June 15, 2017

How to bring the zen back to your IT department


By Bryan S. Hamilton
Cloud Solution Architect
Arrow ECS


In the past, if a particular host in a traditional on-premises infrastructure reached 30-40 percent utilization, this would be cause for alarm in the data center. The IT staff would frantically call meetings and questions would start flying: 

  • What will happen if demand goes up?
  • How quickly can we get a larger server?
  • Is there space and power in the data center?
  • What about the budget? We aren’t due for a refresh for three years!
  • How will we move the application(s) to the new server?
  • Will the usage level back down; and, if so, what do we do with the new bigger server?

Basically, panic would set in.

But in today’s world of cloud computing, it will be OK! In fact, if an application is using LESS than 70%, I always say you’re giving away money to the cloud service provider. So there is no cause for alarm at all. Because with cloud, your outlook on the world looks different and you can approach your utilization with a calming zen attitude.

It’s Time to Let Go of the Past

Let’s look back at the on-premises infrastructure scenario. Unless your application can scale horizontally, you are left with no choice but to add more CPU, RAM and possibly storage. This often would mean – at minimum – a larger VM, or worse, a larger host. If it is the later, this is when real panic starts to set in. Of more concern than “is this in the budget” is the prospect of what happens if we purchase a larger host. But again, in a relatively short period of time, what if that proves to be inadequate? I know that the Arrow community understands this dilemma. So what I want to suggest is that you cannot bring these same fears and thought processes from the past to today’s architecting in the cloud.

So take a deep breath and stop planning and trying to guess what will happen in the next three to five years. Instead, build out your cloud infrastructure properly and then re-evaluate it regularly. As an example, the perspective of many “20 somethings” today is that they would rather not own a car. Instead, they enjoy the flexibility of “cars as a service” like Lyft and Uber. If they are going to work, Lyft Line (sharing your ride with a stranger in an economy car) works well. If it’s a big night, maybe Lyft Premier (think BWM 5 series or better) is in order. And of course, who can forget that time you had seven people needing a ride home after that amazing concert? Uber XL was perfect for that.

In that same vein, architecting for the cloud requires a new perspective, too. While you wouldn’t want to make changes every day on your infrastructure, maybe a quarterly review with possible changes are in order. This is something that you would add into a managed service. In addition, hyper-scale public cloud providers offer the needed tools and reporting to complete this for your customers’ workloads and offer a great service differentiator for partners that choose to provide this level of service.


Cloud Lets You Get More Bang for Your Buck

When you consider that cloud is built on a pay-for-consumption model, it is clear that good management is a major key to success. Consider this: If you “sleep” your virtual machines for just eight hours per day, that alone represents approximately 25 percent reduction in cost. How about weekends? What about those machines that aren’t even used on a daily basis? What about that massive server that is purpose-built for major computations that occur on an infrequent basis? The savings possibilities are endless!

So with cloud, you’ll get more bang for your buck and a myriad of value propositions, such as:

  • Agility
  • Micro-services
  • Server-less computing
  • Scale sets
  • Clustered services
  • Just-in-time provisioning
  • Speed-to-market
  • Increased security
  • Elasticity
  • Economies of scale
  • More effective support model
  • And the list goes on and on

Achieve Cloud Nirvana With Arrow

Would you like to learn how to architect your data center without any concern over infrastructure? Would you like to avoid panic by knowing that your utilization is flexible and can be adjusted depending on usage? Would you like to save money by moving to an operational model rather than a capital expenditure model? If you said yes to all of these questions, then cloud is your answer.

Cloud services offer executives opportunities to support their overall corporate goals more easily than traditional on-premises infrastructures. And the great thing about cloud is that it is always evolving, and new services are introduced daily!

Please contact your Arrow representative today at ECSCloudServices@arrow.com or 1.877.558.6677 to find out how cloud can work for your company and bring the zen back to your IT department.