Turning Your IT Department into a Service Center

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 30th 2018 — Categories: DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Here we are again, talking about digital transformation. While the pile of buzzwords threatens to overwhelm at times, this particular movement has real benefits for organizations that are still running IT in the old style, with break-fix scrambling, disjointed service delivery, and a take-it-or-leave it approach to technology procurement.

Rather than focusing simply on the end goal from an IT perspective, your IT department should be focused on the bigger picture. Your users are in effect your customers — and your company’s customers are supported by those users. By bringing business goals and processes under the IT umbrella, you help foster communication, efficiency, improve IT services, and most importantly revenue growth across the organization.

Here are three areas to focus on when transforming your IT department into a service center.

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Could Your Data Center Be Put Out to Pasture Within the Next Decade?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 2nd 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations

We’ve gone back and forth on this for many years now. Are enterprise data centers dying? Gartner seems to think so, recently predicting that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data centers, compared to 10% today.

That’s less than ten years out. Do you foresee your data center being put out to pasture within a decade? Or largely decommissioned and consolidated? It doesn’t seem too far-fetched considering an average hardware lifespan of three years. You could cycle through your servers three times over before then — and most of those compute workloads will likely end up in the cloud or hosted elsewhere.

Here's how that change will affect how you procure and manage IT services.

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“Lift and Shift” is the Opposite of Digital Transformation

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, July 26th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Enterprise Applications, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Migrating to the cloud? Now is the perfect time to start or continue your digital transformation. There are several methods when it comes to cloud migration. At some point in your cloud journey you’re bound to encounter more than one of them and each of them certainly has its purpose.

But if you aren’t designing in the cloud, for the cloud (which could involve rearchitecting or procuring replacement application components), you’re missing out on many of the biggest advantages of cloud computing.

Here’s why “lift and shift” ends up stifling what could be a transformative cloud migration that sets the stage for your enterprise IT for years to come.

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Should You Be Using Microservices in Your App Development?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, July 3rd 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, DevOps, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Software Development

While microservice application architecture dates back to 2011, enterprise IT tends to move relatively slowly when it comes to the adoption of new technologies. The concept and methodology has been refined in concert with the rise of cloud computing, and now microservices are a popular way to build, deploy, and most importantly scale applications.

Microservices can improve your agility, security, and resiliency, but they require a major adjustment to your development team’s workflow and the architecture of your application itself. Read on to learn the advantages of microservices and potential caveats for their use.

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The Biggest Obstacles to Multicloud Deployments

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, June 21st 2018 — Categories: Azure, Cloud Hosting, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Security, VMware

As cloud adoption rates have increased and cloud models for enterprise IT mature, multicloud deployments have become more and more popular. They happen for a variety of reasons: some cloud platforms are better suited for specific applications, others may have security or compliance measures that are necessary. They might be located in different physical sites, fostering failover and disaster recovery or serving satellite markets. For many users, avoiding being locked in with a single vendor is huge for negotiation and data sovereignty.

Going multicloud isn’t a simple task, however, especially if you want to manage everything with a simple workflow. Here are the biggest stumbling blocks companies are facing when implementing multicloud.

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6 Signs Your IT Infrastructure is On the Verge of Failure

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Tuesday, May 22nd 2018 — Categories: Data Center Design, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Eventually all IT systems age out of their usefulness, marked by frequently required maintenance, mandatory end of life from vendor support, and increased costs for your business. You may even run into some downtime.

IT infrastructure that is on the verge of failure may still appear to be working fine — but it still leads to sneaky problems, including higher operational costs, lower reliability, limited agility, and less opportunity to embrace new applications or technologies. Legacy infrastructure can also be much less secure.

But how do you know when your infrastructure is truly about to kick the bucket? Here are six major warning signs that it’s time to bite the bullet and modernize your IT.

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Legacy Systems Remain Because They Work — But They Could Be a Major Security Risk

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Friday, May 4th 2018 — Categories: Data Center Design, IT Modernization, IT Operations, Security

With all the talk about digital transformation and IT modernization, you’d think that everyone was all-in with the cloud at this point. But there are many legacy systems still in production, even at enterprise organizations.

Regardless of why you still have them, there are almost certainly legacy systems within your IT ecosystem, and keeping them secure is of paramount importance, especially if they’re past their support lifecycle and have become exposed to potential vulnerabilities.

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Edge Data Centers Aren’t Killing Cloud, They’re Expanding It

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Wednesday, April 11th 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Cloud Storage, Data Center Design, IT Modernization

Another year, another trend in the data center world. Although edge data centers first starting making headlines circa 2014 or 2015, they’ve become mainstream as more and more users slurp down increasing amounts of data. That takes serious bandwidth; to the point that many pundits are pointing towards the placement of workloads in edge facilities, rather than the traditional centralized data centers in major markets, as a sign that cloud computing is starting to wane.

On the contrary, edge data centers serve to supplement and improve the reach of even the major cloud computing providers. No major cloud service provider (CSP) is going to only place workloads in major markets. Just look at our neighbors in Cheyenne: Microsoft has a huge facility that they’re actively expanding. Amazon operates data centers in Ohio, which, while central for the US in general and equidistant from major population centers like Chicago and New York, is hardly a major market in itself.

And beyond large scale platforms like Azure or AWS, you have players like Green House Data, who offer smaller scale virtualization from data centers in a myriad of second and third tier markets.

But it's not just about the cloud spreading itself to the edge. Here's why edge computing will be important, but will also become more of a niche deployment model, with cloud remaining the king of application processing and data storage.

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Are Enterprises Shifting Back to On-Premise Hardware?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, March 1st 2018 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, Colocation, Data Center Design, Hybrid IT, IT Modernization, IT Operations

The past five or ten years have been jam-packed with cloud computing hype. Indeed, the cloud is here to stay, without a doubt. But recent reports show analysts expect hardware sales for on-premise enterprise IT to tick up significantly.

High profile examples like Dropbox show that moving back to a more traditional data center can create efficiencies and free up cash flow. Is the enterprise data center – and by extension, colocation – about to put up a fight against the cloud?

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Three Phases to Successful Multi-Cloud Adoption: Which Are You In?

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, December 14th 2017 — Categories: Cloud Hosting, IT Modernization, IT Operations

Cloud computing adoption has been linked to “digital transformation,” a term encompassing the shift from traditional modes of consuming and administrating IT services to the new on-demand model, punctuated by the hiring and reshaping of IT staff around working cloud services, shifting to DevOps methods, or otherwise changing their business operations model in order to maintain or improve a competitive position in the market.

One major piece of digital transformation and cloud adoption is the use of multiple cloud service providers depending on the workload at hand. This mode of cloud computing is now one of the leading deployment types — and could be considered a sibling, or even the same thing, as hybrid cloud.

A recent survey from VMware and the MIT Technology Review classifies three stages on the way to a successful multicloud deployment. Where is your organization on this path towards hybrid cloud enlightenment?

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