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Cloud modernization approach – Part One

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[co-authored by Debasis Roy Choudhuri]

This blog series focuses on how to modernize the IT environment of an organization in a methodical way. Part one covers the introduction and an assessment approach of an IT infrastructure and application, while part two covers the adoption model to modernize the IT environment based on the assessment results.

Cloud computing is now an industry buzz word. We have all heard about various characteristics and features of cloud offering that a company can deploy, leveraging computing resources quickly and getting an early return on investment (ROI). There are numerous service providers available in the market to sell cloud platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). Service providers are relentlessly trying to position their services towards enabling applications across industries into the cloud platform.

When we think about cloud services, it’s a structured offering with a set of pre-defined hardware, platform and technology stacks to cater to various business objectives. A majority of the offerings in the market are related to either buying a new service or deploying a green field application workload into a cloud platform defined by a service provider. However, the following questions remain unanswered:

  • Is enough thought being given to modernize existing applications into cloud where organizations have invested heavily running core business processes?
  • Can we leverage existing business process, rules and workflows which are assets to the organization business success in transforming to newer cloud adaptable applications?

Now, CIOs have started exploring these options in their cloud journey which can reap business benefits reducing cost of operation and providing business agility.

This article is focused on architectural guiding principles and the decision making process to enable CIOs to make applications modernization into cloud environment.

IT Infrastructure and Application Assessment

Discovery of a client’s Infrastructure and Application Inventory are the first key steps toward the cloud modernization journey. This phase helps in understanding the existing IT environment and uncovering application functional and nonfunctional characteristics like source environment details such as server type, operating system, hardware model, workload utilization, CPU, memory and storage capacity and utilization data are captured using various automated tools and scripts.

This assessment should be performed by a discovery process run by certain tools and technology to capture the source environment information. This can be server type, operating system, current hardware model and current workload utilization. Other non-functional requirements (NFR) such as availability, performance, security posture, business criticality and legal restrictions for application hosting in some specific locations/geography are also to be considered which plays a critical role in delineating cloud adoption model. Discovery Data Collection is performed through:

  • Automated data collection scripts such as but not limited to TADDM, CIRBA, VMWare discovery script or custom data collection script
  • Capturing behavioral characteristics such as other NFRs described above through interviewing the application owner, application SME, business support functions, system administrators

In summary, IT Infrastructure and Application Assessment gives us a platform to analyze the current environment of the client and develop a solution accordingly. Based on the assessment results, the cloud readiness of the organization can be understood and further it would be applied in solution design, adopting the various cloud offering model, which is covered in the part two of this article.

Biswajit Mohapatra is an IBM Certified Consultant and Global Integrated Delivery Leader for IBM AMS Business Application Modernization (BAM) practice. Biswajit is IBM India Competency Head for Global Specialized Application Modernization (AM) and Conversions & Migration (C&M) Competency.   Biswajit has 17 years of multi-functional experience in the IT industry spanning across consulting, defining technology roadmap, solution architecting, offering incubation, technology innovation, solutioning, capacity and capability development, establishing practice based teams, large account management with P&L responsibility, customer/partner/alliance relationship management, heading delivery center of strategic business unit and leading global integrated delivery. Biswajit is experienced in using disciplines and tools of business process redesign, business architecture and technology innovation to help organizations realize their transformation objectives. Biswajit’s current responsibility includes growth of Application Portfolio Rationalization, Application Analysis and Implementation Roadmap, Business Rules Extraction, Porting, Conversion, Restructuring, Re-engineering, Consolidation, Web Enablement, Legacy to SOA and Cloud Modernization Business.

Debasis Roy Choudhuri is an IBM Certified Senior Architect and lead architect of Business Application Modernization, IBM Global delivery. He has 15 years Industry experience, encompassing a wide range of skill set, roles across the verticals. He is specialized in Application Infrastructure Design, Server Consolidation, Workload Migration from legacy system to various virtualized and cloud environment He has an extensive experience with architecture & design, customizations and implementation of various transformation solutions. He was involved several complex Data Center separation engagements since 2006. He is also Certification Review Board member for Architecture Review Board (India). He is currently working for cloud solution engagements for IBM ANZ clients.

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