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8 Things We Learned at Cloud Your Way

Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2017
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By Sam Routledge
Chief Technology Officer

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Cloud is still the topic on all our customers' lips – when to use it, how to get there, how much it might cost, how to secure it, and how to make your own infrastructure more 'cloud-like'.

We decided it would be interesting to get VMware's EMEA CTO and AWS's Worldwide Lead, together with Dean Gardner, Softcat's Chief Technologist for Cloud, and see what we could download from their collective brains for your delight and delectation. The answer is – an awful lot! Here are eight of the things we learnt...

1: Most cloud adoption so far is new stuff

In 2006, there were approximately 30m workloads worldwide – the vast majority on premises. Today there are 160m, of which about 40m are in public cloud. The implication is that most cloud adoption so far is new stuff. While cloud is clearly making progress, the world is not 'all in' on cloud, yet! In fact, most cloud adoption is SaaS – in particular Office 365 of course.

2: Cloud is about more than cost

Cloud providers will differentiate on location, jurisdiction, vertical market expertise, SLAs – and many more things. There's many a niche for the smaller provider alongside the hyperscale cloud providers.

Cloud - Your Way interview with VMware's Joe Baguley

3: Containers will co-exist with virtualisation

Interestingly, VMware nearly ended up calling VMs containers right from the start. Containers will co-exist with virtualisation – it won't be a battle to the death. VMware are trying to create the Datacentre Operating System – and containers will be a part of that proposition. And in any case, Joe is convinced that Unikernels are the next big thing. You heard it here first!

Cloud - Your Way Panel with VMware and AWS

4: AWS adoption has exploded recently

And it’s not just about start-ups any more. The enterprise business has grown dramatically – and the arrival of UK DCs has accelerated government adoption as data sovereignty is less of an issue, performance is improved, and political friction is reduced.

5: The AWS/ VMware partnership is designed for customer ease of use

Organisations get so much value out of the VMware stack – but in many cases, don’t want to operate the hardware. This partnership gives all of those IT folks with VMware skills – and there are a lot – access to AWS. You’ll need to be running vSphere 6.5 though and using NSX to get the most out of it. 

Cloud - Your Way Panel with VMware and AWS

6: Public Cloud gives you access to innovation

One of the advantages of moving to Public Cloud is getting access to the innovation that happens there. AWS, for example, are continually releasing new services based on customer input. As a consumer of their cloud, you get access to those services as part of the package.

7: Cloud is a mindset change

A successful move to the cloud involves focusing on innovation rather than infrastructure. Two tips for IT departments wanting to move in this direction:
I. Make your IT team user-focused rather than business focused – understand the needs of your users and as much as possible create beautiful experiences for them, rather than focusing on the management team experience. If you get the input right, management will have all the data they need.
II. Take a product mindset, rather than a project mindset: own the service that you deliver to the user, rather than standing it up and forgetting about it.

Cloud - Your Way Panel with VMware and AWS

8: Security in cloud is a solved problem.

These days, there's rarely a technical or security reason why you can't put stuff in the cloud. Security, according to Joe and Ian, is a solved problem. It's usually a people or process issue rather than a technology one – and if you want help with your cloud adoption strategy, Softcat are here to help!
The partnership between VMware and AWS will enable you to consume the VMware SDDC stack, on AWS hardware, on a pay as you use basis. This means that you can move workloads back and forth between VMware on AWS and your own VMware platform. And it also provides access directly into AWS for those new-fangled, cloud-native applications you are developing.

Cloud - Your Way Panel with VMware and AWS

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If this is something which you would like to learn more about, please check out our dedicated 'Cloud Your Way' page, get in touch with your Softcat account manager or ask for a conversation with one of our cloud technologists using the button below. 

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We would love to hear any comments you have about this article!

Ian Waring

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
All very true, but missed a point (9), which is the trend to "Serverless". In reality, the components listed are still there, but the infrastructure to automatically scale (and contract) services depending on load is abstracted away.