“Old IT” needs to go. Cloud dynamics change everything. Service Providers know that because they’re facing all the same complex business and technology challenges that their clients face. Both need to align technology with business objectives. They want to increase efficiency, reduce complexity, decrease costs, and enhance business agility. They need to adapt.
But the new, the cloud, has to be better. It has to be better for customers and providers alike. Expectations for quality and adherence to service levels are high. Price pressures are constant. So, to be successful, a provider must solve their client’s problems first. If they do it wisely and well, profitability will follow for all.
At a high level, the objectives are clear and simple:
- Create innovative and differentiated cloud services
- Integrate, automate, simplify and scale operations
- Assure trust, security, performance and reliability
- Rapidly develop, introduce & monetize services
For good measure, how about painless and trouble-free? Too optimistic?
Let’s start with the technology challenges.
Technical Challenges – Building the Extraordinary Service Provider Cloud
Lots of technology challenges complicate the creation of a broad service catalog that can accommodate widely varied existing infrastructures. Service Providers must accommodate traditional internal IT organization constraints. They need to deal with existing applications, inefficient systems and difficulties repurposing legacy infrastructure. And they need to move from old to new as quickly as possible.
They must efficiently address all of the technical and operational challenges to take clients to cloud services from legacy systems. That means helping to ease and speed processes that on-board new clients. They need to do it at lower costs with assured service levels for performance, protection, security and ease-of-use.
Partners get the distinct technology advantages they need by using Actifio to help their clients take advantage of cloud resources. Virtualized data can be created from any brand of production storage. As client data is virtualized, it moves to the provider cloud where it can be placed on any available storage type. Because no storage brand-matching is required, SPs and their clients each gain a much more cost-effective cloud-path to effective SLAs.
Data protection, backup, and disaster recovery are all supported by virtual data in the SP recovery cloud. Customers can choose whatever compute platform they prefer. Providers use Actifio to deliver “orchestrated recovery” that reinstates all data as well as the application, operating system, and network settings. It’s a complete, virtualized Backup, Business Continuity, Archiving and Data Protection solution that can be delivered as a bundle or as individual services.
Customers can have SLAs tuned individually for each particular application to include RTO/RPO elements such as frequency of snaps per day, scheduled data movement between customer premises and the provider cloud, data recovery plans and long-term retention specifics. Also, The Resiliency Director discovers and stores all metadata and monitors changes for each VM and application to create simple, scripted and automated recovery plans that execute automatically.
This is more than multi-function virtualized data protection technology. It’s a sophisticated DevOps platform. And it’s all done behind a single pane of glass.
A case in Point
DataBank, a US provider of enterprise-class business solutions, is one Actifio partner featured in our new Service Provider Marketplace. Enabled by Actifio technology, DataBank created simple, powerful, and fast data backup services. They built a new service catalog that includes a Disaster Recovery service that incorporates non-disruptive testing – especially important for regulatory adherence by Financial Services and Healthcare clients. And they are providing customers with a DevOps toolkit that’s become a strategic means to achieve faster, better development results.
It is data virtualization that’s enabled DataBank‘s transformation of DevOps services. Customers get near-instant access to development resources, automated refresh from production snapshots and faster application development cycles with better code quality. Slow and cumbersome process has been replaced with automated workflows that decouple data from production infrastructure. Automated masking protects sensitive data. Beyond application development, virtual copies can be applied to testing, QA, analytics and more.
DataBank has enhanced their cloud solutions to move up the stack, become strategic. Their innovation has helped their clients innovate, to focus on applications instead of infrastructure. Clients are concentrating on services and capabilities, not underlying hardware or architecture. DataBank is now supporting decision makers, business leaders, and application developers. They are set apart from competitors and provide services beyond any capability that clients could achieve by themselves.
Have a look at the Service Provider Marketplace a to find a Provider that can provide for you.