Posted by: Greg Ness | March 22, 2015

Cloud Costs Dropping, Data Centers Closing

A couple items grabbed my attention recently, including the recent Synergy report on the growing share of IT infrastructure spending going to the cloud.  It surprised me. I had nothing to say, for once.

Then the answer hit me.

While cloud costs are declining slightly, the costs for cloud migration and deployment are dropping aggressively.  A first effect is the shuttering of secondary data centers and the deployment of more apps and services in the cloud. Then consider that the cloud leaders are becoming more enterprise-friendly.

Cloudy Days Ahead for IT as Usual

Cloudy Days Ahead for IT as Usual

Shuttering data centers for the cloud you ask?  Check out the case study from an upcoming webinar with Gartner on how a San Francisco-based company saved 50% by replacing its secondary data center with the cloud, and reduced costs by 50% while increasing agility. (Yes you can get the MyPoints slides after registering.)

Certainly the MyPoints team is ahead of the curve and most companies are still using DRaaS or secondary data centers, despite the costs, inconveniences and challenges. Yet they’ve proven how transformative the cloud can be for a large server environment. A 50% cost reduction for retiring a data center into the cloud is beyond noteworthy.

The secondary data center business (based on IT as usual) has been sizzling thanks to the innovations introduced by VMware and innovations in data center electrical and mechanical design.  Plus the shifts of the web giants into leased space. Their cloud migration costs were not trivial, yet they moved.  It was all about predictable workloads and lease versus own. It seems likely, however, that the cloud has already started crowding out the traditional data centers, hence the Synergy stats on infrastructure spending shifting to the cloud.

In addition to falling cloud migration costs some of the cloud leaders have caught up with even primary data centers when it comes to security and compliance issues which had been troublesome in the early cloud days when it started as a Dev/Test environment ala VMware’s early days.  Specialized partners and SLAs can be created to address requirements once in the exclusive domain of traditional IT experts.

Traditional IT will certainly be around for many years, yet the ever lower costs of the API-driven cloud and the billions in investments made by the leaders (in security, compliance, and infrastructure) are already being felt by the “private cloud” huggers still willing to pay the vendor lock-in tolls. The agility, however, may be the biggest factor; from migration into a cloud to migration between clouds.

Stay Tuned.

Posted by: Greg Ness | March 19, 2015

Using IaaS to Slash DR Costs and Increase Testing and Trust

We decided to bring together experts from Gartner, AWS, CloudVelox and cloud DR leader MyPoints for an in-depth and highly informative webinar that would give its viewers a competitive advantage when it comes to disaster recovery and IaaS.

The result is one of the most informative webinars you might ever view on any IT topic. It combines big picture DR business impacts with key operating realities and proven results. And you get the information directly from some of the world’s leading experts.

Check it out.

MyPoints Webinar Final


MyPoints Exec Summary Slide

Exec Summary Slide for MyPoints Case Study


Synergy Research reports that cloud infrastructure spending has been growing rapidly:

“Cloud infrastructure is a fast-growing market and now accounts for almost half of all data center infrastructure shipments,” says Jeremy Duke, founder and Chief Analyst, Synergy Research.

“We are seeing strong growth across private, public and hybrid cloud deployments and across all geographic regions.

Pretty amazing…

Posted by: Greg Ness | March 11, 2015

Execs Report Surprising Cloud Benefits: Forbes

Guy Looking at Clouds 4 blog

A recent article from Forbes reports surprising benefits of cloud computing based on a survey of execs conducted by Tata Communications.

One in Four Enterprises See ‘Surprise’ Cloud Benefits, Survey Finds

In total, 83 percent of executives report benefits they did not expect to see. This recent research out of Tata Communications has found that 85 percent say cloud had “lived up to industry hype.”

I’m not surprised.  I was converted from cloud denial by my interviews with execs who had levered the cloud for operating advantage. Still it is great to see the momentum building.

Posted by: Greg Ness | March 6, 2015

Cloud DR Leaders: Lunch With Impinj

I was in Seattle for a couple days this week for meetings and had a chance to catch lunch at Agrodolce (a great local restaurant in Fremont) with Impinj IT leader Morgan Van Wely.

