I have a pretty long list of do-it-yourself (DIY) house projects, but life seems to get in the way of making the list any shorter. Even when I can finish a few things and get them off the list, other things go wrong in the meantime and get added to the list.
To make matters worse, each time we visit our local home improvement superstore to get something for one of the house projects, we see something else that I think I can get done quickly. “Hey, how about getting those new shades for the dining room? Last time I did it, it only took an hour.”
Well, of course, something came up, and I didn’t get to it for a week, and even when I did, it was more involved than I anticipated (e.g., different brackets required drilling new holes).
Formulating the Strategy for Migrating Apps to the Cloud
Some IT folks fall into a similar trap when planning new platforms for their enterprise clouds. It’s easy to over-estimate the time you have available for such projects, without fully reckoning what’s already on the IT to-do list, not to mention the urgent new things that will pop up unexpectedly.
And of course, the measure of success with cloud platforms is not just the time it takes to deploy the platform, but how long before you’re leveraging the platform to deliver cloud outcomes to your business stakeholders. Your business and application developer stakeholders aren’t as impressed with how new your platform is, but how quickly they see the value of the platform in the form of applications migrated to the new platform or the new services it delivers.
In our discussions with clients about infrastructure platform deployments, we often hear that they’re impressed with how quickly the platform can be deployed. But at the same time, they acknowledge that they’re behind their own expectations with the schedule for migrating applications to the new cloud platform, updating their operating model for cloud and getting new infrastructure services delivered to the business.
Dell Technologies Cloud Platform
If this sounds familiar, don’t be discouraged. Dell Technologies Consulting has packaged up its best practices from years of helping clients with application migration, defining infrastructure services and updating roles and processes for cloud operations.
The first step in determining which applications to migrate to your Dell Technologies Cloud Platform is to determine which applications are best suited for cloud delivery. Our approach to analyzing application portfolios for cloud examines both business priorities and technical factors, and then determining cloud suitability for specific cloud models. Learn more by checking out our interactive eBook.
ProConsult Migration Services
Once you’ve determined which applications to migrate, our newly-announced ProConsult Migration services help you quickly realize the benefits of your platform investment while reducing risk of migration with our proven migration framework. We have developed service options that include migration of virtual machines to your Dell Technologies Cloud Platform, as well as specialized services for migrating such applications as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint or SQL Server as well as VDI environments to cloud delivery models. Our experienced migration consultants help with all phases of migration, from discovering and analyzing the source environment to executing the migration tailored to the client’s schedule and business constraints. Through the process, we can provide migration architecture, technical advice and post-migration knowledge transfer and transition support, while leveraging our remote factory migration model to accelerate migration execution. Check out my recent blog to see why this reminds me of moving my college-aged children back to campus.
MVP and DevOps Role in Deployment of Platform
We have also leveraged our experience with the deployment of infrastructure services and cloud operating models with Dell Technologies Cloud platforms with a “minimal viable product” (MVP) approach inspired by DevOps practices to deploy your platform and deliver a starter set of infrastructure services in just a few weeks. And we’re seeing more and more clients embrace this approach to quickly deploy infrastructure services, get feedback from their consuming stakeholders, and then expand and refine their services portfolio.
A typical MVP for the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform includes defining some initial IaaS infrastructure service blueprints with the VMware vRealize Suite cloud management platform, leveraging a platform foundation of VMware Cloud Foundation running on Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged systems. In our standard implementation service, we define 3 vRealize IaaS service blueprints in Small, Medium or Large “t-shirt” sizes for Linux or Windows virtual machines.
In addition, we find many clients also seek further capabilities, such as connection to an existing public cloud instance (e.g. Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure), and integration with enterprise services such as IP address management (IPAM) and Configuration Management Databases (CMDBs) such as ServiceNow. For clients seeking highly-available platforms, we can also optionally deploy a similarly-configured Dell Technologies Cloud Platform at a secondary data center, with recovery using Dell EMC RecoverPoint® for Virtual Machines (RP4VM) or VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM).
Cloud Operating Model Approach
An initial, “minimally viable” cloud operating model is not quite so easy to define, as we find IT organizations vary quite a bit in their progress towards delivering IT resources as cloud services, with a service-based consumption model. The essential parts of a cloud operating model are service-focused roles and processes. For further details on our operating model approach, check out this recent webcast with IDC analyst Deepak Moran and Norman Dee with Dell Technologies Consulting.
We typically focus on helping clients define roles that express IT as service consumption, such as business relationship manager, service developer, and service catalog manager, along with cloud architecture roles such as enterprise automation engineer, infrastructure and platform developers and cloud and platform administrators.
Determining which operational processes need to be upgraded for cloud service delivery also varies according to an IT organization’s experience with service management. We find that initial processes needing attention encompass such consumption-oriented, business-facing services as capacity management, CI/CD pipeline management and request fulfillment, as well as more tactical services such as event management, incident/problem management and security monitoring and management.
If your cloud to-do list looks daunting, or if you find that you’re just running out of time, consider how Dell Technologies Consulting can accelerate progress to your cloud business outcomes.