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Conducting Cloud Operations Economically
By Scott Crowder, SVP & CIO, BMC Software
About five years ago we began our journey to SaaS, as we transformed our legacy to the cloud using SaaS providers. 80 percent of our business systems are now in SaaS products, giving our employees access to any device anywhere for a frictionless experience.
We have a mix of private and public cloud. We used to have dedicated instances of hardware in our labs for our R&D organizations. When we started down the path of data center consolidation, we had certain goals. We wanted to become a “green” IT shop and reduce our overall carbon footprint by 90 percent. We also wanted to reduce our data centers from 36 to 4.
We basically created a private cloud and one key piece was our Cloud Lifecycle Management, which gave the R&D team the keys to the car. In the past R&D had to wait two months to get things ready, then that went down to a month, then a week, then three days, and now it’s minutes. It’s all very self-service, where teams do not need to come to IT to get the assets they need. If they need full control or just an instance, they can get it.
We also operate a very large private cloud with 30K virtual machines.
Many organizations are often surprised by their AWS or Azure bill and never see it coming, leading to Opex overruns and a lot of explaining to the CFO
And we operate about 10 percent in the public cloud, with a mix of AWS and Azure and others, based on R&D’s needs.
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2. What do you think are the biggest obstacles that Cloud technologists face in working in a more agile and outcomes based model?
I honestly don’t see many obstacles working in the cloud. With the DevOps tools that BMC provides in the cloud, plus our Control-M solution in our own daily operations, we’re able to iterate more quickly. So I don’t think we face serious obstacles.
3. Moving from traditional IT to a service offering model requires a major mindset shift in Cloud. How did you make that happen?
This was easy for us. We recycled old gear and brought in new technology and used Cloud Lifecycle Management on top of it. We went from a zero reclamation model of capital assets to reclaiming about 65-70 percent of assets on a monthly basis. From a capital avoidance side, we were able to make investments with zero uptick in spend because we were more efficient.
4. Which growing or future technology innovation are you personally excited about?
Multi cloud management and the governance, oversight, and provisioning around multi cloud management.
Many organizations are often surprised by their AWS or Azure bill and never see it coming, leading to Opex overruns and a lot of explaining to the CFO. We can help organizations better control their expenditure and the security posture of their cloud assets.
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5. We are all dealing with technology every day. How does technology drive your life?
I’m super geeky on this stuff. My house is completely a smart home, where I tell my tech to lock doors, turn on the TV, and so on. Every device in the house is connected except the Keurig coffee maker.