How to transform Data Centers with HCL & Google Cloud: A practical perspective
Data center transformation is not about replacing your traditional data centers with cloud data centers. It is about transforming and modernizing IT workload (application and infrastructure) residing in multiple data centers. While many organizations understand the benefit and value of cloud migration and are in the process of migrating workloads to the cloud intermittently but they don’t look at it comprehensively. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers. In fact, 10% of organizations already have, which means only they have looked at it comprehensively. We have seen organizations struggle to migrate to the cloud due to a lack of the right strategy and skillset in place. Hence, they are unable to bring any differentiation to the overall business or enhance customer experience. In this blog post, we will explain how to approach the data center transformation.
How we at HCL, are helping our customers embark on this journey and why we believe data center transformation is the way forward.
Here are the key questions one should ask to understand that in detail:
How can we shut down our data centers completely?
Cloud has evolved a lot in the last few years. We can migrate almost any workload to public cloud but it’s a matter of time, motivation, and cost. The HCL CloudSmart strategy using industry and business down approach has helped our clients gain benefits from HCL’s cloud-specific repeatable industry solutions, frameworks, and cloud acceleration IPs. It is a strategy that works for every industry or vertical. It helps to build the business case by transforming and transitioning our workload, evolving our operating model, curtailing our financial expenses, avoiding wastage of resources, supporting new business demand and growth, and providing us platform, budgets for our future modernization roadmap.
We classify applications in three different buckets leveraging the business down approach. First, business differentiating applications that are revenue-generating must be transformed from business processes to application functionality. Second, non-business differentiating applications that are important for business but may not be the right candidate for modernization and can be transitioned to the cloud. Third, legacy applications may fall in either of the above categories because legacy nature can’t be transformed or migrated easily. After classifying the workload we assess each workload using our 7R approach leveraging HCL’s cloud assessment framework EXACT. The assessment output provides an insight on the current environment to execute the digital transformation and the desired state mapped by business functions and technical solutions including new target operating model, security, and compliance.
This approach will help you find the right balance between transformation and transition which will eventually help you to achieve the business case to make this shift. The business case needs to consider other benefits of cloud such as innovation, speed, agility, new platform, growth opportunities, and operating model.
How to decide the right cloud and right target solution?
This is the most important question which every customer is asking today and there is no simple answer. It really depends on your business requirement and which cloud provides the right functional and technical solution to meet that. There are few guiding principles to ensure while choosing the right cloud platform
- Avoid vendor lock-in solutions
- Out-of-the box integration
As part of our HCL CloudSmart strategy, we believe Google Cloud is one of the leading cloud providers for the right capability to any unique business and technical requirement. Recently we have helped many of our F500 customers by enabling digital and data center transformation through the Google Cloud Platform. Google cloud provides best-in-breed solutions for every customer. Be it modernizing, migrating, or building enterprise-grade applications and infrastructure, process and analyze petabytes of data, harness real-time business insights, manage hybrid/multi-cloud environments, develop cloud native applications, build machine learning models, industry-specific solutions etc.
Some of the top Google Cloud solutions we have leveraged for our customer's transformation journey.
How to migrate? What should be the best approach to transform data centers optimally?
Now that you have learned that data center transformation is not about server migration from your data centers to cloud data centers. Let’s understand how you can approach this migration.
Following the first two steps, you now have a full understanding of your dependencies, treatment type, target architecture, and solution. You exactly know how many applications need to refactor, rearchitect, replace, replatform, rehost, retire, or retain to align to your business strategy and drivers for your data center transformation. This approach will provide the right balance for your journey and ensure you are focusing the right energy at the right place.
Migrating your workload using HCL Factory approach (Modernization Factory & Migration factory) helps accelerate your application, infrastructure, and data transformation leveraging HCL IPs & frameworks which are especially built for the Google Cloud platform. HCL OneClick automation suite has multiple modules like Application modernization studio, Infra modernization studio, Data studio, and SAP studio that help to automate your cloud transformation journey. You will have an opportunity to redesign your network, security, compliance, monitoring, IAM as part of your landing zone setup through HCL OneClick Foundation. It is built on the principle of DevSecOps & IaC which will eventually automate your landing zone, build, migrate and provide you with a declarative environment that can be easily scalable. Application modernization studio will enable you to modernize the applications, convert monolithic to microservices, or containerize your applications. Data Studio enables you to migrate and modernize data warehouse solutions to Google Cloud platform.
How will data center transformation impact our operating model?
The most important aspect of data center transformation or cloud migration is how you are going to change the way you manage your IT environment today. Unless you have a clear understanding of how your operating model will evolve, you wouldn’t be able to get the benefit of cloud such as speed, agility, scalability, automation etc. Cloud Operating Model consists of people, process, and technology and it will change the way IT services are built, supported, managed, and governed.
As part of the HCL CloudSmart approach, we have developed the AI Ops cloud operating model on the principles of agile and SRE which is helping our hybrid or multi-cloud customers to unlock the value of cloud and reducing toil.
Way ahead with data center transformation
It is the right time we should start looking at data center transformation strategy through the lens of innovation, agility, and digital transformation. The benefits of public cloud are known to everyone but what really matters is how you plan to reap those benefits.
Data center transformation to cloud are large and complex projects that require experience, expertise, and a combination of the right skill set and tools. This is the reason why it is important to partner with HCL and Google Cloud to make your digital transformation journey a success.