Your organization is making the move to private cloud. The decision has been made to migrate some key applications to a private cloud powered by VMware and NetApp to deliver the agility of a public cloud with the power, performance, and security of an isolated infrastructure on dedicated hardware.
This is a pivotal step in your IT strategy, and trial and error really aren’t options when you’ve been told to get it done now and get it done right. However, you have a few concerns about how this move will affect your IT environment: What will be the impact of configuring this new technology into your existing, sometimes complex legacy VMware environment? How can you make sure it will be configured correctly to deliver the business outcomes your company expects? Do you have the resources and expertise to support this effort?
Here are 5 best practices to help you avoid the pitfalls that can occur when implementing a private cloud, so you get the business results that fit your needs.
1) Don’t skip strategic planning and go straight to deployment.
Understanding your current environment and business needs as well as establishing what you’ll require as you scale is critical to your future success. Technology choices made in-the-moment and deployed without a clear plan in mind can result in patchworked, often fragile, solutions that can increase support and rework cost and slow time to market for new services. It’s key to get the right people to the table to outline a plan for what you need now and what will be required to easily scale as your needs grow. Often, it is not about the technology, it’s about the engagement – taking the time to involve a wider stakeholder group to determine the current and future business goals.
2) Never underestimate the complexity of integrating new and legacy solutions.
Many enterprises have grown their virtualized environments over time, often through acquisition, resulting in solutions that aren’t as seamlessly integrated as one would like. Navigating the technical nuances and complexity of these kinds of environments requires specialized expertise, especially when adding and configuring new capabilities, that often isn’t readily available in-house. It’s become increasingly more difficult for in-house resources to stay abreast of the rapid changes in hybrid multicloud technology advancements. So, to avoid costly mistakes and delays in configuring a new private cloud solution into an existing VMware environment, consider using a reputable professional service firm to fill the gap. That way you can quickly get the guidance you need to accelerate your implementation and ensure you deliver the outcomes your organization expects from the start.
3) Ensure in-house resources will prioritize your new project.
Dynamic changes in business priorities often mean that the right resources may not be available when you need them. If get it done now and get it done right are primary goals, then make sure you have a clear resource plan in place—what you need and when you need it—and a firm commitment from your business stakeholders to support that plan. Professional services can help you fill the gap for IT teams that are being asked to do more with less.
4) Set the quality of service from the start to ensure user satisfaction.
All too often enterprises don’t carefully consider their application requirements before deploying a new private cloud solution. Establishing the maximum networking, compute, and storage you will need for your applications will help prevent a “noisy neighbor” from over consuming resources. Include this element as part of your overall plan for new private cloud solution (see item #1) to ensure you are delivering a consistent user experience.
5) Avoid unnecessary costs and risks with the right expertise.
Let’s face it, keeping pace with the changes occurring in the cloud space is dizzying. And it’s not realistic to expect that in-house generalists and VMware administrator can keep up with these changes while still meeting all the other demands placed on them. Taking a self-deploy approach of a new solution into an existing and complex environment can lead to a myriad of lasting problems and open a company up to unnecessary and avoidable security/compliance risks and rework costs. According to a recent study by NetApp, self-installs of new solutions into existing environments result in up to 75% more support calls than when professional services were engaged to do an implementation. When considering your resource needs, be candid when assessing your in-house skills as you prepare for your implementation. Using outside professional services can make the difference between success and failure.
Professional Services from NetApp and our Certified Professional Services partners can provide the NetApp HCI and VMware Private Cloud expertise you need to help manage resource and knowledge gaps, accelerate timelines, and ensure project success. We work with your IT teams to help you navigate your VMware environment, so you avoid typical pitfalls and implement a solution that will easily scale as your needs evolve. Contact your local rep today.