Nutanix for DevOps | @KubeSUMMIT @Nutanix #Nutanix #CloudNative #DevOps #Serverless #Docker #Kubernetes

In today’s always-on world, customer expectations have changed. Competitive differentiation is delivered through rapid software innovations, the ability to respond to issues quickly and by releasing high-quality code with minimal interruptions. DevOps isn’t some far off goal; it’s methodologies and practices are a response to this demand. The demand to go faster. The demand for more uptime. The demand to innovate. In this keynote, we will cover the Nutanix Developer Stack. Built from the foundation of software-defined infrastructure, Nutanix has rapidly expanded into full application lifecycle management across any infrastructure or cloud .Join us as we delve into how the Nutanix Developer Stack makes it easy to build hybrid cloud applications by weaving DBaaS, micro segmentation, event driven lifecycle operations, and both financial and cloud governance together into a single unified stack.

read more

Mark Lavi: @Nutanix’s DevOps Journey | @CloudEXPO @Calm_Mark #Nutanix #AI #AIOps #CloudNative #Serverless #DevOps #Docker #Kubernetes

“At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish,” noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.

read more

Nutanix Mine with Veeam Simplifies Secondary Storage | @CloudEXPO @Nutanix #Nutanix #DataCenter #Serverless #Storage

Sold by Nutanix, Nutanix Mine with Veeam can be deployed in minutes and simplifies the full lifecycle of data backup operations, including on-going management, scaling and troubleshooting. The offering combines highly-efficient storage working in concert with Veeam Backup and Replication, helping customers achieve comprehensive data protection for all their workloads — virtual, physical and private cloud —to meet increasing business demands for uptime and productivity.

read more

Riding the cloud-native wave: How to get your strategy in order

“Cloud-native” is an approach for building applications which often incorporates microservices, containers, and cloud services on dynamically orchestrated platforms. There can be a steep learning curve, but these techniques and technologies fully exploit the advantages of the cloud computing model.

Managing application operations through agile DevOps processes and continuous delivery pipelines empowers organisations to more easily build and run new applications in modern environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. 

This dramatic shift in how applications are architected and deployed has huge potential for IT, leading to lower operational costs, boosted performance, greater efficiency, and increased business agility. At a broad level, this translates into acclerated speed to market, the ability to support rapid expansion, and more margin as departments pay for additional resources only as needed.

“Disruption-forward” companies like Airbnb, Netflix, and Uber are grabbing the lion’s share of their respective markets due to their newer, faster, more efficient, user-centric interfaces and services. Built in the cloud and without a physical footprint, these tech-driven businesses routinely and safely pivot and scale to meet customer demands at a pace that most enterprises—struggling to migrate from legacy technology—can only envy from afar.

If it ain’t broke…

The problem is, shifting to cloud-native not only requires fundamental changes to IT architectures, but to the entire IT economy that supports it. That’s a transformation IT department heads, met with shrinking budgets, often aren’t willing to—or simply can’t—entertain.

Pundits have talked digital transformation to death for at least five years—a conversation where cloud-native technologies feature heavily. A few businesses have embraced this opportunity with gusto, pulling ahead of competitors or disrupting markets outright. But most enterprises, especially those most risk-averse, haven’t made many changes. Sadly, the IT mantra, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” still dominates.

The IT professional is ultimately responsible for keeping senior leadership teams on track when it comes to the technological investments planned to move the needle for their organisations. But making the case for cloud-native isn’t always easy. It requires not only a financial investment, but a significant IT commitment for the build, from HR on a cultural front, and most importantly, recognition from the COO and board that IT truly is a strategic driver for the organisation.

Managing new complexity

With the promise of greater efficiency, flexibility, and scalability, it’s easy to see why ambitious IT pros and strategy leaders among us are pushing our organisations to move towards cloud-native approaches. But these benefits bring new complexity that needs to be managed correctly.

