17/08/2015

By Naser Ali, Director – Product Marketing CloudStore at Interoute and Anand Krishnan, EVP Cloud at Canonical

Cloud adoption is accelerating amongst businesses as they look to move their IT to a more efficient and streamlined process. This is often the business case for newer, more agile IT with complex distributed applications. However, security, flexibility and trust, which depends on the operating system as much as the network the cloud is built on, is becoming increasingly important.

In combination with this, enterprise demands are not limited to a particular geography; they demand a global networked cloud infrastructure. Connecting traditional in-house IT (more often than not, systems of record) with cloud based agile IT (a.k.a systems of engagement) is the optimal solution today for most companies’ IT requirements. This involves a combination of private compute, network and storage, and public cloud infrastructure, the latter being far more DevOps friendly.

The rise of DevOps

It is this widespread increase of cloud computing usage which is accelerating the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. This trend is one of applying agile software development methodologies to administrative IT operations to better service customers. DevOps enables businesses to achieve agile service delivery by breaking down functional silos between disciplines in IT.

Any changes to IT infrastructure and processes needs to be thoroughly planned as these types of transformations will be challenging and take time. Businesses will need to start at the beginning and make sure not to take any shortcuts, including continuing to look across their delivery chains for any failures and defects which they can learn from and not repeat again. In the long run this will mean a more agile service which is vital for growing businesses where employees and customers demand more from their IT departments.

Organisations have a number of options when it comes to service providers who will address all of their IT requirements. To meet the changing needs of the industry, the market is witnessing a number of provider collaborations, as they continue to innovate to stay ahead and take advantage of the market demand.

A recent example of this is between Interoute and Canonical. Interoute is now offering Ubuntu Certified images on the Interoute CloudStore, which run on the Interoute Virtual Data Centre (VDC) cloud offering. Canonical continually develops, tests and maintains certified Ubuntu images, making the latest versions available to customers. For all Ubuntu versions, Interoute offers Local Ubuntu archive mirrors – deployed using Juju – for faster updates and software installation. It does this on the Interoute VDC platform, which can be scaled quickly and has the flexibility to integrate with both in-house IT and public clouds.

What it means for enterprises

With collaborations like this, it is easier for organisations to manage elements of change within IT systems. Also, companies want to know where their data is being hosted and stored, as it helps them to comply with complex data protection regulations, particularly across Europe. By having a scalable, fully automated Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform where the customer decides where information is stored and processed, enterprises can use on-demand computing, storage and applications integrated into their existing IT infrastructure and how easily and quickly it is consumed by external users, be that IoT, web sites, purchasing systems etc.

By combining systems supported by developers with flexible cloud solutions, enterprises are enabled to move on from their traditional IT systems in the most cost effective and efficient way. Modern enterprises need to analyse and assess their needs before considering which providers and systems to use. DevOps encourages collaboration and creates a culture shift with in organisations for the better, so it is vital this is right first time.

Businesses need to remain competitive and agile knowing their full IT requirements are being met, and this should be the driving force behind business decisions. As we see more and more Enterprises’ break away from traditional understanding of cloud, they are experiencing the benefits of connecting via one network so that they can treat their IT as one platform and cater for both private compute and storage, and public cloud infrastructure requirements.