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Modernise your cloud infrastructure in 3 steps

October 5, 2017

A guest blog by EK Yoon and Ram Lakshminarayanan, Intel

According to a Bain & Company research brief, “The changing faces of the cloud”, global cloud spending is predicted to increase from $180bn in 2015 to $390bn by 2020. From 2012 to 2015, cloud demand accounted for 70% of related IT market growth, and it is expected to represent 60% of growth through to 2020.

IT executives cite cost, innovation and agility as reasons for cloud adoption, according to Gartner. Cloud reduces the high cost of hardware and allows scalability and flexibility, which gives businesses a competitive advantage to grow quickly with manageable IT infrastructure expenses.

While there has already been exponential growth in cloud computing, arguably cloud technologies are still in the formative stages. While many talk about a cloud-first strategy gathering pace in enterprises, we think that most enterprises do not use the cloud to completely replace existing infrastructure – they are only using it for a relatively small portion of their needs. There is still a great deal of untapped potential to modernise infrastructure and unlock capabilities using the cloud.

Here are our three recommendations to make the most of the advantages available through cloud computing:

  1. Invest in software-defined infrastructure

IT defines application and operation policies, while orchestration software automates infrastructure provisioning and configuration to meet your needs. A software-defined infrastructure (SDI) operates independent of specific hardware and is programmatically extensible. This video from Intel provides a useful snapshot of SDI.

Orchestration software continuously monitors telemetry provided by resources to manage workloads. As service demands change, the orchestrators will intelligently analyse and determine which resources can provide the best support. Orchestration software will learn from past patterns to optimise future decisions and make your datacenter smart and self-scaling.

  1. Optimise cloud infrastructure across a full range of workloads

Your cloud strategy, whether it’s private, public or hybrid, needs to be determined by the needs of your organisation and the specific solution or service in question. In a private cloud, an organisation typically owns the cloud infrastructure components and houses them within its own data centre. In a public model, the cloud infrastructure components are owned by a cloud provider. A hybrid consists of a mix of both models.

To gain the advantages of the cloud while maintaining control of intellectual property, most companies focus on hybrid-cloud approach. But, whatever the model, IT needs to set up and configure the cloud environment so that the workloads will be organised and managed effectively.

Cloud infrastructure is of course present in each of the three main cloud models. The infrastructure consists of the hardware and software components such as servers, storage, network switches and virtual machines, memory, network, virtualisation software and more. A cloud-based infrastructure has the capability to decouple the storage control and management from the physical implementation via a distributed file system.

  1. Accelerate cloud deployments

Deploying cloud computing with the appropriate infrastructure can pose a formidable challenge for IT managers – and an open source platform and community, OpenStack, attempts to solve this challenge. It is a set of software tools which enables IT administrators to manage compute, memory, storage and networking resources through a web interface to accelerate cloud deployments.

OpenStack is a global collaboration of developers and cloud computing technologists with backgrounds in public clouds, high performance computing and Web 2.0. The project aims to deliver components that can be used for implementing private and public clouds, and that are API-compatible with key Infrastructure as a Service cloud services.

Intel has been a major contributor to OpenStack, and in collaboration with us, Tata Communications has chosen OpenStack as the architecture for its IZO Private Cloud. Like Tata Communications’ cloud team, the OpenStack experts at Intel understand enterprise IT managers’ cloud deployment challenges, and we’re committed to addressing them head-on.

Find out more about Tata Communications’ cloud capabilities here.