IT pros tasked with managing the shift to a cloud-native architecture need to devise new and creative methods if they are to successfully manage and navigate this shift. It’s not only about putting the right tools in place, but also the need to create a receptive and adaptable system for continued advancements.

Effective monitoring is essential. The traditional success reporting model favoured by IT teams is the SLA (service level agreement). But SLAs only represent the minimal acceptable performance IT is willing to accept, while management is looking for a report of business success and ROI on transformation investments.

For IT pros looking to make a business case for cloud-native, the right monitoring and reporting systems are critical. Reporting only minimal acceptable performance prevents IT from being part of the discussion. IT must run in close alignment with the business to mitigate risk, allow transformation, and prove success to build budgets—and truly change culture.

Skills worth investing

Even once the business case has been made and management has bought in, the skills gap remains one of the biggest but often overlooked considerations when undergoing huge transitions such as this. The 2019 SolarWinds IT Trends Report found 70% of all tech pros surveyed are not confident in having all the necessary skills to successfully manage their IT environments over the next three to five years. In fact, almost one in five (19%) U.K. IT pros felt unequipped to implement or manage automation and orchestration with their current skillset.

Without improvement in time and budget constraints, the majority of tech pros (70%) say they will be unable to confidently manage future innovations. This reality ultimately puts businesses at risk of performance and competitive advantage losses, making the prioritisation of skills and career development for tech pros paramount.

A turning tide

The cloud-native shift is a rare opportunity for companies both new and established. While most IT departments are just becoming comfortable wrangling their hybrid IT environments, the promise of the next step—cloud-native—can’t happen if we’re too narrowly focused on decades-old metrics and reporting. Keeping the lights on and meeting basic SLAs is no longer enough.  

Fortunately, the tide is turning. Despite challenges, companies are making towards cloud adoption investments that have them more than “running to stand still.” The next few years will see those that adopt a cloud native approach truly soar, while those unable to mitigate transformation risk will fall behind. While it represents new skills investment upfront, this approach pays career and corporate dividends in a fast-changing world.

https://i1.wp.com/www.cybersecuritycloudexpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cyber-security-world-series-1.png?w=474&ssl=1Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

Q&A: Scott Murphy, Ingram Micro

17 May, 2019

The UK Cloud Summit is now in its third year. What made Ingram Micro put the event on in the first place and how has the event itself evolved in that time?

The UK Cloud Summit 2019 is the perfect opportunity to showcase the great advancements our partners in cloud solutions have made over the past year – which we’re excited to recognise at our Gala Awards ceremony – and to acknowledge the evolving technologies that will take us into the future of cloud.

To those that joined us last year at The Institution of Engineering and Technology in London, we thank you for being part of an exciting year for us and invite you to join us again in 2019 for an even bigger event and year.

The UK Cloud Summit 2019 promises to be a game-changing event in the UK, as we bring together over 300 executives, industry disruptors and fellow thought leaders. You can find more information and sign up here

Why should people attend this year’s event?

This year’s Cloud Summit will be over two days and brings together both our cloud and advanced solutions partners to discover new, disruptive technologies fueled by the cloud (Infinite Possibilities), explore ways that they can benefit from category-leading cloud solutions (Infinite Ecosystems), and grasp the challenges of transforming their business in the digital economy (Infinite Growth).

By attending, people will: 

  • Gain actionable tactics from practical learning sessions
  • Network and idea share with top industry experts
  • Discover the latest cloud solutions
  • Hear world-class speakers explore the infinite possibilities of cloud
  • Learn how to streamline cutting edge SaaS, IaaS and IoT technology
  • Discover how CloudBlue accelerates XaaS monetisation

What industry trends and changes have you witnessed in the same period?

With the surge of AI, IoT, Big Data and other emerging technologies, we are ensuring that we not only have the people with the right expertise, but also the capability to deploy these solutions through our platforms. Ingram Micro Professional Services is then there to support partners in their conversations with end-users and to enable them to deliver these solutions from start to finish.

Conversely, what opportunities have you witnessed/harnessed? Either as a company or in terms of your customers?

