Why Successful Enterprise Cloud Adoption Needs a Data Center
By: Alan Seal on October 9, 2020
Today’s enterprises are struggling to cope with massive amounts of data gathered from multiple streams. According to research by IDC, the volume of that data is growing at a rate of about 40 percent every year, which is forcing companies to make rapid decisions that may prove insufficient just a short while later. Their capacity to handle all of this data is often referred to as enterprise data management (EDM), which covers issues of governance, integration, organization, and security.
A 2016 IDG study found that the average enterprise manages a staggering 347.56 TB of data, or almost seven times the amount of the average small to medium-sized business. That number has certainly increased in subsequent years, putting even more pressure on organizations to develop data management solutions that can accommodate and process all of that data to make some meaningful sense of it. After all, the whole purpose of gathering “big data” is to analyze it for trends and insights that can inform business strategy.
Finding a storage solution that can scale effectively to meet those growing big data workloads has proven quite a challenge, especially for enterprises that still utilize on-premises infrastructure for their IT needs. That’s because adding a new sever cabinet every few months eventually leads to unsustainable growth in power and cooling requirements. For aging, inefficient on-prem data solutions, the costs of expanding capacity are often much higher in practice. That’s why many enterprises are instead turning to cloud computing platforms as a way of expanding their data management capabilities
Building an Enterprise Cloud Strategy
Shifting data or workloads to the cloud is not something an enterprise-scale business does lightly. While startups or smaller companies may have an easy time transitioning to a purely cloud-based environment, enterprises are confronted with a completely different scale when considering a migration.
Transferring essential data or applications to the cloud isn’t something that should be done lightly or without careful consideration. While many CFOs like the idea of shifting all or some of their IT infrastructure from a CapEx to an OpEx cost, the CIO is usually quick to point out all of the challenges that would come along with such a move. In the long run, however, those challenges are usually worth the effort. Incorporating cloud computing into an enterprise IT portfolio provides a great deal of flexibility that allows companies to adapt rapidly to changing data needs.
The best place to start, of course, is with developing an enterprise cloud strategy. This will likely entail a detailed overview of the existing IT infrastructure and an assessment of which functions could realistically be transitioned to the cloud. It will also identify key members of the IT team whose expertise will be needed to make the transition a success. The overriding focus, however, needs to be on clearly defining what functions and workload should reside in the cloud and how the organization will go about moving them there. Cloud migrations may not sound as daunting as a data center migration that involves physical equipment, but they can be every bit as difficult if all the steps are not planned out carefully ahead of time.
Problems with Enterprise Cloud Migration
The biggest challenge with any form of data migration involves the compatibility of applications running on legacy infrastructure. For enterprises that rely on programs and databases that are older than some existing cloud platforms, transitioning to the cloud isn’t as simple as copying and pasting their software into a cloud environment. This approach, sometimes called “lift and shift,” can be moderately effective for some applications, but it often results in performance issues since legacy applications aren’t properly optimized to run in a cloud environment.
There’s also the issue of control and visibility. Enterprise businesses often face extensive and unique compliance and security requirements when it comes to managing their data. While cloud providers may do quite a bit in terms of protecting their customers from cyberthreats, they rarely go so far as to provide companies with a glimpse into their back end systems. Enterprises that migrate into the cloud often find that they know far less about what’s actually going on in their network, which can lead to some billing surprises in addition to security concerns. Resource utilization can be difficult to track over time, resulting in unexpectedly high billing that cuts into the very savings they hoped to realize by migrating into the cloud.
Advantages of a Hybrid IT Solution
For many enterprises, a hybrid IT solution offers the best of both worlds. They retain the direct control over their essential IT systems on-premises while also leveraging the expansive power of cloud computing for their rapidly growing big data workloads.
Unfortunately, building these hybrid environments is quite difficult when they’re still relying upon an on-prem data solution. That’s because they typically lack the direct cloud on-ramp that could deliver secure, low latency connectivity. While some organizations pay exorbitant amounts to provide their private data centers with enhanced connectivity, this is typically a temporary and ultimately short sighted solution because cloud requirements might change just a year or two later.
By transitioning their infrastructure to a colocation data center, enterprises can leverage a true hybrid IT solution. They retain the ownership of their essential servers and legacy applications while placing them in the heart of a rich connectivity environment that allows them to integrate their network with the leading cloud services available today (and tomorrow). Essential data and applications can remain safely within the confines of the private servers, while the necessary workloads can be securely shifted into expansive cloud environments that can be scaled as needed to accommodate changing demands.
Enhance Your Enterprise Cloud Adoption With vXchnge
vXchnge’s carrier-neutral colocation data centers provide the interconnection options enterprise need to build a true hybrid IT environment. But more importantly, they also deliver a level of transparency and control that exceeds what most organizations expect from their own in-house data solution. The award-winning in\siteintelligent monitoring platform provides real-time information about power and bandwidth utilization while also allowing companies to see exactly where their assets are located within the data center at any time. Coupled with our industry-leading 100% uptime SLAs, in\site gives vXchnge colocation customers a level of visibility and fine-tuned control that allows them to make better decisions about their infrastructure. Add that to the ability to access direct cloud on-ramps to build whatever hybrid IT environment an enterprise business could ask for, it’s hard to imagine why organizations are still relying upon limited, inflexible on-prem data solutions.