Trust me, Mr Guinea Pig….

I thought you might enjoy reading a rough “fly on the wall” transcript of a meeting that I brokered this week between a major London Hedge Fund and one of the better MSPs in the UK market.

In essence, the Hedge Fund CTO is facing a dilemma that is pretty common-place in our market today.

The Head of IT infrastructure is looking at an aged estate, built on a traditional SAN / Blade Compute / Virtualisation layer / Windows based architecture – and the SAN is now into the eye-wateringly expensive Year 6 maintenance period.

The Head of Development is getting (justifiably) excited about the benefits that a “Containerised” development world can bring to him in terms of speed and simplicity of development etc.

Both department heads are asking a similar but subtly different version of the same perfectly valid question – Why aren’t we moving to Cloud? The subtle difference is that the Devt lead really means “Can we move everything to AWS or Azure please?” and the Head of Infra really means “Can I lift and shift my existing workload, ‘as-is’, into an Opex based managed hosting platform please?”

So the meeting was to essentially discuss and plan how this is all going to play out over the next few years.

We found ourselves using the phrase that William Fellows, Founder of 451 Research has cleverly lifted from Mifid II and translated to Cloud – i.e. “Best Execution Venue”. In essence, that is what this entire strategic decision boils down to – and guess what? – as is often the case, there is no “one size fits all” answer.

For new developments, of course the Dev guys want to get stuck into the new toys and start “Agile-ing” and “Devops-ing” their little hearts out. But the more conservative Infra guys, who always have to keep the legacy and ongoing support implications in mind, the challenges and risk-profile for such an unknown “leap of faith” commodity are simply too scary. Things like DR and Backups etc all have to be taken into account, and there is clearly no appetite to re-engineer the legacy.

So – what’s the answer? The answer is inevitably a blend of workload profiling; understanding your application lifecycle roadmap; picking some low hanging fruit; looking at what is proven, mature and perceived by the market to be stable; doing a bit of sandpit/POC stuff in devt/test; thinking about what application development in future will really differentiate your firm, and what is more “keep the lights on, commoditized”; thinking about how, and to whom you will deploy applications in future; thinking about what will naturally die on the vine; thinking about what is really security sensitive and what isn’t; thinking about which workloads peak and trough – and which ones just hum along steadily… etc etc and in my opinion…

… if you don’t want to cut yourself on the bleeding edge, find an MSP who REALLY CAN be your Sherpa on the Journey into the Clouds.

Lots of vendors out there are talking a really great game about Public Cloud adoption , but from the analysis we have done at Clover, very few have earned their scars yet on real world, mission critical, large scale projects.

Its my guess that you don’t want to be the guinea pig who is being experimented on while these guys learn?

If you’d like to discuss this challenge – or any others like it that you are presently facing – why not book a complimentary consultation with one of the Clover index UK Cloud Market experts?

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