IaaS continues to explode. We’ve seen our Azure Accelerate Elite partners drive growth of over 270% YoY, however, we see SaaS also continuing to accelerate.

Cyber Security isn’t something new however more and more clients are looking at this as a key priority, whether it’s securing the cloud or simply securing business. Ingram has invested heavily in this area to transform how we bring value to channel (VAD to Solution Provider).

Ingram Micro Services is a key focus area for us and our partners. Whether that be Professional or Managed Services or other services such as Financial. All of which continue to grow across our partner base.

Can you provide a bit more detail for those not familiar with your company?

Ingram Micro Cloud (IMC), a division of Ingram Micro UK Ltd, was established in 2014 to help its partners realise their share of the cloud market opportunity. Ingram Micro Cloud is a master cloud service provider (mCSP), offers channel partners and enterprises access to the leading global Cloud commerce platform, expertise, solutions and enabling programmes that empower organisations to realise their potential in the digital economy.

Ingram Micro Cloud is the leading Cloud aggregator in the UK and powered by CloudBlue, a foundational cloud software and services platform destined to transcend every aspect of the new, as-a-service economy.

What does cloud mean to you and what benefits do you think it brings to businesses?

I heard an expression which for me sums up the cloud well. Cloud is an experience, not a destination. Initially might sound anti-cloud however it’s about supporting clients on their digital transformation journey. Benefits include enabling clients to win more business, drive differentiation and reduce complexity from daily IT tasks across AI, ML, Big Data and IoT by harnessing the power of the cloud.

Are there any stumbling blocks to success?

Businesses require correct tools, people, industry knowledge, systems and training programs to capitalise on the digitalisation opportunity. This lends itself to an immense challenge for the channel to fulfil yet with the right mCSP partner, solution and business plan it’s possible to embrace the infinite potential of Cloud to infinite reality.

How is your company helping customers address key challenges in these areas and take advantage of opportunities?

We are helping in a number of ways:

1.              Training

Upskilling and training staff is key to ensuring growth in 2019 with fresh and more advanced technology emerging via the channel. While talent can be difficult to obtain with the challenge of a digital skills gap in the UK, current staff can acquire new skills as well as perfecting existing abilities, helping fill these skills shortages.

Making one employee proficient in multiple roles increases their value to the business by enabling them to take on extra tasks with new technologies should they be required to. We provide a number of technically and commercially led training and enablement for our partners across a number of solution areas and cloud categories. Whether a fundamental level or advanced in knowledge, we have a team of experts on hand to help upskill our customers’ businesses.  

2.              IaaS

While many organisations still perceive IaaS as a colossal move from what is considered a ‘traditional IT infrastructure setup’, IaaS is critical to realising the intelligent future of the cloud. Building confidence in selling IaaS, such as Microsoft Azure, and championing the innovation and growth it can bring – without being afraid of new technology – will be important this year and beyond. We’re supporting our partners with key advanced workload packages and plays to help deliver solutions quickly and easily in-market with a host of Solution Architects and consultants. In addition, supporting partners to find new opportunities across IaaS Lifecycle service categories. 

3.              Understanding vertical specialisation

Getting to know your own vertical is something that often gets little attention. It’s not only knowing about the sector, but it’s also knowing the surrounding environment too. Make sure you become an expert in your specialisation while also considering the global and international factors that affect economies and sectors and analyse the impact of customers, competitors and suppliers on that vertical.

Get under the skin of what makes your customers – and their industry – tick. We’ve recently created a series of 8 vertical eBooks to help understand the challenges and opportunities across industries such as manufacturing, finance, retail, media legal, healthcare telecommunications and education.

How do you think the cloud landscape has evolved in the past five years?

With a generation of millennials and centennials being born into a world of digital technology, their positive attitude to the escalation of AI, robotics and automation reflects an understanding of its potential to make working life easier, safer and more productive. Due to their familiarity with cloud-powered applications and collaborative tools, the younger talent is helping to push digital transformation drives of organisations across the world.

