. Again.