By Grant Kirkwood, CTO, Unitas Global

Dealing with the Challenges and Opportunities of Leveraging OpenStackOpenStack offers numerous advantages for the enterprise: agility, flexibility, no more hardware/software vendor lock-in, and a focus on enterprise applications versus infrastructure.  But what’s likely the most exciting benefit? Improved productivity resulting from accelerated revenue growth and automation of tasks. Yet despite great advancements, OpenStack remains challenging for most organizations to implement. While stories of the Fortune 100 adopting OpenStack are aspirational (even inspirational!), most organizations lack the resources to bring successful OpenStack deployments to fruition. This situation is compounded by the challenge of navigating a complex ecosystem. Just figuring out how to start is challenging enough. The technology may be the easy part. It’s the implementation and understanding the ‘why’ of cloud and software, and what the true business objectives are; that’s where it gets tricky.

Before beginning an OpenStack cloud deployment, it’s all about the roadmap. It is vital to review the primary reasons for the cloud implementation and determine what pain points will be alleviated. Some drivers behind cloud deployment include the desire to reduce cost and improve the ability to execute strategy. Cloud migration is a business decision, not a technology decision. OpenStack is the means for building the platform, not the reason for the migration. The question to ask is, how will migrating applications to the cloud enhance business processes, not why don’t we deploy cloud?

An enterprise also needs to review whether it has the resources to build and manage the cloud infrastructure or if it would be better served by buying cloud infrastructure. Most companies would rather focus on applications than infrastructure, and many face challenges in integrating and managing their OpenStack platforms because they lack the proper tools and experience. A company also needs to maintain an entire cloud practice to keep the cloud and the applications that reside in it functioning and accessible to the employees, customers, and business partners needing those applications, regardless of the users’ location.

The Unitas Global session, “The Challenges and Opportunities of Leveraging OpenStack,” on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m., is designed for the enterprise IT leader evaluating the merits of OpenStack and considering implementing this transformational technology within their organization. Our team will examine the principal methods of consumption (appliance, distribution, hosted service, etc.) and the pros and cons of each. The format will be informative, while purposely a touch controversial to spark a lively debate. The session will cover a business case for OpenStack, overcoming fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), ways to navigate, evaluate and adopt OpenStack, and how to enable many of the benefits that OpenStack delivers.

Cloud migration should be an evolution based on a planned and disciplined approach that analyzes applications and workloads, and moves software development and operations integration to an agile-enabled methodology to ensure a no-surprises success. A cloud implementation can be a complicated process from start to finish as goals are established, resources allocated and end users are brought on. Join us on April 5 and get armed with the information you need to take advantage of OpenStack.