What do you think has driven this shift?

Their progressive attitude is proving essential in encouraging employers to embrace the future and ramp up investment in the technologies that can harness the power of AI and robotics and improve the modern workplace by enabling flexible and remote working for all staff.

What other trends and patterns do you see around cloud computing and related technologies?

Adoption of cloud-first strategies, cloud consolidation and Hybrid partnership motion across businesses.

Partner to Partner collaboration across ISVs, MSPs and VARs will help build more robust and commercial solutions which are transforming industries. Focus across IoT, AI and cyber security are where we see the best opportunity. Supporting clients on their digital transformation journey and ensuring complimentary cloud solutions are bolted together is where we see our channel partners succeed.

What technologies will be driving business change and success five years from now and why?

Key tech plays we believe will drive success in five years from now is IoT, AI and cyber security and UCC. These are the areas we see as transforming the cloud sector an opportunity for the channel to maximise.

IoT is empowering businesses to improve customer experience and make better-informed decisions based on connected “things”. AI is much more than just automation of processes and the real opportunity to leverage AI is across the IT environment to improve efficiencies and reduce risk. UCC for us is empowering people to collaborate, regardless of location to accelerate wider relationships.

Do you have anything else to add? 

Ingram Micro is dedicated to making partner transformation simple and by leveraging the Cloud Awesomeness Roadmap which highlights four key stages of partners in their cloud adoption journey we’re striving to bring value to our partners, vendors and clients with practical, business generating initiatives. Across three key unique investments in people, platform and portfolio we’re helping more partners win in the digitalisation era.

What to expect from Citrix Synergy 2019


Keumars Afifi-Sabet

17 May, 2019

If you were to ask me exactly one year go what shape Citrix was in, I’d have answered ‘promising’ at the least. Towards the end of last year’s Synergy conference, analysts noted the cloud computing firm had managed to unify its family of products and business strategy to the point it could really attack the market.

But what a difference a year makes. Since then, Citrix’s share price has fallen and revenues have disappointed, especially when compared to the success of rival firms like VMWare and F5 Networks.

Then there’s the small matter of the massive 6TB data breach the company sustained earlier this year – catastrophic for a company that frequently stresses the importance of security at each conference.

All of this taken together means, in contrast to its outlook 12 months ago, the company finds itself with a point to prove going into its annual Synergy conference, hosted this year in Atlanta, Georgia. We’ll be especially keen to see whether Citrix addresses the data breach head on, or leaves it to mutate into the proverbial elephant haunting every room we float between over the next few days.

But gloom aside, Citrix has a chance to show off its new-look product portfolio after undergoing a major rebrand last year, and we’ll be keen to check in on how its cloud business is performing. Citrix Cloud has been growing gradually, and now accounts for a bigger slice of its business than the same time last year. But we’ll find out whether its adoption rate is growing fast enough for the firm’s own liking.

We should also hear a little more on Citrix’s work with Microsoft in the form of Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) hosted on Microsoft Azure. The two companies went into this a little at Microsoft’s flagship Ignite conference in March, but ahead of its official release later this year, we’re hoping for a few more details next week.

Elsewhere, we will be chatting with a Sapho executive following its acquisition by Citrix for $200 million. We’re hoping to grasp some more details about their relationship in the coming months, and how Sapho’s employee portal will integrate into Citrix’s flagship products, namely the likes of Citrix Workspace.

Finally, with the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) one-year anniversary landing that same week – it’d be good to get some perspectives from Citrix customers based in the UK and Europe, as well as figures from within the company itself on how the regulations have changed their businesses and approach to data protection.

In 2018 Citrix executives outlined a vision for the ‘future of work’ – a term that essentially comprised an amalgamation of products we’ve seen knocking around in some capacity as far back as 2014. Next week we will discover whether there’s any substance to this vision, or if it’s just a nifty turn-of-phrase.

I’ll be live-tweeting the events and covering the latest news from Citrix Synergy 2019 for both Cloud Pro and our sister site IT Pro next week between 21 – 24 May.

