Thomas Duryea’s Journey to the Cloud: Part One


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Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how one Australian IT integrator has escalated cloud development to provide new cloud services portfolio.

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Thomas Duryea’s Journey to the Cloud: Part One

  1. 1. Thomas Duryea’s Journey to the Cloud: Part OneTranscript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how one Australian IT integrator has escalated clouddevelopment to provide new cloud services portfolio. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Sponsor: VMwareDana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and youre listening to BriefingsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on how leading Australian IT services provider, Thomas Duryea Consulting, has made a successful journey to cloud computing. Well learn why a cloud-of-clouds approach is providing new types of IT services to Thomas Duryea’s many Asia-Pacific region customers.Our discussion here kicks off a three-part series on how Thomas Duryea, or TD, designed, built,and commercialized a vast cloud infrastructure. The first part of our series addresses the rationaleand business opportunity for TD to create their cloud-services portfolio built on VMware.[Disclosure: VMware is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]Stay with us now to learn more about implementing the best cloud technology to deliver andcommercialize an adaptive and reliable cloud services ecosystem. Here to share their story onthis journey, were joined by Adam Beavis. He is General Manager of Cloud Services at ThomasDuryea in Melbourne, Australia. Welcome Adam.Adam Beavis: Thank you. Pleasure to be here.Gardner: Let’s start a little bit high up. Why cloud services for your consulting and businesscustomers now? Have they been asking for it? Has the market shifted in some way that led youto begin this journey?Beavis: Certainly, the customers are the big driver while we are moving into cloud services.Being a traditional IT integrator, weve been very successful showing a lot of data-centersolutions to our customers, but more and more were seeing customers finding it harder to getCAPEX and new projects and they are really starting to look at the cloud alternative.Gardner: Why then have you looked at moving towards cloud services as a commercialoffering, rather than going yourself to a public cloud and then availing yourself of their services?Why build it yourself?Beavis: We reviewed all the possibilities and looked at moving to some of the larger cloudproviders, but weve got a strong skill set, a strong heritage, and good relationships with ourcustomers, and they forced our hand in many ways to move down that path. Page 1
  2. 2. They were concerned about telcos looking after some of their cloud services. They really wantedto maintain the relationship that they had with us. So we reviewed it and understood that,because of the skill sets we have and the experience in this area, it would work bothcommercially and then relationship-wise. The best move for us was to leverage the existingrelationships we have with the vendors and build out our own cloud.Gardner: So who are these eager customers? Could you describe them? Do they fall into aparticular category, like a small to medium-size business (SMB) type of clientele? Is it a verticalindustry? Where is the sweet spot in the market?No sweet spot Beavis: That’s probably the one thing that surprised me the most. As weve been out talking to customers and selling the cloud, there really is no sweet spot. Organizations that you talk to will be doing it for different reasons. Some of them might be doing it for environmental insurance reasons, because having their data center in their building is costing them money, and there are now viable opportunity to move it out.But if I were to identify one or two, the first one would be independent software vendors (ISVs).Cloud solutions are bringing to ISVs something theyve looked for for a long time, and that’s theability to run test and dev environments. Once theyve done that, they can host their applicationsout of a service provider and not have to worry about the underlying infrastructure, which issomething, as a application developer, theyre not interested in.So were seeing them and were working with quite a few. One, an Oracle partner, will actuallyrun their tests in their environments in a cloud, and then be able to deliver those services back tosome of their customers. In other cases theyll run up the development in their cloud and thenimport that to an on-premise cloud afterwards.The other area is with SMBs. Were certainly seeing them, for a financial reasons, want to shift tocloud. Its the same old story of OPEX versus CAPEX, reduced budgets, and trying to do morewith less.The cloud is now in a position where it can offer that to SMB customers. So were seeing greatopportunities appear, where not only are we taking their infrastructure into the cloud, but alsoadding on top of that managed-service capability, where we will be managing all the way up tothe application.Gardner: Based on this mixture of different types of uses, it sounds that youre going to be ableto grow your offerings right along with what this market demands. Perhaps some of those ISVsmight be looking for a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) direction, others more of a managedservices, just for specific applications. Was that important for you to have that sort of SwissArmy knife? Page 2
