Cloud Computing, Cloud Platform

Q&A: The Ultimate Guide to Moving to the Cloud

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Your data center: moving to the cloudOrganizations with on-premise data centers face challenges such as costly maintenance issues, limited resources and a lack of competitive edge. Moving your data center to the cloud is a must in today’s fast-paced competitive marketplace.

But as an organization looking to make the move, where do you even start?

In this informative Q&A, learn about trends, challenges, advantages and methodology for moving your data center to the cloud and maximizing your investment.

Q: What are the trends in cloud computing that are driving organizations to the cloud?
A: Four trends we are seeing that are driving movement to the cloud:

  1. Bridging the Gap: The gap is closing between managing on premise data center infrastructure and leveraging the cloud. The technologies are evolving and coming closer together, letting you move to the cloud much more easily, be more efficient, and customize to do what you need.
  2. Switching Expense Models: There is a business need to shift from long-term capital expenditure models to a more fluid model that can ebb and flow with business cycles. With switching to the expense-based cloud model, you're now able to pay as you go and really only use what you need and scale when you need more resources.
  3. Future-Proofing: Companies are leveraging the cloud to not only solve for their immediate needs, but also to set themselves up for future success. They don't have to pick one technology or one software now, and they have the ability to leverage new technology that companies like Google are developing and offering to the community.
  4. Discovering Where to Start: Many companies want to leverage the cloud but don’t know where to start. Start small and find a place that you can help your organization evolve and get them into the cloud just to show the power of it. You don’t have to try and replace your entire data center on day one. Prove the benefit and then expand from there.

Q: What are some of the challenges that organizations face with on-premise data centers?
A: Three challenges organizations face with on-premise data centers:
  1. High Cost of Maintenance: The costs for on-premise data centers include managing the servers, having the staff to keep the servers running, keeping them secure, and keeping the patch system updated. So there are a lot of upfront costs that companies see, and they have to budget for them year after year.
  2. Time Not Spent on Core Business Activity: Spending time managing on-premise data centers means not spending time on your core business. With movement to the cloud, you're uncovering that and taking it out of the mix, letting your IT department and very smart resources spend their time innovating your company.
  3. No Competitive Edge: With on-premise data centers, you don't really have that competitive edge like you do in the cloud. If you need to shift quickly or expand quickly, like standing up 30, 40, 50, or 1,000 servers in a day, you can do that in the cloud. You don't have to wait for provisioning or for capital approval. You can do it on demand when needed, and scale down when needed as well.

Q: What advantages do customers experience with the Onix and Google partnership?
A: Advantages our customers experience include:
  1. Google’s World-Scale Infrastructure: Google is a company that's built a practice of creating world-scale applications with billions of users. That has afforded Google and Onix the ability to build solutions that take advantage of those world class, redundant, fault-tolerant technologies. This gives our customers peace of mind and the ability to rely on Google’s infrastructure without worry.
  2. Access to Cutting-Edge Technology: One example of this access is the release of Cloud Spanner by Google, which is a world scale database solution that is time synced across data centers throughout the world. This is a technology that just isn't available elsewhere, and our customers had access to that prior to the release date to the world.

Q: How are organizations actually moving to the cloud? What does that process look like?
A: We offer a very detailed and comprehensive methodology for helping organizations make the move:
  1. Discover: We come in and discover what your environment looks like, what things need to be moved to the cloud, and what might need to stay on-premise or in co-location. We then do an analysis and present what the future costs could be and what we recommend as the best transition plan.
  2. Analyze: In our analysis of the environment, we typically put together a small proof of concept to prove some of the key migration plans. At that point we would do things like set up networking, set up any virtual private clouds, any VPN's or other access controls required.
  3. Deliver: Once we have a good proof of concept and we're certain that the solution fits, then we start delivery of migrating applications with a view to business continuity along the way. You should experience business as normal, and we are here to support and help you evolve with future technologies moving forward.
  4. Evolve: From the planning phases to the final migration, we really look at things with an eye towards the evolution of the environment. Planning things like automation opportunities, DevOps, and looking for opportunities to define infrastructure as code, which enables things like self-service.


Q: What is the business impact and return on investment for organizations moving to the cloud?
A: When it comes to ROI, we can help you understand what your current costs are and map that to what your costs in Google cloud should look like. Moving one or two high visibility applications early on allows for a much higher ROI. It also means high usage systems will be migrated into the cloud, which manages costs much more effectively. Once your migration is complete, we can monitor systems and identify candidates for automation and containerization. The data generated can be utilized to really glean insights that will help drive additional cost reduction and a more holistic view of the data. This will help you make informed decisions on where to spend your IT dollars.

We’d be happy to discuss your specific cloud computing questions. Just fill out the form below and an Onix cloud specialist will be in touch.

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Greg Hohenbrink, Manager of Cloud Solution Engineers

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Greg Hohenbrink, Manager of Cloud Solution Engineers

Greg takes great pride in his aptitude for technical advising, troubleshooting and analysis. With 13 years of experience in the public and private sector, he helps to shape the future for businesses of all sizes. He has a passion for excellence and integrity, and a knack for recommending the solutions that connect businesses to their employees, partners, and clients.

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