Is your cloud DevOps-ready?

Davinder Sangha Davinder Sangha vArchitect, VCE APJ

DevOps and data analytics are starting to gain traction in Asia – particularly amongst financial service providers, education institutions, and the medical research industry. According to some studies, more than 80 percent of Asia-Pacific/Japan businesses plan to adopt DevOps, significantly more than in previous years. But are enterprise infrastructure and processes up to the task? Many of the customers I’m talking to indicate that they’ve struggled to find the right balance between agility and control in preparing to apply DevOps and Big Data to their businesses: for example, less than 1 in 5 managers in Asia-Pacific feel they can access the data they need. It’s not impossible, though: the trick is to keep your development and analytics platform native to your organisation from the very start.

In other words, the public cloud isn’t always the right solution for greater business agility. When working with Big Data, for example, you need to consider the risks of allowing control and visibility outside your organisation – and trying to migrate third-party data solutions into in-house infrastructure often results in significant change management costs (and headaches). Nor does DevOps’ “fail fast, fail cheap” mentality lend itself to high-level SLAs: in the public cloud, however, it’s often difficult to allocate different levels of uptime to different workloads due to service provider requirements.

At the same time, the public cloud’s most obvious benefits for agile operations like DevOps and analytics – including scalability and faster go-to-market times – still ring true for most enterprises. Go-to-market is particularly important: we typically see data analytics projects take between 9 to 12 months to become operational, and even then they’re often a far cry from generating actual ROI. So a DevOps-ready cloud needs to offer the control of a private environment, while being able to “burst” to public infrastructure when needed.

For many of our customers, the defining element of VCE’s solutions is that they can be put to work “out of the box”. Our Vblocks, for example, can operate as discrete individual units or integrated seamlessly with one another, as well as other VCE infrastructure elements like VxRacks. We’ve seen customers reduce their go-to-market time by 50 percent while gaining a high degree of control over all infrastructure components through our centralised management software layer.

I believe that as DevOps, data analytics, and other “agile” methodologies start to gain acceptance in Asia’s mainstream, we may soon see the end of customer datacentres as we know them. Even Asia’s banks, some of the most conservative in the world, are in many cases moving towards hybrid cloud offerings that maintain control over sensitive data while allowing their developers to speed up how they iterate new products to keep an increasingly hard-won competitive edge. Of course, being DevOps-ready isn’t just a question of technology – new skillsets and mindsets also need to be embraced, as I’ll talk about in another post.

Is your business embracing DevOps or Big Data? How are you managing the transformations to your infrastructure?

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