  3. 3. Beavis: Exactly right, Dana. Each one is addressing a different pain point. For example, some ofthem are coming to us for disaster recovery (DR) as a service, because the cost of renewing theirDR site or managing or putting that second site out is too expensive. Others, as you said, are justlooking for a platform to develop applications on. So the whole PaaS concept is something nearand dear to us on our roadmap.Each one continues to evolve, and its usually the customers that start to drive you as a cloudprovider to look at your own service catalog. That’s probably something that’s quite exciting --how quickly you need to evolve as a service provider. Because its still quite a new area for a lotof people, and customers do ask for varying things that they expect the cloud to be or what acloud is. Were constantly evolving and looking at new offerings to add into our service catalog.Gardner: In my introduction I mentioned a cloud of clouds ecosystem. Does that make sense? Isthat the sort of goal that you are ultimately going to reach with your journey?Beavis: It definitely is. We see it being more than just one offering in our eyes. We see us beingable to provide it to anyone, from a small reseller to an ISV, someone who develops their ownapplications. Or, its someone who works specifically with applications and theyre not justinterested anymore in running their own infrastructure on their site or caring for it. They justwant to provide that platform for their developers to be able to work hassle free.Gardner: So this means that youve got to come up with an infrastructure that can support manydifferent type of uses, grow, scale, and increase adaptability to the market. What were some ofthe requirements, when you started looking at the vendors that you were going to partner with tocreate this cloud offering?Understanding customers needs Beavis: The first thing that was important for us was, as you said, understanding our customers’ needs initially and then matching that to what they required. Once we had that, those words you mentioned, scale and everything, had to come into play. Also the cost to build these thingscertainly doesn’t come cheap. So we had to make sure we could use the existing resources wehad.We really went in the end with the VMware product, because we have existing skill sets in thatarea. We knew we would have a lot of support, with their being a T1 vendor and us being a T1partner for them. We needed someone that could provide us with that support from both aservices perspective, sales, marketing, and really come on the journey with us to build that cloud.And then obviously our other vendors underneath, like EMC, who are also incredibly supportiveof us, integrate very well with those products, and Cisco as well. Page 3
  4. 4. It had to be something that we could rapidly build, I wont say out of the box, because it’s a lotthat goes around building a cloud, but something that we knew had a strong roadmap and wasfamiliar to all our customers as well.The move to cloud is something that is new to them, its stressful, and theyre wondering how todo it. In Australia, 99 percent of customers have some sort of VMware in their data center. To beable to move to a platform that they were familiar with and had used in the past makes a bigdifference, rather than saying, "Youre moving to cloud, and here is a whole new platform,interface, and something that youve never seen before."The story of the hybrid cloud was something we sat down and saw had a lot of legs, theopportunity for people to stick their toe in the water and get used to being in the cloudenvironment. And VMware’s hybrid cloud model, connecting your on-premise into the publiccloud, was also a big win for us. That’s really a very strong go-to-market for us.Gardner: As a systems integrator for some time, youre very familiar with the othervirtualization offerings in the market. Was there anything in particular that led you away fromthem and more towards VMware?Beavis: Not really. It was definitely a maturity thing. We remember when Paul Maritz got onstage four years ago and defined the cloud operating system. The whole industry followed afterthat. VMware led in this path. So being a market leader certainly helped.Needless to say, were very good partners with some of the other providers as well. We didreview them all, but it was a maturity thing and also a vision thing. The vision of a software-defined datacenter really came into play as we were building Cloud 2.0 and that was a big winnerfor us. That vision that they have now around that is certainly something that we believe in aswell.Gardner: Of course, theyve announced new and important additions to their vCloud Suite, anda lot of that seems to focus on folks like yourself who need to create clouds as a business to beable to measure, meter, build, manage access, privacy, and security issues. Was there anythingabout the vCloud Suite that attracted you in terms of being able to run the cloud as a businessitself?Product integrationBeavis: The fact it was packing stuff as a suite was a big one for us. The integration of theproducts now is something that’s happening a lot more rapidly, and as a provider, that’s what welike to see. The concept of needing different modules for billings, operations, even going back 12months ago, made it quite difficult.In the last 12 months with the Suite, it has come a long way. Weve used the component aroundChargeback, vCenter Operations Management, and Capacity Management. The concept now of Page 4
