Friday, 09 January 2015 08:01

Cloud not the answer to all enterprise application issues

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Cloud has its place, but - whether public, private or hybrid - it is not the be-all and end-all of enterprise computing.

One of the problems facing IT is where to run legacy applications, says Adrian De Luca, Asia Pacific chief technology officer at Hitachi Data Systems.

While organisations cannot or do not want to get rid of these applications, they do need to run them more efficiently, and in some cases make them available to mobile devices.

This can mean moving certain applications - or parts of applications - to the cloud.

"Australian companies already understand what different clouds are for," he told iTWire, but there is a need for ecosystems of vendors that work together to bring all the pieces together. "That ecosystem is evolving," he added.

And CIOs are becoming increasingly business savvy. They realise, for example, how important agility is, and realise that the business cannot wait six months for something to be implemented.

They are mapping required business attributes onto a wider range of technology, and making reasoned decisions about implementations. If a particular project calls for a MySQL server, should it run on the company's own servers or in a public cloud, for instance.

Where an organisation needs to operate at 'web speed', software-defined technologies (software defined storage, software defined networking, etc) are crucial, he said. But across an enterprise, there are still some very predictable workloads. It makes sense to leave these where they are, De Luca told iTWire, as there is no cost or agility benefit to moving them to the cloud - especially as there would be a real cost to rebuilding or rearchitecting those systems.

It's better, he said, to concentrate on making those applications run faster, better or cheaper by using technologies such as containerisation.

But no single vendor can provide answers to all the associated problems. "This is why a lot of big companies are going to smaller vendors to solve particular problems," said De Luca.

"It all comes back to ecosystems."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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