Discover and leverage optimal cloud performance through AI Ops with Cisco Intersight
Waves of cloud adoption during the past decade have delivered many business gains, but the progression has created a new level of complexity. A recent webinar co-hosted by Secure Agility and Cisco cut through the noise of cloud management and gave attendees practical insights into how modern analytics and optimisation tools can reduce complexity and improve compliance.
From early “lift and shift” ventures into the cloud, Australian organisations have procured their way to an expanding portfolio of infrastructure, platform and software as-a-Service offerings.
This rapid uptake has delivered many immediate business benefits, but rising costs, fragmentation and security still need to be managed if cloud is going to be affordable and low risk.
According to Cisco’s 2022 Global Hybrid Cloud Trends Report, complexity and security are among the most significant challenges IT leaders face with the cloud, and an overwhelming 92% already use two or more public cloud providers.
A further 82% have adopted hybrid cloud, which is driving emerging technologies. The report also found collaboration is vital for success and cooperation between networking and cloud operations teams helps improve cloud security (45%) and operational efficiency (41%).
The impact of complexity
What does cloud complexity look like in the real world? The impact is felt across the organisation in the form of higher costs, poor performance, rogue procurement by business units, security vulnerabilities and even lack of collaboration when there is a lack of integration across platforms. This puts IT teams under pressure and often results in application performance issues impacting the end-user experience and business agility.
Cloud is now an integral part of staff and operational workflows, so it’s time to treat cloud app insight as strategic to the whole business.
The panellists agreed that ‘doing nothing’ carries risk , and organisations cannot continue to build up cloud complexity without the capability to manage it.
Why ‘right sizing’ matters
Many organisations have adopted “cloud first” policies to standardise on cloud as the preferred method for IT delivery; however, simply adopting cloud does not mean that the service is procured optimally.
The panel agreed it is time for business leaders to move beyond cloud-first to cloud-right to ensure application workloads are efficiently resourced.
Brendan Lewis, Cloud Practice Lead, Secure Agility, said right-sizing helps ensure mission-critical apps perform well and how the application fits into a portfolio.
“It is important to understand the maturity of your cloud adoption, not simply ‘everything cloud’,” he said.
Don’t let your cloud app journeys fail because costs went over due to improper sizing, and the performance needed was not obtained. There are now better options for right-sizing specific apps across on-premises, private, and public cloud environments.
From cost analysis to cost prediction
It is always easy to look back and analyse how much was spent on cloud services, but with the rapid pace of adoption, it is now essential to move to a cost prediction capability to avoid being caught out.
Tim Yap, Manager Pre-Sales Consulting at Secure Agility, said customers are now saying retrospective cost optimisation, and analysis is not enough. They need to provide the correct expectations to their business on cost prediction.
“Customers now also want to make informed decisions on the performance of their application on what cloud stack and resources presents the best performance, and at what cost,” Yap said.
“We have a customer who recently came to us to launch an application from on-premises to cloud for the ability to scale as they are looking to market this application that was consumed internally, which is now a source of revenue generation for the business. Therefore, we must look at cost prediction as their SaaS uptake picks up, setting the right expectations of revenue and cost associated with their new income stream.”
It is now possible to automate application resourcing decisions (infrastructure) and continuously optimise application resources on demand.
The MSP model fits application governance
Proper cloud management involves more than optimisation; organisations must also contend with application governance for compliance and risk management.
Regarding application governance, there is technology and expertise at play, and MSPs are well-placed to offer customers both.
Delivered as a service, workload optimisation connects applications with infrastructure, providing correlated visibility and management across any component.
“This helps customers transform with AIOps to assure application performance, optimised costs, and the ability to maintain compliance to mitigate risk,” Lewis said.
Cisco’s Intersight Workload Optimizer, the AIOps algorithm, constantly checks the optimal configuration to meet business rules and costs. By making recommendations, humans can assess and approve changes.
Modelling for data-driven decision-making
To be more proactive in the cloud, IT leaders now have technology available to use data, not guesswork, to plan and provision cloud services.
Cisco’s research indicates 7 in 10 organisations have experienced higher-than-expected cloud costs, demonstrating the need for better cloud decision-making.
To improve cloud use, Lewis said modelling across providers is an excellent place to start.
“Assess costs across migration scenarios before executing to avoid cost blow-outs,” he said. “You can visualise costs across different cloud options.”
Roger Greene, APJC Sales Leader, Cloud Software at Cisco, said modelling is a crucial difference between Intersight and other offerings.
“It delivers app insights and a better understanding of how cloud apps behave, giving you a broad overview of your hybrid cloud environment. We’re focusing on helping customers assure application performance and optimise their cloud spend – no matter where the app needs to go.”
Don’t know where to start? Secure Agility has a fixed price, fixed deliverable application assessment package that can give you insight and the next steps. Contact us now to discuss.
“It is important to understand the maturity of your cloud adoption, and not simply ‘everything cloud’,” Brendan Lewis, Secure Agility