Microsoft
MARCH 2014
Business Insights
Feature StoryTop Stories
Cloud Workload Prioritization
The rapid adoption of cloud across all sizes of enterprises is enabling organizations to take advantage of benefits such as flexible cost models, rapid implementation, high availability and improved performance. But for many IT organizations, building the right cloud strategy that can benefit both IT and the business while meeting security, data protection and compliance requirements can be challenging.

Organizations who are prepared will reap the benefits, while IT departments who delay creating a cloud roadmap may suddenly find themselves dealing with unexpected support, security or management challenges introduced by line of business users by-passing IT in favor of on-demand applications that compete with corporate policies or “Trojan-horse” adoptions of non-compliant or high risk technology.

All of these scenarios can be avoided with a pro-active approach that meet the needs of your enterprise. Understanding the priority workloads that deliver highest value is one of the keys to ensuring a successful plan.

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Adopting a Proven Approach
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Key findings from a recent study conducted by Forester Research “Enabling the Secure and Rapid Adoption of Cloud Services”, highlight that more and more organizations are migrating multiple workloads to the cloud.

There are many workloads that benefit from a cloud architecture but one of the leaders is storage and the need for IT to manage storage growth. Structured and unstructured data, high resolution images, video, social and other digitized sources contribute to an explosion in corporate data. As well, the need for data redundancy driven by back-up processes, business continuity, disaster recovery and regulatory archival requirements have created a growing demand for lower cost data storage alternatives.


“Which specific workloads are IT pros moving to the cloud? It turns out that IT pros have already moved email (40%) and essential office productivity tools (30%) workloads to the cloud. But more workloads are headed to the cloud; data storage (56%) customer portals (56%), and document management (56%) have the highest levels of planned implementation/expansion.”
Forester, Enabling the Secure and Rapid Adoption of Cloud Services

Email is now considered mission-critical. It is the prime communication platform for most organizations and 24/7 availability, performance and security are expected. Cloud-based email can typically provide greater security, redundancy and data protection than an on-premise alternative. In parallel, collaboration technologies such as phone, chat, and messaging are moving to the cloud, increasing productivity and user satisfaction while decreasing cost. And because users are demanding access to information at any time from any device, business productivity tools are also ideal in the cloud where spreadsheets, documents, presentations and other commonly accessed technologies are always available and easily shared.

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Cloud Adds Security, Protection and Peace of Mind/

Newspaper headlines advertising disasters seem to be on the rise. Floods, storms and power-outages resulting from weather related incidents have crippled many parts of the world in recent months. Organizations (including well-known brands) have seen their business grind to a halt while IT works to get mission-critical applications up and running.

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At the same time, cyber-hacking and stealing of sensitive data is increasing.


The good news is that many cloud providers have much more robust physical and virtual security perimeters in place than independent businesses, often making the cloud a better option for organizations who are concerned about theft of customer or corporate data. Spending time with your cloud provider to match your needs to their services will help ensure that you have the right security elements invoked as well as identify where additional protection might be needed.

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Microsoft Uses Cloud for Big Data/
Barry Briggs, Senior Director, Microsoft IT Architecture spoke with Tricia Manning-Smith, media host of the Solution Insight Series, on how Microsoft is using the cloud to solve some Big Data storage challenges. Microsoft, one of the largest users of their own technology is seeing success with the on-demand capabilities of Azure as well as the cloud-integrated proficiencies of StorSimple. Barry comments, “Customers can take data that they need but don’t necessarily need all the time and can put it up in the cloud. With Azure blobs and tables they can store hundreds of terabytes of data while Azure Windows SQL Server delivers all the benefits of a relational database platform as well as all of the advantages of cloud such as multi-datacenter replication, back-up, and disaster recovery.”
BARRY BRIGS PROFILE
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Key Points to Consider/

For most customers cloud will not be a single solution but more likely a hybrid architecture that is designed to enable productivity, business continuity, cost reductions and security enhancements. In evaluating your own criteria, be clear around specific needs and use cases and consider all of the following:

  • Flexibility, scalability and reduced costs;
  • Security, data protection and business continuity;
  • Integration of on-premises/cloud architectures for an effective hybrid environment including SLA management across the entire platform;
  • Secure databases and storage solutions;
  • Industry and government compliance requirements.

Cloud is delivering greater choice, flexibility and savings for enterprises who are able to deploy the right workloads into a cloud architecture designed around their goals.

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