Lunch with Morgan

As I enjoyed fresh olives from Sicily Morgan talked about the Cloud DR payoff, which was primarily trust and cost savings.  The Impinj secondary data center was in another state (great for locality) and very hard for their team to manage and test as needed.

So they started their cloud DR program with a key, mission-critical app, including a new 3 month regular DR test plan.  Yes, the up-front cost savings were substantial. The real payoff, however, was a higher level of trust in a new, regularly-tested DR environment.

Impinj is the leading provider of UHF RFID solutions.  Very cool, timely technology.

Stay tuned for more on Impinj…

Thanks Morgan!

Posted by: Greg Ness | February 27, 2015

Cloud Migration Getting Automated

Consistent with multiple predictions about cloud migration getting easier I present a case study for a financial services company in Florida.  The case study was done last year, but it demonstrates the power of automation over manual processes and early tools: case study.

“In 2013 we evaluated a variety of cloud migration tools,” commented Flamingo Software’s IT Manager Christophe Loisey. ”They were too hard to use, very hands-on and not reliable,” he lamented. “Over the course of two weekends, we accomplished with CloudVelox what we thought was impossible: we migrated our entire environment of virtual workloads as well as a physical server into AWS.”


FlamingoSoft Case Study

As you might remember the City of Asheville won the City on a Cloud best practices Grand Prize in 2014 from AWS.  Last week CIO Feldman received a CIO Impact award for excellence in cloud computing from Frost and Sullivan.  Asheville used AWS as a secondary data center (cloud DR) to reduce costs and increase trust and agility.

Read more in this excellent story from Asheville’s local newspaper.

Jonathan Rajeev CIO Impact Award

Jonathan Feldman (City of Asheville) and vendor partner CloudVelox CEO Rajeev Chawla accepting CIO Impact and Vendor awards for cloud computing excellence at Frost and Sullivan awards banquet. Cloud DR reduced costs and increased trust in the city’s DR environment.

Posted by: Greg Ness | February 12, 2015

Impinj Increases Trust in Hybrid Cloud with CloudVelox

On the continued theme of increasing trust in the cloud this week I’m adding a great quote published today by Impinj’s IT leader Morgan Van Wely.  Also a special call out to CloudVelox partner Options IO who partnered with CloudVelox and Impinj.

hybrid cloud DR

Morgan comments on how CloudVelox increased trust in Impinj’s hybrid cloud


CloudVelox Closes $15 million in Series C Funding

Adds Cisco Investments as Strategic Investor

Santa Clara, CA – February 12, 2015 – CloudVelox, a leader in hybrid cloud disaster recovery (DR) and migration, today announced that it has closed $15 million in Series C funding, bringing the total raised to $33 million. Cisco Investments participated as a strategic investor along with previous investors Mayfield Fund, Pelion Venture Partners and Third Point Ventures. CloudVelox plans to use the funding to build out sales and marketing and further expand its product development efforts.

The Company’s One Hybrid Cloud™ software platform enables seamless mobility of application workloads across data centers and clouds for hybrid cloud use cases, including Pilot Light DR and cloud migration.

Pilot Light DR involves the use of public cloud as a secondary data center. In the event of an outage, the stored environment in the cloud can be “ignited” into production on a pay-as-needed basis.  Testing and migration between the premise and the cloud is highly automated.  Benefits include substantial reductions in DR costs with heightened trust in DR environments.

CloudVelox cloud migration involves the automation of critical cloud migration processes, including discovery, blueprinting and provisioning of workloads from the data center into the cloud.  Benefits include faster and lower cost cloud migrations.

“This is a key milestone for CloudVelox, which supports our view of the market for hybrid cloud automation software,” said Rajeev Chawla, chief executive officer of CloudVelox. “The funding will help us to continue our product leadership while scaling our teams and resources for growing market demands for automated cloud DR and migration.”

Morgan Van Wely, senior director of IT at Impinj, a CloudVelox customer, said “CloudVelox reduced our expenses while making it much easier for us to actually use and test our environment in AWS. They have built an outstanding product that has greatly increased our trust in our hybrid cloud environment.”

