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Boardroom Discussion: Making cloud a reality

Rosalind See | Jan. 22, 2013
In today's business environment, IT is no longer a support function but a driver of business growth, say participants at an exclusive boardroom briefing sponsored by Dimension Data in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The old approach of adding and layering software on hardware no longer worked as it added to overall system complexity. The new approach was built on a platform which integrated an enterprise's data centre. "Cloud computing offers enterprises the scalability and flexibility to meet new challenges. As control over an enterprise's IT system becomes more centralised and integrated, a Unified Computing System (UCS) simplifies management of an enterprise's data centre by moving it from an ad hoc and inconsistent environment to one which is simple, optimised and automated," said Ryan. "UCS provides better control as it utilises a fabric computing infrastructure and reduces the number of networks required."

"To take the first step into the cloud, enterprises must think of IT as a service," said Teoh Khim Khoon, Solution Sales Specialist – Datacenter Solutions, Microsoft Malaysia. "Consider IT as a profit centre, and think of how it can improve business value. Cloud computing's just-in-time provisioning, usage-based attributes and scaling of services on shared hardware are features enterprises can exploit to optimise cost.

Teoh Khim Khoon
Photo: Teoh Khim Khoon

Teoh pointed out that agility, focus and economics were drivers in the evolution of traditional data centres to private and public cloud. "Cloud enables us to speed up the way we run our business with applications and solutions deployed more efficiently across different devices. Its automation and self-service features allows IT to focus its attention on improving business productivity and innovation," he said. "Ultimately, the aim is to lower cost, improve utilisation and optimise IT spend."

The journey to the cloud would be different for each organisation. "Every enterprise has its own unique footprint. Therefore, its infrastructure optimisation journey will differ from others. It will depend on the enterprise's own requirements," said Teoh. "What is important is putting a strong cloud foundation in place."

Cloud was not just about virtualisation; it was about management. Many organisations chose to start with private clouds which were dedicated to their needs. "Enterprises are able to customise what they want in a private cloud. They have more control over a private cloud as opposed to a public cloud. A solid foundation will allow enterprises to move on to public clouds or a hybrid model later," he said.

A perfect storm
"There is a perfect storm brewing in IT and it is causing a lot of grief," warned Neville Burdan, General Manager for Virtualisation & Microsoft Solutions, Dimension Data Asia Pacific. "The market is changing dramatically. With the consumerisation of IT, people want to bring their own devices into their organisation."


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