Companies’ cloud security getting better – but slowly, argues SANS Institute

Cloud security best practices are improving – but there is still a long way to go, according to a new report from SANS Institute.

The study, which polled several hundred respondents across the IT spectrum, came about, as author Dave Shackleford put it, as the result of concerning news stories around the security space. IDC found back in April that worldwide IT security spending would hit $103.1 billion by the end of this year – but stories continue to persist, particularly around open Amazon S3 buckets. Misinformation around shared responsibility, as this publication has regularly perused, continues to persist.

The survey respondents were most likely to have two or three public cloud providers on spec, with almost half using cloud network access services (43%) and more than a third (35%) using cloud access security brokers (CASBs). Approximately half of those polled said they have BI data (48.2%) and intellectual property data (47.7%).

The study explored organisations' biggest cloud security concerns and then correlated them with incidents that had actually occured. For instance, while 42% of respondents expressed worry about a lack of training within the organisation on public cloud services, 28% said this was a genuine issue over the past 12 months.

Number one on the worry list, cited by 55.6% of those polled, was unauthorised access to cloud services by outsiders. It was also the biggest concern in the 2017 survey. Yet 19% of respondents said it was something their organisation had to deal with. This is still a major number, of course, and the report noted how much of a concern it was, saying there was a 'significant increase.'

Looking at the technologies deployed to combat the criminals, VPNs were the most popular, used by almost 90% of respondents with three quarters of that managed internally. Anti-malware, log and event management, multi-factor authentication and vulnerability scanning were deployed by approximately four in five of those polled.

"The state of cloud security seems to be improving, albeit slowly. Cloud providers are becoming more open and accommodating of security data and controls, and more vendor solutions are able to bridge the gap between implementations on-premises and in the cloud.

"There's progress, and more acceptance of in-cloud controls and services – but that progress is still slow."

https://i1.wp.com/www.cybersecuritycloudexpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cyber-security-world-series-1.png?w=474&ssl=1Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

Microsoft and Sony partner on cloud-based gaming and tech development


Roland Moore-Colyer

17 May, 2019

Despite being rivals in the gaming world, Microsoft and Sony have entered into a partnership to work on cloud technology to support game streaming and AI services.

Both companies have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see them jointly work on future cloud services based on Microsoft's Azure infrastructure that will support more "enhanced entertainment experiences", notably centred on streaming content and games.

The partnership is an odd one at first glance, given Microsoft's Xbox division is a direct rival to Sony's PlayStation business. Sony also has an existing game streaming service, PlayStation Now, and Microsoft is poised to launch its own offering with xCloud.

At a base level, Sony could boost its PlayStation Now service with the reach and power of the Azure cloud, while Microsoft could gain another major customer on its world-spanning infrastructure.

But the partnership looks to be more about exploring and developing cloud technologies with Microsoft noting that it will involve "building better development platforms for the content creator community".

Sony's chief executive, Kenichiro Yoshida, acknowledged the rivalry between the two companies, but painted the partnership as one that will be more focused on the exploration and creation of new technologies.

"For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content," said Yoshida. "Additionally, I hope that in the areas of semiconductors and AI, leveraging each company’s cutting-edge technology in a mutually complementary way will lead to the creation of new value for society."

Speaking of semiconductors and AI, the partnership will see the joint development to new intelligent image sensor technology, tapping into Sony's work on image sensors for cameras combined with Microsoft's Azure-based AI technology.

This proposed work will not only involve Microsoft and Sony creating semiconductors and services that can be incorporated into their own products and services, notably cloud and edge computing systems, but will also be aimed at producing products for enterprises to use.

Furthermore, the joint venture will also explore how Microsoft's AI platform and tools can be integrated into Sony's consumer products to create "highly intuitive and user-friendly AI experiences".

By working together both companies could improve their overall gaming, cloud-based service, and smart tech portfolios. And while details of how exactly this will work are vague, it could see the development of new technologies that have an immediate benefit to both companies' consumer customers and yield benefits for their enterprise customers later on down the line.

