PLAN: Re-Skilling for the Cloud

Re-skilling for the cloud | Binary Tree

When it comes to migrating to the cloud, getting there is just the first step. You also need the skills to manage it over time. But because managing the cloud is so different than managing traditional IT, the workforce is still catching up. So far, there’s a shortage of people out there with advanced cloud skills. Many organizations are struggling to find the right resources to help them with their cloud journey.

So as you plan your migration to the cloud, you also need to think about how you’ll manage things once you get there. Will you hire a managed service provider? Retrain existing resources to take it on? Hire new ones? To help shape your thinking in this area, here are some of the key ways that managing the cloud is unique.

Manage capacity

Capacity planning plays a huge part in managing traditional IT. And it’s also incredibly important in the cloud. But the opportunity to optimize compute and storage capacity in the cloud is like nothing before seen. You can now truly only pay for what you use and scale workloads dynamically based on demand. To take full advantage of this scalability, you’ll need to develop new skills, like coding and template authoring.

Develop and design applications

The cloud gives application architects a powerful toolbox to draw from. Azure offers many managed services and container-based architectures to choose from. This makes it easier to build, deploy, and scale applications must faster. You no longer have to build the underlying infrastructure from scratch—it’s built in and reusable. This also makes it easier to create new types of applications using cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Networking

In Azure, you can create resources in any region that Azure supports. This means your network engineers have the opportunity to think about connectivity on a global scale between Azure data centers and on-premises data centers. You can use built-in services like Azure App Gateway to protect workloads and route traffic. Opportunities abound, which makes it easy to choose the right solution for the task at hand vs. what has been used in the past for the sake of familiarity.

Deployment and monitoring

Azure makes it much easier to deploy and monitor resources across your systems. For example, you can define and control resources from templates written in JSON. This means you can script resources to automatically deploy and even self-configure. You can also monitor your services and applications in real time. There are several Azure services that help you look for and predict problems like maintenance updates, missing patches, or even attacks.

Recovery and backup

The cloud gives you new opportunities to optimize offsite backup and keep your critical data safe. Instead of backing up your data to mechanical tape drives or extra disks, you can now store data in the cloud. This greatly increases your capabilities for multi-site disaster recovery—at a fraction of the cost of traditional data centers. With Azure, you can failover on-demand between your data center and the cloud or even between two different regions in the cloud. And you pay only a small cost per node, compared to what you’d pay for an entire second data center.

Performance and scalability

Services in the cloud can scale much faster than on-premises solutions. Azure gives you access to data centers in 50 regions worldwide, with services that can automatically scale when you need them to. Or you can even take it a step further and use specialized virtual machines with high-end GPUs and RDMA.

Security and compliance

Unlike in the past where your organization was often exclusively in the hot seat for security and compliance, the cloud makes this a shared burden. Microsoft is responsible for protecting the infrastructure they control, including their physical data centers. (And from all accounts, they’re much better at this than most businesses could ever hope to be.) Then your organization is on the hook to protect your applications and servers, plus ensure that any solutions you build on Azure services meet your compliance and security criteria.

Budgeting and cost control

In the past, you usually paid for IT with capital expenses. It was a long, cumbersome process of overestimating (and often overspending). But now, the cloud can be a simple operating expense. Azure gives you the ability to pay for only what you use. And for organizations that have several cost centers and chargeback policies, Azure lets you easy see who’s using what. You can track spending down to whatever granularity your business needs. For more, see our master list of 24 tips to control costs in Azure.

Contact Binary Tree and learn more.

 

Source: Microsoft. Cloud Migration and Modernization Playbook, 2018