...without proper management and strategies in place, moving to the cloud in an unchecked manner will result in cloud sprawl and a less relevant IT organization overall.”
Farmington Hills, MI (PRWEB) January 16, 2013
Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services provider,(http://www.us.logicalis.com) is warning CIOs about an emerging – and alarming - new trend in IT: Cloud Sprawl. Lured by easy-to-purchase and quick-to-install cloud applications, individual departments are finding and deploying their own cloud solutions.
CIOs don’t have to look too far today to see the effects of this bring-your-own-cloud (BYOC) movement – employees are tapping into free Google Drive space, free Dropbox space, and free Box.com space –giving themselves more than enough online room to store confidential customer sales and other mission-critical data outside the company firewall and outside of IT’s control. Inexpensive cloud applications that don't require corporate approval are walking through the door unchecked as well – from CRM to email to marketing automation. Along the way, BYOC has given way to a new, repackaged phenomenon dubbed “cloud sprawl” as poorly managed end-user cloud purchases and deployments make for fragmented, redundant, unmanaged and inefficient cloud-based outsourcing decisions with little or no input from IT.
As Windows became widely adopted and developers created applications specifically for the Windows OS, an explosive number of physical servers were needed to run individual applications on a 1:1 basis. The addition of X86 servers for application development, testing and QA, all running at low utilization, resulted in a physical server sprawl that demanded lots of racks, power, cooling and, in general, was an environment that became costly and difficult to manage.
Virtualization offered a one-to-many solution which, over time, resulted in fewer racks, less power consumption, lower cooling requirements, less floor space in the data center and a much easier-to-manage ROI. But utilization in virtual environments is still hovering under 20 percent today because virtual servers allocated to temporary departmental projects are rarely reclaimed and reallocated when the projects are completed. As a result, there is a tremendous amount of server space being underutilized. Without the right management tools and processes in place, this problem goes unrecognized by even the most experienced data center managers. This leads IT pros to mistakenly believe they are out of space and deny new departmental IT requests. Departments are forced to find their own solutions, often leading them to adopt easily accessible public cloud offerings.
“We’ve managed to move from physical to virtual, which introduced virtual sprawl, and now from virtual to cloud,” says Kevin Gruneisen, senior director, Cloud and Data Center Solutions for Logicalis. “But without proper management and strategies in place, moving to the cloud in an unchecked manner will result in cloud sprawl and a less relevant IT organization overall.”
To avoid cloud sprawl and its inherent dangers and costs, Logicalis is helping CIOs to strategically plan and manage their cloud environments, offering experts four important steps that will help mitigate this looming IT crisis.
Four Ways to Avoid the Pitfalls of Cloud Sprawl
1. Consult: Adopting any kind of cloud strategy must include a well thought-out strategy; without proper planning, the cloud will become nothing more than an extension of the problems it is being employed to overcome. Find a cloud expert that can help identify and define the company’s needs, match a cloud strategy to those needs, and design something that makes sense now and that includes a roadmap for the future.
2. Build: Create a customized cloud solution – public, private or hybrid – that is tailored to the company’s specific business needs – cloud is not a “one size fits all” opportunity. Using the cloud for convenience without a plan can lead to many problems later. The good news is that organizations that focus on systematically developing a cloud will complete all of the steps they need to leverage all of the benefits that cloud computing brings.
3. Operate: Where will the cloud reside – in a public cloud or in a private data center? Will the solution involve a combination of the two? Determining where cloud solutions will reside and how they will be operated helps control the otherwise unmanaged expansion of cloud resources.
4. Manage: This may be the most important part of the equation. Someone must manage the cloud that’s been created to avoid the out-of-control clutter that once existed in unchecked physical data centers as well as the spiraling costs associated with that; the question is, who will manage the cloud solution that’s been created? Compare the costs and efficiencies of managing the new cloud solution in house with that of outsourcing cloud management to a dedicated third party, being careful to identify all the resources that will need to be allocated to do the job right.
Visit Logicalis’ dedicated cloud web site to learn more about cloud computing and how to manage cloud solutions.
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration; data center and cloud services; and managed services.
Logicalis employs almost 3,000 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex ICT infrastructures to meet the needs of over 6,000 corporate and public sector customers. To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, NetApp, VMware and ServiceNow.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.2 billion, from operations in the UK, US, Germany, South America and Asia Pacific, and is fast establishing itself as one of the leading IT and Communications solution integrators, specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.
The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of over $5 billion.
For more information, visit http://www.us.logicalis.com.
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