Three Ways that Enterprises Can Fast-track to the Cloud
Companies around the globe are all looking to upgrade the way they work, and many are looking to the cloud for this upgrade. Many enterprises fail to pull the trigger due to the amount of work they believe it will take to transition their team to a cloud solution. But there are ways to fast-track the implementation of the cloud, and Mo Hafez, senior solutions engineer at Expereo, shares how.
Speed, scalability, and savings are among the reasons why many enterprises are adopting cloud solutions. In fact, a recent cloud adoption study stated that “firms that transition to the cloud improve productivity, increase revenue, and are better positioned to embrace new technology.” For those enterprises still sitting on the fence due to concerns about implementation, here are three ways to fast-track your shift to the cloud.
Start with Internet Services
With the cloud quickly becoming the go-to for connecting to services and software, shifting where services sit can be complicated for enterprises operating on an MPLS-based network. But before those enterprises can shift to the cloud, they need to start with their Internet connections. But it’s not just establishing an Internet connection; a reliable and diverse Internet circuit. To ensure that their organization’s move to the cloud is a successful one, you’ve got to have the right infrastructure in place. The fact is if you move to the cloud first and then try to build the infrastructure, enterprises will encounter many additional problems that could have otherwise been avoided if they had ensured they had a quality Internet connection first. These problems include but are not limited to Internet downtime, insecure interfaces and APIs, and an increased risk of data leakage.
To summarize: many enterprises are doing things backward. They get ahead of themselves. They transition to the cloud only to then realize that they’re backhauling their traffic to the data center, and all of their internet traffic is bottlenecked there. Step one, when moving to the cloud, is to build the right Layer 3 infrastructure — also known as the network layer — and then begin the process of moving to the cloud. This makes for a more efficient and timely transition.
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Consider All Your Needs
The next step when making the switch to the cloud is to have a defined strategy, not just for your Layer 3 communications but across the board. Ensure that you’re thinking with the big picture, not just the various individual parts that require your attention.
For example, the parts are “these branches need to be able to access these critical cloud applications,”; or “I need my users to be able to securely and remotely connect from anywhere,”; and “I want to ensure smooth branch-to-branch or branch to datacenter/hub communication with full visibility into the data traversing the network.” Then look at how that affects the big picture, so you’re not doubling your efforts.
Also, consider “greenfield deployment” versus “brownfield deployment” — terms originating from the construction industry that are now also used in software and network development.
A greenfield deployment is a building — or project — that you build from the ground up. No existing structures or devices are on the site; the construction zone is a clean and fresh start.
Conversely, a brownfield is land that, at some point, was occupied by a permanent structure that would need to be demolished or renovated before taking a new direction. In software or networks, a brownfield deployment is a project based on or replacing prior work or rebuilding a product from an existing one, while a greenfield deployment is a fresh build from scratch.
When a software or connectivity provider embarks on a greenfield deployment, everything is assessed without concern about what the company has already done. The past – good or bad – doesn’t matter.
Let’s say your provider is trying to build an SD-WAN network. They can come in and build that system from the ground up without distractions or interference. Working with the provider, you would be able to net out with a turnkey network. Contrast that to a brownfield deployment where the company has “dipped their toe” in the SD-WAN field. There are already different systems or devices in place, or perhaps some scattered Layer 3 services, deployed without the big picture in mind. The provider or in-house team then has to establish a baseline – or worse, scrap everything that’s already been done – in order to produce that same turnkey network. Unfortunately, scrapping everything that’s been done to date results in lost time and money.
The bottom line is to ensure you have the big picture in mind from the start. What does your current infrastructure look like? What would you like its future state to be? Do you have reliable internet services for your cloud migration project? Is it the ideal time to upgrade your hardware? Once you have your big picture in sight, you can put the right infrastructure in place to ensure a smooth network upgrade.
Have a Plan in Place
Lastly, have a strategic plan in place for the specific work that needs to be done for your company to migrate effectively to the cloud. The common adage “fail to plan, plan to fail” couldn’t be more apropos than in IT projects – a shift to the cloud especially. Negotiating all the parts, systems, vendors, and logistics can be daunting, so it’s advisable to either have a thorough in-house plan pointed out by an experienced and knowledgeable individual or team or that you don’t make the shift on your own. Partnering with a provider is an option with solutions and resources available – plus vendor-agnostic relationships – that can help an enterprise effectively transition while minimizing the risk of costly and time-consuming errors.
The Faster Track
It’s important to remember that when considering a shift to the cloud, an organized and planned greenfield deployment is much less of a headache. It will be better designed, and when you consider the big picture and plan, it’s a much better way to migrate with confidence.
Whether your enterprise chooses to make a move using your in-house team or utilizing a trusted partner, ensuring quick and efficient internet services – across the geographic regions of your enterprise – plus a strategic plan will ensure an easy and seamless transition. Following these steps will ensure that your enterprise moves quickly, can scale as it needs to, and is spending money wisely – all on the cloud.
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