Uncrackable passwords introduced to Microsoft Azure


Connor Jones

17 May, 2019

Microsoft Azure has increased the character limit for passwords in Azure Active Directory from 16 to a massive 256 characters, making brute force hack attempts much more difficult.

It seems to be a hot topic for Azure customers who have been reminding Microsoft of its seemingly unsatisfactorily small limit for passwords.

“Many of you have been reminding us that we still have a 16-character password limit for accounts created in Azure AD,” said Microsoft’s Alex Simons. “While our on-premises Windows AD allows longer passwords and passphrases, we previously didn’t have support for this for cloud user accounts in Azure AD.”

“Today, I am pleased to announce that we have changed this limit, allowing you to set a password with up to 256 characters, including spaces,” he added.

Passwords must still meet three out of the four essential criteria as set out in Microsoft’s policy documentation.

  • Lowercase characters
  • Uppercase characters
  • Numbers (0-9)
  • Symbols (@ # $ % ^ & * – _ ! + = [ ] { } | \ : ‘ , . ? / ` ~ ” ( ) 😉

While account and password security are of paramount importance to IT users, Microsoft still won’t force you to create an iron-clad password, keeping the minimum allowance at just a mere eight characters.

The difference between an eight-character password and a 256 character one is huge, according to howsecureismypassword.net, a website used to check how long it would take to brute force a password.

We took three different passwords of varying lengths to see how long it would take to crack each of them. First up is ‘Jazzily1’, the minimum character requirement that adheres to three of Azure’s four essential criteria. This would take just one month to crack, according to the website.

A middle ground 137-character password would take 29,511,750,324 octogintillion years (quite a lot) to crack, and the 253-character password we used at the upper limit of Azure’s allowance would take ‘forever’.

Another way to look at hyper-secure passwords is Professor Bill Buchanan’s take on things regarding 128-bit AES keys. He said that in order to break one of these, it would take the energy required to boil every single one of Earth’s oceans 16,384 times just to crack a single key.

In related news, Microsoft recently gained FIDO certification for its Windows 10 authenticator Windows Hello in the upcoming May 2019 upgrade, seemingly in an embryonic first step towards a passwordless Windows.

Windows Hello will use facial recognition, fingerprint scanning and a secure PIN number for more than 800 million Windows 10 devices starting next month – a service with cross-compatibility with other Microsoft services such as Office 365, OneDrive and more.

“Our work with FIDO Alliance, W3C and contributions to FIDO2 standards have been a critical piece of Microsoft’s commitment to a world without passwords,” said principal group program manager with Microsoft Yogesh Mehta.

“No one likes passwords (except hackers),” he added. “People don’t like passwords because we have to remember them. As a result, we often create passwords that are easy to guess – which makes them the first target for hackers trying to access your computer or network at work.”

In the same May update, Microsoft will also stop enforcing its password expiration policies which prompt users to change their passwords every few months.

The company’s logic behind this came from the idea that if users are frequently changing passwords, they will be more inclined to just make small changes or even start writing them down; a big security no-no.

Is your cloud spend out of control? How to rein in your purchasing

If the weather isn't quite up to scratch it is hard to resist the lure of an all-inclusive family holiday. The azure blue sea, pristine white sand, and masses of food and drink – interspersed with a spot of swimming to burn off some of the excesses. 

But fast-forward to check out and you get a nasty surprise: a larger than expected bill. Those extras excluded from your “all-inclusive” deal were too tempting for your teenagers: how did they consume so many snacks between the all-you-can-eat buffets? 

The post-holiday blues kick in as you realise you should have given your kids clearer guidelines on the first day.

A nasty surprise on the invoicing front can also occur if you do not prepare carefully enough when you move to the cloud.

I highlighted the importance of tackling ghost spending and costly, complex contracts before moving to the cloud in this article. A natural next step is cloud cost optimisation, whether you are starting to deploy cloud or already have projects underway.

