Tech Observer magazine, in collaboration with VMware and StarOne IT Solutions India, hosted a unique Virtual Bootcamp on the theme of “Simplify Your Hybrid Cloud Journey” with the goal of promoting a better awareness of hybrid cloud technologies and simplifying the growing heterogeneity in the data centre.
Over 150 top CXOs from various industries and areas across the country took part in the Virtual Bootcamp. Senior industry leaders and technology experts such as B Sreekumar, Global IT Head, SunTec Business Solutions & President, Kerala Chapter – CIO Association of India, Girish Raja, Staff Partner Solution Architect, Multi-Cloud & Services, VMware India, and Cdr Jim Mathew (Rtd), GM & Business Head, StarOne IT Solutions India shared their perspectives along with Ankush Kumar, Editor Tech Observer magazine.
Pandemic has accelerated the digitisation
According to Ankush Kumar, Editor, Tech Observer magazine, the continuing healthcare pandemic has accelerated the digitisation of several sectors, including the public sector, BFSI, and small and medium businesses. According to him, existing IT infrastructures become a key enabler for ensuring business continuity and efficient service delivery for most of them.
During the pandemic, he continued, the cloud's agility and scalability aided several enterprises in their business continuity strategies and provided a better customer experience.
He emphasised that IT infrastructure resiliency has become a top priority for IT leaders as they transition into the new normal as a result of this learning. Secure digital services in the data centre, at the edge, or any cloud will be a significant differentiator in this new normal.
2021 to be the year of multi-cloud
Cdr Jim Mathew provided a broad overview of emerging trends in cloud usage and how StarOne IT has been assisting various organisations in their digital transformation journey in his welcome remark.
According to Cdr Mathew, StarOne IT's key differentiation is its deep awareness of customer pain points and its ability to align the proper technology and deploy end-to-end solutions to solve business problems.
“We are humbled to be the preferred IT infrastructure solutions provider and system integrator for clients across sectors — government, enterprise and research institutes — because of this approach,” he said.
He continued, “We are also proud to have been a significant partner in each of our client's digital transformation journey, with a range of services that include data centre services, cybersecurity, enterprise switching and networking, cloud, automation, and modern application migration.”
Cdr Mathew added that his organisation's portfolio of services, both on-premise and in the cloud, allows it to provide any mix of services, particularly in the cloud domain, to simplify customers' hybrid cloud journeys.
He stated that it is not a cliché to claim that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and that the pace of digitisation has surpassed even CXO expectations.
According to an IDC report, 2021 will be the year of multi-cloud, with the bulk of enterprises employing a combination of solutions to take advantage of the massive potential of deploying at scale.
From an enterprise viewpoint, he explained that while the cloud provides agile, scalable, and cost-effective IT infrastructure that supports business processes, it may not be the best fit for all sorts of workloads.
“This is where the hybrid cloud comes in to help fill the void. It allows businesses to keep some workloads running on-prem and some in the cloud,” Cdr Mathew stated.
CIOs need agile ecosystem to move from on-prem to cloud to on-prem
B Sreekumar, Global IT Head, SunTec Business Solutions & President, Kerala Chapter – CIO Association of India, highlighted in his keynote talk that cloud per se has been there for a decade or more and that it is not something that CIOs are discovering new, but that it has been evolving over time.
He said that practically every company would have used the cloud for at least some of their workload. The initial capital cost savings and a short time to production offered by cloud persuaded CIOs to take the plunge.
“It is quite simple to park your workloads on the cloud, but the reason for doing so may no longer exist after a period. As a result, you may need to bring it back on-premise or switch to a different cloud service provider,” he explained, adding that that is not an easy task.
AWS, Azure, and Google all provide orchestration layers that allow users to move inside their cloud ecosystems. “Furthermore, if you want to move,” he stated that it is not easy for you to do so.
“As a result, the traditional reasons for going to the cloud, such as elasticity, flexibility, cost savings, and a quick time to production, have been replaced by the freedom to go back and forth – to migrate workloads from the cloud to on-premises to the cloud,” he explained.
“This leads to a hybrid system, in which some workloads are on-premises, and some are in the cloud, but moving back and forth is challenging. As a CIO, I'm looking for an environment that will allow me to perform these back-and-forth transactions on the fly,” he said.
Consistency delivered, no matter whose cloud you use
Girish Raja, Staff Partner Solution Architect, Multi-Cloud & Services, VMware India, participated in the programme and explained different trends and how businesses can take a smarter approach to the cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS and how they can unlock the power of any cloud and accelerate a new generation of modern apps.
According to him, today's digital transformation is all about applications because everyone is focused on them, and they are the ones driving the IT infrastructure. CIOs are attempting to rationalise their applications as they transition from legacy to new generation applications, which means they are choosing a hybrid environment in which some workloads are cloud-based, and some are on-premise.
He added that 93 per cent of users want hybrid cloud as their preferred infrastructure, citing an internal survey and don't want complexity. They want to ensure that whatever application or workload they're running can run in any cloud, whether it's a private cloud, a public cloud, or a hybrid cloud.
“People want to use the same theme and tools that they have with the same SLAs and format with no downtime or engineering issues while moving to different types of cloud,” he said.
He said that VMware Cloud Foundation addresses this challenge. It delivers a complete set of highly secure software-defined services for computing, storage, network, security, Kubernetes, and cloud management, and it supports both traditional enterprise and new apps.
“Whether you're on AWS or Alibaba, no matter whose cloud you use to run your application. It will have the same level of consistency that you require,” he said.
As IT leaders move into the new normal, the speakers agreed that IT infrastructure resiliency would become a top priority for them. Secure digital services in the data centre, at the edge, or any cloud will be a significant differentiator in this new normal.
“Whether an enterprise is planning their cloud ‘on-premises, or consuming ‘as-a-service' from a public cloud provider, a hybrid infrastructure ensures the environments are fully compatible and operationally consistent which is a key consideration for a digital foundation and VMware provides that,” Kushagra Sharma, Country Partner Marketing Manager, VMware India said on the sideline of virtual Bootcamp.