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To Cloud, or Not to Cloud?


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This paper summarizes the results of our research around data center transformation, and discusses the kind of metrics and visibility you will need to successfully migrate and manage applications in a true, high-performance Infrastructure Anywhere environment.

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To Cloud, or Not to Cloud?

  1. 1. To Cloud, orNot to Cloud?Transformational Metrics and Analytics forManaging “Infrastructure Anywhere”
  2. 2. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? To make smart decisions about where to run applications and what kind of resources you need, you first must understand your workload utilization, capacity, and cost. The Data Center in Transformation Today’s IT infrastructure is in the midst of a major To make smart decisions about where to run transformation. In many ways, the data center is a applications and what kind of resources you need, victim of its own success. The growing number of you first must understand your workload utilization, technologies and applications residing in the data capacity, and cost. Gaining unified visibility is center has spawned increasing complexity, which difficult when your application workloads are makes IT as a whole less responsive and agile. distributed across data centers and colocation While businesses are focused on moving faster than facilities in different parts of the country or ever, large and complex infrastructure is inherently around the world. With limited visibility, how do rigid and inefficient. you accurately align resources and capacity with workloads for efficient processing, cost control, and, As a result, IT is moving outside the traditional more importantly, achieve the full business value of data center into collocation facilities and cloud your IT investment? infrastructure – essentially Infrastructure Anywhere. The move to Infrastructure Anywhere is driven by As part of our ongoing research into data center the core objective of improving responsiveness, trends, Sentilla surveyed data center professionals increasing agility, and reducing costs. Using the about their plans for cloud deployments in late 2012. cloud, for example, you can scale up resources This paper summarizes the results of this research in minutes, not months. But for all of its benefits, around data center transformation, and discusses this new ‘Infrastructure Anywhere’ model presents the kind of metrics and visibility you will need to critical challenges. successfully migrate and manage applications in a true, high-performance Infrastructure Anywhere environment. 2
  3. 3. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud?It’s all about agilityAccording to Sentilla’s research, agility and limitation experienced by respondents – for allflexibility were the top drivers behind enterprise IT infrastructure initiatives – is budget.transformation initiatives such as cloud deployments– followed closely by issues of capacity and cost. Note that several of the reported constraints (personnel, storage capacity) are related to theWhile agility is the prime motivating factor, the broader issue of budget. In this sense, cost isimportance of cost as a factor should not be ignored. overwhelmingly the most important constraint on ITAccording to the survey, the major resource initiatives – including cloud initiatives. Figure 1: Key drivers for cloud computing initiatives Figure 2: Resource limitations 3
  4. 4. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? 2013 is for planning, 2014 for deployment Of the organizations surveyed, nearly 50% plan to Similarly, those surveyed expect to gradually migrate be deploying cloud initiatives in 2014. Many are more workloads to cloud platforms in the coming in the planning phases. In general, we can expect years - with 28% planning to run more than half of cloud computing deployments to increase by 70% in their applications in the cloud by 2014. The barriers 12 months. to cloud migration are lowering. Figure 3: Data center cloud initiatives, by year Figure 4: Percentage of applications planned to move to the cloud, by year 4
  5. 5. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud?The cloud isn’t a homogeneous placeCloud computing can refer to several different Community cloud is an emerging category in whichdeployment models. At a high level, cloud different organizations with similar needs use ainfrastructure alternatives are defined by how they shared cloud computing environment. This neware shared among different organizations. model is taking hold in environments with common regulatory requirements, including healthcare,Private clouds offer the flexibility of the elastic financial services and government.infrastructure shared between different applications,but are never shared with other organizations. The research showed that organizations areHosted on dedicated equipment either on-premises evaluating a broad range of different cloud solutions,or in a colocation provider, a private cloud is the including Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Googlemost secure but the least cost effective cloud model. Cloud Platform, and Red Hat Cloud Computing, as well as many solutions based on OpenStack, thePublic cloud infrastructure offers similar open source cloud computing software.elasticity and scalability and is shared with manyorganizations. This model is best suited for Without planning, ad hoc cloud deploymentsbusinesses requiring managing load spikes and combined with islands of virtualization willscaling to a large number of users without a large only add complexity to the existing data centercapital investment. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is infrastructure. The resulting environment is one ofperhaps the most widely deployed example of public physical, virtual and cloud silos with fragmentedcloud infrastructure as a service. visibility. While individual tools may deliver insight into specific parts of the infrastructure puzzleHybrid cloud offers the dual advantages of secure (physical infrastructure, server virtualization withapplications and data hosting on a private cloud VMware, specific infrastructure in a specific cloudand cost benefits of keeping sharable applications provider), IT organizations have little visibility intoand data on the public cloud. This model is often the total picture. This lack of visibility can impedeused for cloud bursting – the migration of workloads the IT organization’s ability to align infrastructurebetween public and private hosting to handle load investments with business needs and costspikes. constraints. Figure 5: Where respondents planned to deploy cloud initiatives 5
  6. 6. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? Without planning, ad hoc cloud deployments combined with islands of virtualization will only add complexity to the existing data center infrastructure. Infrastructure complexity is the new normal While it aims to bring agility to IT, the process of When asked about where cloud infrastructure will cloud transformation will only increase infrastructure reside, survey respondents indicated that they complexity in the near term. IT organizations must will be managing a blend of on-premises and manage a combination of legacy systems with outsourced infrastructure, with the balance shifting islands of virtualization and cloud technologies. dramatically from 2013-2014. Figure 6: Where cloud infrastructure will reside, by year 6