  5. 5. software-defined security, firewalls, and networking, has become very, very exciting for us, to beable to all of a sudden manage that through a single console, rather than having many differentpoint solutions doing different things. As a service provider that’s committed to that VMwareproduct, we find it very, very important.Gardner: Margins can be a little tricky with this business. As you say, you had a lot ofinvestment in this. How do you know when you are succeeding? Is there a benchmark that youset for yourself that would say, "We know were doing this well when "blank?" Or is this a bitmore of a crawl, walk, run approach to this overall cloud business?Beavis: Obviously that comes with a lot of the backend work were doing. We take a lot of time.It’s probably the most important part. Before we even go and build the cloud, it’s getting all thatright. You know your direction. You know what your forecast needs to be. You know whatnumbers you need to hit. We certainly have numbers and targets in mind.That’s from a financial perspective, but also customers are coming into the cloud, because justlike physical to virtual, people will come, initially, just with small environment and then theyllcontinue to grow.If you provide good service within your cloud, and they see that risk reduced, cost reduced, andit’s more comfortable, they will continue to move workloads into your cloud, which obviouslyincreases your bottom line.Initially it’s not just, "Let’s go out and sell as much as we can to one or two customers, whateverit might be." It’s really getting as many logos into the cloud as we can, and then really work onthose relationships, building up that trust, and then over time start to migrate more and moreworkloads into the cloud.Gardner: Adam, help us understand for those listening who might want to start exploring yourservices, when do these become available? When are you announcing them, and is there anyroadmap that you might be able to tease us with a little bit about what might be coming in thefuture?Beavis: Weve got Cloud 1.0 running at the moment, which is a cloud where we provide cloudservices to customers. We have the automation level that we are putting in Cloud 2.0. Ourbackup services, where people no longer have to worry about tapes and things on site, backup asa service where they can just point to our data center and backup files, is available now.Also DR as a service is probably our biggest number one seller cloud service at the moment,where people who don’t want to run those second sites, can just deploy or move those workloadsover into our data center, and we can manage their DR for them. Page 5
  6. 6. New cloud suiteBut theres a big one were talking about. Were on stage at vForum next Wednesday, November14, here in Australia, launching our new cloud suite built on VMware vCloud Director 5.1.Then on the roadmap, the areas that are starting to pop up now are things like desktop as aservice. Were exploring quite heavily with big data on the table, business intelligence as aservice, and the ability for us to do something with all that data that were collecting from ourcustomers. When we talk about IT as a service, thats lifting us up to that next level again.As I said earlier, its continuously changing and new ideas evolve, and that’s the great thingworking with an innovative company. There are always plenty of people around driving newconcepts and new ideas into the cloud business.Gardner: Its very exciting and we look forward to learn more. Weve been talking about howleading Australian IT services provider, Thomas Duryea Consulting, has made a successfuljourney to cloud computing.Our discussion today kicks off a three-part series on how TD designed, built, andcommercialized an adaptive and reliable cloud services ecosystem. The next part of our serieswill delve more deeply into the how and what, rather than focusing, as we did today, on more ofthe business rationale for this cloud infrastructure journey.With that, Id like to thank our guest for being here on BriefingsDirect today, Adam Beavis,General Manager of Cloud Services at Thomas Duryea Consulting in Melbourne, Australia.Thanks so much, Adam.Beavis: Thank you, Dana. Absolute pleasure.Gardner: And Id like to thank our audience for joining and listening and invite them to comeback next time.This is Dana Gardner, your host and moderator, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanksso much again for joining. Bye for now. Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Sponsor: VMwareTranscript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how one Australian IT integrator has escalated clouddevelopment to provide new cloud services portfolio. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC,2005-2012. All rights reserved. Page 6
  7. 7. You may also be interested in: • VMware-Powered Cloud Adoption Delivers Bevy of Data and Performance Benefits for Revlon, Says CIO David Giambruno • Services Provider BancVue Leverages VMware Server Virtualization to Generate Private-Cloud Benefits and Increased Business Agility • Roundtable: Revlon and SAP executives describe accretive benefits from aggressive cloud adoption • From VMworld, cosmetics giant Revlon harnesses the power of private cloud to produce impressive savings and cost avoidance • VMware CTO Steve Herrod on How the Software-Defined Datacenter Benefits Enterprises • Case Study: Strategic Approach to Disaster Recovery and Data Lifecycle Management Pays Off for Australias SAI Global Page 7