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Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

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What’s up in cloud?


By Michael Gallagher 

It should be news to no one that cloud adoption continues to increase. RightScale Flexera recently released its 2019 State of the Cloud Report, which includes some interesting, yet not surprising, insights into the pace of cloud adoption.

At the risk of being a spoiler, I did want to reference two interesting tidbits from the report:

  • 94% of their 786 respondents have adopted at least one cloud solution in support of their business.
  • 84% of respondents have a multicloud strategy leveraging five or more clouds on average.

Obviously cloud adoption is continuing its upward trend. But (as we all know, there is always a “but”), we are seeing that all this cloud adoption carries its share of challenges.

The businesses I talk to are experiencing pain in areas like governance and optimizing their cloud spend. Furthermore, we are seeing a significant uptick in organizations looking to leverage technologies like cloud automation and orchestration, along with containers, to more fully unlock the value cloud can provide them.

Governance and Cost Containment

In the areas of governance and costs, we see businesses coming to the realization that their old governance models don’t translate to the cloud. Most businesses have had years to hone their procurement and purchase approval processes, for example. They have strong workflow in place around the acquisition of traditional IT assets.

Cloud, with its “pay-as-you-consume” model, completely bypasses these honed and dependable processes. Businesses are quickly losing sight of their cloud IT spend until it rears its ugly head in the form of a large monthly operating expense. New tools are often required to track and analyze cloud spend before it can be optimized.

Cloud Automation and Cloud Orchestration

The ability to leverage cloud automation and cloud orchestration is also playing a key role as businesses increase their cloud use.

Cloud automation can provide value to cloud-native software as well as legacy applications. Without it, businesses won’t truly be able to leverage the dynamic capabilities of cloud to perform tasks or functions, and must continue to have inefficient manual intervention within their environment.

With the adoption of multi-cloud environments, cloud orchestration, which is the ability to coordinate all these automated tasks across your entire IT landscape, also becomes necessary. Orchestration will provide the consistent and planned approach required to leverage multiple clouds to meet business objectives.

Although cloud orchestration depends largely on the use of cloud automation, cloud automation can occur without cloud orchestration. Truth.

Containers

As cloud adoption is increasing, so is the adoption of containers and container services. Simply put, containers are a way of providing operating system virtualization. Containerization lets you run an application without having to launch an entire virtual machine, or VM, to do so.

Applications need to run in precisely the same manner regardless of the operating systems, network topology, security policies, and storage configurations, and applications running in containers are isolated from their surroundings. That’s the value of containers. As cloud adoption increases and architectures become more complex, containers can be used as the foundation for moving workloads, without having to alter the application, within hybrid or multi-cloud environments.  

To sum up, cloud adoption does indeed bring challenges for any organization. The good news is that tools and services are available today that businesses can leverage to mitigate these challenges.

About the author

Michael Gallagher is Business Development Manager for Cloud for LRS IT Solutions. He has more than 30 years of experience selling IT products and services. By keeping his head in the Cloud, Mike focuses on providing down-to-earth solutions for his clients.