About CloudVelox

CloudVelox is the first company to deliver an automated cloud DR and migration platform specifically developed for the unique operating demands of existing, multi-tier apps. Led by a deeply experienced team of system software and networking executives, CloudVelox gives data center teams the ability to easily protect, scale and mobilize their distributed apps and services into and between clouds, eliminating many of the major barriers to the enterprise adoption of cloud. For more information, please visit:



Posted by: Greg Ness | February 6, 2015

Hybrid Cloud DR Payoffs: Cost Savings plus Enhanced Trust

Cloud DR is as much about trust as it is about cost savings.

Cloud DR Payoffs: Cost Savings & Trust

A few weeks ago I had an email exchange with an exec at a semiconductor company that had just deployed Cloud DR on AWS, replacing a dedicated facility in another state.  As I asked him about the project I expected to hear about the reported $100k in capex savings. Instead of talking about their savings, he focused on the heightened trust the team gained with hybrid cloud automation:

“IT was spending significant portion of its budget and labor resources on a dedicated disaster recovery site in another state.  Due to limited staffing and low tolerance for downtime, these disaster recovery systems were seldom fully tested.  We were paying a lot for an infrastructure that would only provide benefits in the unlikely event of a major disaster, and still gave little confidence that the DR system would actually work when needed.”  – Senior Director – IT, Leading Semiconductor Company

The automation of testing and failover meant that his team could adopt a regular testing plan, something unfeasible with their previous traditional disaster recovery deployment.  Automation versus extensive manual processes meant that the environment could be easily tested on a regular basis.  Something uncommon for most organizations, especially those with checklist DR (DR environments deployed but rarely tested).

That notion of trust was recently echoed by another CloudVelox customer who referred to cloud DR as being “rock solid.” You can watch the 78 second video on our cloud DR blog.

Watch the video.  It's only 78 seconds.

Watch the video. It’s only 78 seconds.

Trusting Surgery to the Surgeons

Asheville’s CIO Jonathan Feldman was recently interviewed by Next City; he talked about the need for cities to trust the cloud for security. The following is from Why Asheville’s CIO Trusts the Cloud with His City:

“He says that while some IT guys have an emotional response to outsourcing systems (“We don’t trust the cloud, because it’s not us”), he thinks the cloud is the future for cities. Just as it makes more sense to go to the surgeon who’s done 150 similar operations, “you want a really experienced person doing your security. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, they get attacked every day and they’re good at it.”  – NextCity, Jan 29, 2015

A year ago that might have been a provocative statement, yet despite the surge in cloud adoption most of the recent high profile hacks have been targeting data behind firewalls in privately-owned data centers and retail locations.  This also came out last night when Mark Hurd was interviewed by Mark Anderson at the SNS Predictions event in San Francisco.

So the core driver of a cloud DR deployment may indeed be as much about enhanced trust as cost savings…

Flamingo Software Graphic

Cloud DR allows organizations to increase DR trust while reducing spend.

Cloud DR allows organizations to increase DR trust while reducing spend.

Just saw Why Asheville’s CIO Trusts the Cloud with His City this morning.  CIO Feldman has always been a trailblazer.  Yet I think he nailed the value proposition of the cloud for city governments operating under the strains of limited IT budgets and growing service demands:

A disaster recovery center is by definition redundant. Redundancy is good from a public safety standpoint, Feldman says, but terribly expensive, especially for a small city like Asheville (pop. 87,000), where the city’s IT budget is less than 2 percent of its overall budget. And the backups sit idle much of the year. “It’s a terrible use of taxpayer funds,” Feldman says.

He says that while some IT guys have an emotional response to outsourcing systems (“We don’t trust the cloud, because it’s not us”), he thinks the cloud is the future for cities. Just as it makes more sense to go to the surgeon who’s done 150 similar operations, “you want a really experienced person doing your security. Amazon, Microsoft, Google, they get attacked every day and they’re good at it.

Bravo Jonathan!  Not just for nailing the (trust) value prop but for leading the public sector to a new level of service, accountability and efficiency! Note: In February CIO Feldman will be receiving a CIO Impact award from Frost and Sullivan in cloud computing.  Last year Asheville won a City on a Cloud best practices grand prize from Amazon AWS.

Read more about Asheville’s leadership from their local newspaper. Great article!

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