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On-Demand Cloud Services: Talking Cloud with Azure and Actifio, Part 1

What are on demand cloud services

In this 6 part series, Actifio and Azure get together to discuss a multitude of cloud based topics.  This is the first post in the series between @jlivens and @Kloud_Karl about on-demand cloud services.


Giovanni Tropeano:  Good day everyone! My name is Giovanni Tropeano.  I’m the Director of Digital Marketing with Actifio.  And I want to thank you for tuning in and joining us today.  I’m joined today by Karl Rautenstrauch; Karl is the Senior Program Manager for Azure Storage with Microsoft.  And we also have Jay Livens with us, Jay Livens is a Senior Director of Product Marketing with Actifio.  We got together today and we wanted to chat a little bit about the cloud, about the Azure storage and about data in general.  So I want to thank you guys for being with us today. And just to begin, I wanted to chat a little bit about ‘on demand cloud.’ I think businesses are looking to manage a cloud in different ways or manage a data in different ways using the cloud.  Just the idea of having accessibility to the cloud in ‘on-demand’ ways is something that a lot businesses are curious about.  What are you seeing out there regarding ‘on-demand cloud services?


Karl Rautenstrauch:   Great question, Gio. So, you know that is certainly the biggest and most attractive aspect of public cloud platforms for customers in general.  And I think that’s changed over the last couple of years. Initially, customers were drawn to public cloud because they saw the potential for huge cost savings by moving from a CapEx to an OpEx model for IT services delivery.  And while there are — certainly are some potential cost savings with public cloud platform, the real virtue is the “on-demand” services. And what do we mean by that, what exactly is an on demand service? Well, it’s access to compute resources, network resources, storage resources that are available when you need them without going through the traditional, lengthy justification and procurement cycle.  So, I will give you a great example, I worked with a customer very early on when I started with the Azure team about five years ago, who had a seasonal demand on their web traffic. And this is a very simple example, but it’s a great illustration of what “on-demand” services are and how they benefit customers.

So in their case, every year when they ran their commercial during the super bowl, they saw a tremendous increase in traffic to their website, driven by — an incentive driven by a program that they announced during that commercial.  And they had a very high profile failure, unfortunately, that put them in the news in the wrong way, right? Shortly after they moved that website to Azure and they run that website during the super bowl in Azure to handle that activity that on-demand, unpredictable, bursting nature of traffic coming to their sites.  So that’s a great example and there are many others that we are going to talk about during our webcast here, but it means that you don’t need to go out and acquire resources that are going to sit on your floor and be idle most of the time. You are not going to have wasted compute cycles, wasted storage capacities sitting there waiting for you to fill it up or to meet that that capability.  It’s there when you need it without having to ask anybody or have lead time to get access to it. That’s really what on-demand services in the cloud offer.


Jay Livens:  What I would add I think is the flexibility and benefits you get are tremendous.  But the challenge that I think that some customers have and we’ve seen a lot, is how they can get what might be their traditional on-premises infrastructure and specifically the on-premises data, because it can often be quite large.  How do they get that to Azure effectively so that they can really leverage that benefit of the scale-out, the flexibility, the dynamic compute access? And so there’s a whole piece around that as well that I think customers don’t always think about.  I mean the benefits are there, there’s no doubt, but sometimes you have to remember that it can be a big challenge to actually get there. And so part of the challenge I have been thinking about is, “Hey I’ve got this great solution in Azure that I can benefit from this massive scale.  But, how do I make sure that I can get my environment in there so that it’s ready for the super bowl commercial, as Karl mentioned, or is ready for whatever big rush I expect? And then also, maybe I need to bring it back when it’s not. Or maybe I need to balance it between on-premises in the cloud, so I can leverage the best of the cloud with whatever other investments I might have.


Karl Rautenstrauch:  Yeah, absolutely, I couldn’t agree more Jay.  So, these services are nothing without the underlying data and unless you are building “Net-New” which is something that we’ll talk about shortly as well, you’re bringing data with you.  You’re bringing the legacy of that application and you need to bring an application ware copy of that data set with you or those services are pretty meaningless. You can turn them on; they’re not going to do much without the underlying data.

Continue reading:  What do on-demand cloud services look like?


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