The cloud could be the strongest business weapon yet
"The snowball effect of cloud computing is the increasing manner in how businesses meet their IT needs," says Anton Jacobsz, managing director at African value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited.
He explains this "manner" as a move away from the once traditional and standard "be all and end all of IT success", the in-house data centre – made up of a gamut of servers, storage and networking hardware, to migrating workloads to both public and private cloud environments that offer purchasing IT services on a pay-as-you-go basis.
"Fundamental shifts due to cloud computing are thus not only happening in IT, but also throughout business as now Capex spend moves away from traditional in-house hardware spend (the cloud platform provider now carries this cost) to a basic monthly service fee model," he continues.
"Everyone needs to think about IT, business, budget and costs differently. What we are witnessing today is a virtuous cloud cycle that is growing because companies are fully realising the critical business and technology lifeblood the cloud computing model provides. And so, as we enter 2018, there will be even more organisations than last year and the year before, making cloud a fundamental part not only of their IT but also their business strategy."
As with most, if not all, technology wishes, migrating to a new way of working and doing business is made all the sweeter when automation technology is involved, as it generally means lower costs and a faster time to market.
"It goes without saying that businesses today cannot afford any downtime: the consequences are far too costly and also way too dangerous to operation, reputation and security. For this reason, one of the solutions Networks Unlimited makes available into and throughout the African continent is the Tintri vRealize Orchestrator Plugin."
The solution is detailed in a technical white paper, entitled Cloud Automation with Tintri, which especially highlights both use cases and choosing technologies to enable cloud automation. Authored by Adam Cavaliere, Nick Colyer and Tomer Hagay, it states "many enterprise IT teams are deploying private clouds to allow on-premises infrastructure to offer the streamlined consumption model, improved agility, and economics of the public cloud. Enterprises need to simplify and automate services available from existing IT infrastructure to achieve this goal."
The authors point out that IT infrastructure can be simplified through virtual machine (VM) awareness, and say: "Tintri provides VM-aware storage that frees IT from having to worry about and orchestrate the complexities of LUNs, zoning, masking, and other storage specifics. Because all Tintri capabilities are provided at VM granularity, Tintri VMstore storage arrays add significant value in terms of allowing users to easily protect and replicate individual VMs.
"VMware vRealize Automation has become a popular cloud platform supporting self-service for private and hybrid cloud deployments. VMware vRealize Orchestrator simplifies the process of creating fully custom workflows. Tintri vRealize Orchestrator plugin facilitates the integration and use of Tintri storage in vRealize environments. It provides a variety of pre-defined workflows for common Tintri tasks."
Of note, the authors pinpoint five fundamental changes to IT when creating a private cloud. These are:
- Simplify the underlying infrastructure;
- Develop a simple methodology to provide IT as a Service;
- Improve quality via repeatable, standardised deployments that reduce human error;
- Improve speed of service delivery via automation; and
- Adapt and change with evolving business needs.
The full white paper is available here.
Jacobsz says that the company has worked with Tintri since the end of 2012 and is excited that within the cloud computing reality, it can offer customers an IT solution that delivers real world automation in the cloud.
"It is important to Networks Unlimited to stay ahead of the innovation curve," he adds. "In addition, our overall view remains that technology should enable IT to focus on application usability. This removes frustration from employees and customers and replaces it with an enhanced experience. Above all, it differentiates the business, and is that not the number one aim of organisations today?"