A cloud feeding frenzy

While there’s no doubt that cloud adoption has a positive impact on business agility, it can also lead to a cloud feeding frenzy and over spending. 

But with cloud projects popping up and no corporate-wide policy, those planned-for operational cost savings can vanish in a heartbeat. Plus the initial calculations around cloud provider pricing often ignore the full extent of on-premise support required, exacerbating the issue. 

According to Gartner, it is not unusual for public cloud bills to be 2x to 3x higher than expected. And it is a growing phenomenon, with Gartner anticipating that, “Through 2020, 80% of organisations will overshoot their cloud IaaS budgets due to lack of cost optimisation approaches.” 

The need for restraint

We are already seeing this first hand. A growing stream of large enterprises is looking for help with their cloud cost optimisation as the realisation dawns that the free-spending cloud holiday must stop. 

No organisation would consider running a data centre without adequate cost controls, and the same should apply in the cloud to avoid expenditure surprises, waste, and general inefficiency. 

Understanding your cloud consumption habits

Understanding the costs and drivers of technology at a service level is essential for an efficient, sustainable cloud journey. 

Cloud business management tools such as those from Apptio can help you to manage and optimise your IaaS and PaaS investments. If you don’t have the resources and expertise internally to handle the entire cloud cost optimisation lifecycle process then engaging an enterprise cloud consultancy is an alternative approach. 

If you are at the start of your official company-wide cloud journey, not counting any rogue, ad hoc cloud environments already in use, then a high-level migration and business case analysis is the first step towards justifying your cloud spend. This assesses the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your on-premise, hybrid and cloud choices – and the potential savings.  

The result is a detailed technical assessment and target recommendations, including governance and operating models. Workloads are mapped to the most appropriate cloud provider and service to optimise costs, and decisions made on how fast an organisation can migrate specific workloads and applications.

Once the cloud migration is underway, detailed tracking and management of your hybrid IT environment is vital to help you plan and forecast spend, utilisation and capacity, and justify future migration decisions.

Managing the costs associated with working with multiple cloud providers is fraught with challenges. This is where cloud management tools really come into their own, giving you full transparency of your current cloud spend and usage across multiple providers via a single pane of glass. 

Stop playing whack-a-mole

If your organisation has struggled to suppress the voracious cloud appetite of business teams, then a policy of shared accountability is long overdue.  Allocating cloud costs to the applications and business units that consume them is a key element in cloud cost optimisation. By providing internal consumers with direct visibility of their cloud costs, they are more likely to stay within budgets.

In fact, in our experience, taking a granular look at costs and usage on a daily basis is the only way to avoid cloud budget overruns. For an accurate picture, don’t forget to include associated employee, networking and security costs. 

While some cloud budgets may be stretched to the maximum, studies show that cloud utilisation can sometimes be as low as 10-20% of the provisioned capacity. The machine learning algorithms built into most cloud management tools make it easy to radically reduce waste from these under-utilised and idle instances. 

Effective governance is also important. For example, to avoid the chaos that results from finding cloud resources that do not seem to have an identifiable owner, it’s worth standardising on a tagging strategy to understand the applications and business units that drive usage. 

Once your cloud cost optimisation process is looking shipshape, you can turn your attention to breaking down the public cloud and on-premise silos and managing all of your IT costs in one place.  Aligning to a standard cost model that works with both cloud and legacy on-premise IT is a good first step, and using apples to apples comparisons will accelerate future migration and optimisation decisions. 

In conclusion, applying cost optimisation best practice to your public cloud consumption will help you to avoid that bloated post-holiday feeling that comes from overindulging on those unnecessary extras. By keeping close tabs on public cloud usage, avoiding cost overruns and analysing the data to make more informed decisions, organisations can take full advantage of the agility the cloud has to offer and ultimately deliver a greater return on investment.

https://i1.wp.com/www.cybersecuritycloudexpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cyber-security-world-series-1.png?w=474&ssl=1Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.