By Armando Avilez
It is not a surprise to anyone that the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the importance of the cloud to enterprises as a vital asset to business operations. Migrating workloads and applications to the cloud enables enterprises to securely operate remotely while also serving as the foundation for future innovation.
What has not changed is the questions around how to efficiently and cost-effectively use the cloud. At Unitas, we encounter clients at every stage of that journey. Many of our clients have questions for us about how to best leverage public cloud resources. There are several key learnings to understand in order to create a pathway to an optimal hybrid connected cloud solution.
First, Do Some Planning
Adopting a cloud solution of any kind requires a good deal of due diligence before making a move. The proper planning and guidance are required to successfully achieve efficiency, lower costs, and all the previously mentioned outcomes.
It’s tempting to dive straight into a consumption model and start buying up cloud in Microsoft Azure, for example. Azure has educational resources on both public cloud and hybrid cloud technologies because they are one of the key drivers of the public cloud industry.
This is where many companies run into a problem.
Companies have an objective to reduce overhead, reduce physical space, and reduce capital expenditures and operating costs. Consuming public cloud can lean in the right direction with shutting off hardware, reducing management and upkeep, reducing maintenance and storage of hardware—the list goes on. But when these companies get to a public cloud and start receiving their bills, they see a greater than expected amount of public cloud resources being consuming. The monthly recurring expense is often higher than they had originally anticipated when they were sharing CPU and server resources. By moving to a public cloud without a utilization and sizing plan, costs are often not reduced: they’re shifted from CapEx to OpEx.
Location, Location, Location
At Unitas, we help our clients evaluate their public cloud options and (if they are already consuming public cloud) understand their cloud consumption so they are aware of how they’re being impacted. We have seen some clients that are already consuming multiple public clouds and, in some cases, not leveraging all the capabilities available to them in those respective cloud platforms. They migrated applications to the cloud with a ‘lift and shift’ approach, maintaining the original design. Google Cloud Platform (GCP), AWS, and Microsoft Azure each have different technological capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data processing. As enterprises become more application-centric, there is a desire to take advantage of the advanced technologies available to them in public cloud.
The pricing between cloud providers differs along with the capabilities. Office 365 users may find Microsoft Azure to be a more attractive option that can bundle their existing Microsoft products together. G-Suite users may prefer to stick with Google for their public cloud platform. Enterprise end-users have multiple options at their disposal in the way they attach their current IT licensing models to the public cloud.
Unitas works with the top data center providers so our clients have the right hosted environment to ensure efficiency and optimal performance. Our cloud partners have provided the platforms for us to efficiently configure and deploy virtual environments for our clients to take advantage of and enable a quick go-to-market strategy.
Clients have a desire for multi-cloud connectivity between their clouds that allows for efficient communication and workload migration. The Unitas end-to-end orchestrated network provides a full multi-cloud connectivity platform, be it across hybrid cloud environments, public to public, or anything else.
Companies are also increasingly consuming cloud services through software as service (SaaS) platforms, meaning Internet performance that’s better than the public Internet provides is key. But it can be very expensive to have dedicated network pipes to one or more cloud providers.
Unitas provides performance efficiencies for customers through our dedicated Internet access over our private AS 1828 network with direct peering. Our direct peering relationships with thousands of SaaS and content providers including AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure means we can get customers connected directly to a public cloud service, bypassing the public Internet so information can move more efficiently, with higher performance, and usually at a better cost.
The Unitas Global Difference
Knowing your end objective, assessment of a company’s existing infrastructure, and resource planning are key to a successful implementation of cloud resources. Whether companies are looking to achieve improved performance, cost savings, or efficient development environments, discussing needs and challenges with a team experienced in design, migration, and operation is beneficial. As a managed connected hybrid cloud provider, Unitas is unique in our ability to provide companies options for end-to-end network and cloud solutions. And then with the right solution in hand, Unitas implements, manages, and monitors the solution as an integrated part of the company. We have deep experience and a knowledge base to move our clients through their entire digital transformation journeys.