  7. 7. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud?The need for unified visibility intocomplex infrastructureAs you plan your own cloud initiatives, you must To support these phases, you need visibility intoprepare for multiple phases of transformation: workloads and capacity across essential application infrastructure - no matter where it resides. From• Deploying new applications to the cloud as part the physical and virtual resources, up through of the broader application portfolio applications and services, you will need insight so you can align IT with business objectives.• Migrating existing applications to cloud infrastructure where possible and appropriate• Managing the hybrid “infrastructure anywhere” environment during the transition and beyond Figure 7: The need for infrastructure insight at all levelsEssential infrastructure metrics for right-sizing infrastructureDecisions about which applications to deploy to the • Comparative cost of providing that capacity andcloud and where to deploy them will require visibility infrastructure on different platformsinto: For application migration scenarios, you will need• Historical, current and predicted application to understand the actual resource consumption workload of the existing application. And whether it’s a new application or a migrated one, you will need to• Current and predicted capacity requirements of ‘right-size’ the cloud infrastructure to avoid the twin the workload 7
  8. 8. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? dangers of over-provisioning (and wasting financial • Personnel for supporting the application resources) or under-provisioning and risking outages or performance slow-downs. You will need insight • Operating system into: • Management software • Memory utilization • Cooling and power • CPU utilization • Leased cloud • Data transfer/bandwidth • Server and storage hardware • Storage requirements To accurately predict the cost of running the You will also need good metrics about the cost of application on cloud-based infrastructure, you will running the application in your existing data center, need accurate metrics around the actual, historical as well as the predicted costs of running that same resource consumption of the application (storage, application on various platforms. These metrics memory, CPU, etc) as it maps to billable units by the need to factor in the total cost of the application, provider. By understanding the actual consumption, such as: you can avoid over-provisioning and overpaying for resources from external providers. Infrastructure analytics for cloud migration For any given application that is a candidate for the its cost model or fee structure. For that reason, cloud, you want to be able to compare the total cost you’ll want a tool that lets you get an accurate and of the resources required across different options continuous view into current costs and model “what- (public, private and on-premise). if” scenarios for different deployments. While you could try to manually crunch these An emerging category of infrastructure intelligence numbers in a spreadsheet, the computations are software can provide this kind of side-by-side, what- not trivial. These are decisions that you will need if analysis. to make repeatedly, for each application, and to revisit when an infrastructure provider changes Figure 8: Sample of a cost comparison 8
  9. 9. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud?Continuous analysis for continuous improvementof the “Infrastructure Anywhere” environmentBefore deploying an application, what-if scenarios The software can provide ‘single pane of glass’help you make sound resources decisions and visibility into assets and applications throughout theright-size applications. After deploying, continuous physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure, including:analysis is key to ensuring that you are optimizingcapacity and using resources most efficiently. • Application cost/utilization spanning different locationsWhile individual tools may already give you slicesof the necessary information, you need integrated • True resource requirements of apps (for moreinsight into the complete infrastructure environment. accurate provisioning in cloud infrastructure)Again, emerging infrastructure intelligence can • CPU and memory utilization of apps, whereverassemble necessary information from applications they resideand assets that are both on and off your premises,virtualized and not, in different platforms andlocations. Transformational analytics at its core CRM CRM HR HR other CRM HR DR Apps Apps Apps Apps Apps Apps Apps Apps Policy Transformational Analytics SLA SLA SLA Cloud Automation IT Virtual Machines Physical Resources (Compute, Storage, Networking) Unifying Your Physical, Virtual & Cloud Based Infrastructures Figure 9: Transformational analytics 9
  10. 10. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? Summary By 2014, the enterprise computing will look quite IT organizations need the insight to make fast, smart different than it does today, yet many legacy and informed decisions about where workloads systems and infrastructure will still be with us. and data should reside and how to deploy new IT operations, business units and application applications. Rather than isolated silos of metrics architects will need to manage applications that and capacity and utilization data, IT needs unified reside in infrastructure than spans on-premise and visibility into infrastructure across the virtual offsite locations, with public, private, hybrid, and computing environment – both on-premise and off. community cloud infrastructure. Data centers will be And they need the metrics and continuous analysis just one part of the total pool of infrastructure that IT to manage the evolving infrastructure in a manner manages on behalf of the business. aligned with business objectives. To manage this transformation, you will need to An emerging category of infrastructure intelligence make smart decisions about where workloads can provide the continuous and unified analytics should reside based on specific application and necessary to understand and compare your business needs. And as these changes roll out, you decisions and to manage the data center during the will need to manage the transforming and hybrid transformation. With broad ‘infrastructure insight’ application infrastructure to deliver the necessary you can align cloud platforms with business needs performance and service levels, no matter where and cost requirements – delivering the agility to applications reside. realize new revenue opportunities with the insight to contain the costs of existing applications. About Sentilla Sentilla’s Infrastructure Intelligence software enables Global IT organizations to successfully exploit Infrastructure Anywhere architectures through dynamic capacity forecasting/management, resource allocation, workload migration, and critical cost control. Sentilla regularly conducts research into data center trends. To access webinars about the ongoing research, visit the Sentilla Resources page at http:// 10
  11. 11. To Cloud, or Not to Cloud? 11
  12. 12. Sentilla Corporation©2012 Sentilla Corporation 3 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 225Authored January 2013 Redwood City, 94065All rights reserved. All trademarks used, referenced, or implicitly Phone: (650) 241-0220contained herein are used in good faith and highlighted to give Fax: (650) 592-2740proper public recognition to their respective owners. Web: