Business Transformation through Cloud Evolution

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Business Transformation through Cloud Evolution A Huawei White Paper by Allan Mow, Gracen Duffield, Lu Xi September, 2015
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Transcript of Business Transformation through Cloud Evolution

  • Business Transformation through Cloud EvolutionA Huawei White Paper by Allan Mow, Gracen Duffield, Lu Xi

    September, 2015

  • CONTENTS

    5 End-State Cloud Transformation......................................................9

    3 Transformation Journey....................................................................6

    2 The Challenges Driving Telco IT Transformation..............................2

    4 Transformation Process....................................................................8

    1 Introduction.......................................................................................1

    6 Conclusion......................................................................................12

    8 About the Authors...........................................................................14

    7 References.....................................................................................13

    2.1 High Total Cost of Ownership....................................................................................22.2 Lack of Agility.............................................................................................................32.3 Lack of Visibility.........................................................................................................42.4 Maturity......................................................................................................................42.5 Challenge Summary..................................................................................................5

    3.1 Technology Evolution...............................................................................................63.2 Operational Maturity..................................................................................................63.3 Flexible Cloudification...............................................................................................7

    5.1 Long-Term Commitment..........................................................................................105.2 Deployment Strategy...............................................................................................11

  • 1

    A recent study found that telecommunications service providers in developed markets allocate 3.9% to 8.0% of gross revenues to IT (Felden 2014). This is a significant outlay of funds, particularly in light of the shift in revenues away from voice and traditional data and into IT and cloud services. Telcos are seeking to reduce traditional IT costs and expand their investment in non-traditional services. These demands have placed increased pressure on CIOs to maximize efficiency while at the same time providing a foundation for new services. Adding to the challenge is another trend in IT budgets: as more firms grow digital business units, the control of IT innovation budgets will migrate to lines of business (Gartner 2014).

    This whitepaper draws from experience with two multi-national telcos (referred to as Operator A and Operator B) to illustrate the key challenges that drove them to seek transformation. Like many telco operators, they faced aging, siloed infrastructure with limited shared resources, vendor lock-in issues, and process maturity gaps.

    Transformation from a traditional data center to a cloud data center is the path chosen by telcos to overcome the challenges listed above. Transformation is more than just new hardware; telco data center transformation includes business transformation, maturity evolution, infrastructure modernization, as well as resource consolidation and intelligent virtualization to increase utilization.

    1 Introduction

    Figure 1: Service-Driven Distributed Cloud Data Center

    Telecom ICT Transformation to support new business demands

    Real-time, On-demand, All-online, DIY, and Social (ROADS)

    has become the major trend in the industry.

    PrimaryProduction Data Center

    Unified Service and Technology Management

    VDC 2 VDC NVDC 1

    SDN

    Heterogeneous Server, Storage & Network

    Seco

    nd D

    ata

    Cen

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    OpenStack API

    WAN

    OpenStack API

    Real Time

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    All Online

    DIY

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    Telco CIOs want to transform IT so that they can control traditional costs and expand support for new projects. A typical budget transformation includes reducing overall traditional IT costs by 20%, reducing TCO for existing infrastructure and applications by 10-12%, and increasing spending for innovation by 15% (as percentages of the total budget):

    2 The Challenges Driving Telco IT Transformation

    Figure 2: Financial Benefits of Transformation

    Through recent engagements with telco CIOs who sought to transform their IT, several key challenges have emerged as common problems:

    2.1 High Total Cost of Ownership

    Our customer field experience shows there are a number of factors causing high operating cost:

    Low Utilization

    In our experience, the average CPU utilization for a non-virtualized server ranges from 10% to 20%, with highest peak utilization rarely more than 60%. IT systems are often designed with extraordinary peak loads in mind; once-per-year Black Friday and Chinese New Year e-commerce capacity sits idle for most of the year, while financial reporting utilizes peak-load capacity at the end of the fiscal years. The excess capacity required for these separate activities stands idle the rest of the year. Low utilization is a symptom of the larger issue of non-

    Virtualization is not a panacea for low utilization. In the case of Operator A, the ITO partner had been put under pressure to virtualize compute resources, without any specific utilization goals. As a result, almost 1/3rd of physical servers hosted only one virtual machine; instead of using virtualization to drive down the overall number of physical servers and improve utilization, the ITO provider had met the metric set by the Operator IT department without significant change in utilization. Consolidation and resource sharing are the key to leveraging unused resources.

    (Source: Gartner, Huawei Market Intelligence)

    New Innovation & Enhancements

    21%

    Traditional IT Budget Allocation

    60%

    19%

    Admin

    Desired Transformation

    20%

    35%

    48%

    17%

    Reduction in Total Costs Through Efficiency, Consolidation & Automation

    New Innovation &Enhancements

    ExistingInfrastructure &

    Apps

    Admin

    ExistingInfrastructure &

    Apps

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    shared resources.

    Vendor Lock-In

    Negotiations with vendors for discounts on renewal of existing technology licenses and hardware are impossible when an operator is dependent on the vendors proprietary technology. In some cases the lock-in is more subtle; there are vendor certified configurations that qualify for vendor support, but non-certified configurations which may function at the same level as the certified configuration are not supported.

    Aging Equipment

    Aging equipment creates an unnecessary cost burden in multiple ways. The physical size of older equipment occupies scarce data center space. Older equipment creates more heat and consumes more electricity than modern equipment. Support costs also increase as components wear out.

    2.2 Lack of Agility

    As business units develop new digital and cloud service offerings, the IT department must be able to support the diverse demands of the business with minimal lead time. Telco CIOs must address the causes of rigidity to ensure competitive time-to-market delivery:

    Dedicated and Segregated Infrastructure

    Rigid infrastructure encourages segregated use of resources, causing new projects to require dedicated infrastructure, leading to procurement and installation delays. The low utilization ratios that lead to higher TCO also influence agility; resources that are not shared cannot be deployed as needed, and instead sit idle.

    The traditional, siloed approach to IT infrastructure results in complex application integration, a mish-mash of software platforms, and limited data sharing. Because supporting each system requires different skills and knowledge, it is very hard to adopt a shared service model to bring efficiency and save cost.

    Capacity Constraints

    When resources are not effectively shared, unnecessary capacity

    For Operator B, most applications were hosted on dedicated servers. A direct result of this silo-based IT landscape was that, in one of the clients opcos, the average CPU utilization of servers was only 16%. Despite the low utilization, the client could not deploy new applications because of a lack of available compute resources. Additionally, one IT director reported that the backup of those siloed applications is very inefficient and, if a quick recovery is necessary due to some event, [there will be] a big challenge in terms of effort and risk.

  • 4

    constraints hinder IT delivery. Data centers with near-full physical capacity require additional buildouts to house new projects. Unfortunately, in many cases, the resources exist but go unused.

    When 70% of its servers reached End-Of-Support-Life. Operator B found its applications could not be moved to available servers due to licensing and configuration restrictions. However, Operator B could not afford to renew the equipment nor extend the warranty service. One frustrated IT director shared his dilemna: I have only VMware as virtualization, and I have to spend 200K USD for 100 VMware SRM licenses. However, an OpenStack-based solution is only half the price.

    2.3 Lack of Visibility

    In the preceding two sections focused on TCO and Agility, one common theme stands out. The problems are exacerbated by a lack of decision-level presentation of KPIs and other measures.

    Limited Standard Architecture and Processes

    In many cases, opcos have operated independently in the past, or were added to the telco group through merger and acquisition. Diverse tools, reporting structures, and management portals are used across the IT landscape. As a result, there is no single, consolidated, real-time view of telco resources across the enterprise.

    Performance Management

    Most telcos have reactive monitoring in place that alerts support staff when an asset is down or severely degraded; however, without an end-to-end performance management tool, it is often difficult to quickly identify the cause of the performance issues.

    Service Level Management

    In order to show improvement, telco IT must report the status of SLA attainment and key performance indicators to the CEO and often CFO. SLA management often focuses on specific task completion metrics, but for the executive level, what is more important is a bridge between service level attainment and financial implications.

    2.4 Maturity

    A comprehensive cloud transformation ensures that the maturity of an organization is improved to make full use of the cloud technologies available.

    Support Maturity

    Many support organizations find they are bound by their current processes, tools, and technology. Often, manual processes, workflow

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    tracking and poor change management create unnecessary risks for stability and impact availability.

    Disaster Recovery, Availability, and Service Levels

    In too many instances, telcos find that their existing DR capabilities are untested, with impacts to availability and service level attainment. Also, SLA management may not be automated, and the focus is on captured results, not proactive management. In order to shorten time to market, service requirements must be vetted against current availability and DR capabilities. Vendor management complexity is often burdensome.

    2.5 Challenge Summary

    Telco IT must improve efficiency and build a foundation for new customer-facing services. In order to achieve this goal, the organization must drive down total cost of ownership by improving resource utilization, reducing excess capacity, and avoiding vendor lock-in. The total cost of ownership for older equipment must be analyzed to reduce power, cooling, and facilities costs. Automation through better management tools must be pursued to reduce the amount of labor expended on low-value tasks.

    Reducing cost is only half of the battle. The creation of new revenue streams based on IT services will require increased agility and shorter time to market, including shared heterogeneous resources intelligently managed through a standard platform. Siloed symptoms visibility for capacity, performance, and SLA attainment, and provides support for integration with partners and suppliers.

    Operator A could not produce a consolidated report showing the capacity of each of the domains of its infrastructure and application layers. Servers, storage, backup, and network teams used distinct tools to capture this information, and without a working CMDB, there was no way to broadly correlate the raw data with services. As one technology support lead explained, We can gather the numbers, but we cant show why it matters without a lot of manual effort.

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    3 Transformation Journey

    3.1 Technology Evolution

    Transformation begins with server and storage virtualization, then evolves into shared resource pool architecture. Resource pooling requires unified management tools, performance monitoring, capacity, SLA, etc. Once a firm foundation has been established, the next stage provides service virtualization and consolidation, and finally culminating in a distributed virtual data center landscape. When these steps are complete, the telco is able to utilize resources from shared repositories independent of location, dynamically allocated, with on-demand elasticity.

    Figure 3: Stages of Transformation

    3.2 Operational Maturity

    Bill Gates once said, Technology applied to an efficient operation will magnify efficiency; technology applied to an inefficient operation will magnify inefficiency.

    An efficient cloud data center requires mature processes and operations. Day-to-day operations, ITIL Process frameworks, and technology domain readiness should all be included in the assessment.

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    By implementing practical improvement plans, telcos can be sure that their people, process and technology are aligned to support the transformation to cloud and provide business value.

    Figure 4: Assessment Domains and Maturity Levels

    3.3 Flexible Cloudification

    Transformation should create a foundation of both technology and processes that can support broad business goals. Many telcos first deploy an internal operation cloud, for OSS and BSS optimization, and new Big Data applications. Services are developed for external customers to provide IaaS, XaaS, and other services. NFV and Network Support create the dynamic network functions needed for the next generation of cloud services for customers as sophistication increases.

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    Figure 5: Multi-Purpose Cloud Infrastructure

    4 Transformation Process

    The progression of activities for Transformation includes Strategy, Discovery and Analysis, Planning and Design, Build, and Optimization:

    Figure 6: Process Stages

    Discovery & Analysis

    Implementation

    Continuous Improvement

    Strategy

    Install & Configure Test & Validate Deploy Infrastructure

    Solution Migrate Applications UAT

    Validate Solution:- Functioning Correctly- Acceptable Performance

    Plan Future Optimizations

    Design Architecture Document Design

    Specifications Plan Roadmap Design Migration

    Waves

    Assess Current State (Maturity, Efficiency, Application Dependency)

    Gather Requirements Identify Gaps Recommend

    Improvements Analyze TCO

    Assess Business & Technical Challenges

    Understand Customer Goals

    Educate and Align to Industry Trends and Opportunities

    Define High-Level Action Plan

    Strategy Focuses All Subsequent Phases to Ensure Value

    Planning & Design

  • 9

    Strategy defines what a company will do, and also what a company will not do. Industry trends are as important as pain points; moving towards new opportunities will bring long-term success, while overcoming chronic problems frees resources to focus on new objectives. Discovery and analysis compares the current state of IT to the desired end state in order to identify gaps and requirements. Assessment of multiple dimensions (not just technology) ensures that people, process, and technology can meet the demands of strategy. After analysis is complete, a detailed plan and design for each stage of transformation is created. Implementation steps, execution run books, and migration waves are fully defined before actions commence. Deployment of each phase of transformation includes installation of new cloud architecture, testing and validation, and knowledge transfer. Services are validated and optimized in the last stage, including continuous improvement guidance to ensure continued excellence.

    5 End-State Cloud Transformation

    Transformation from a traditional data center to a cloud data center is the path chosen by telcos to overcome the challenges highlighted in the preceding sections. Transformation is more than just new hardware; telco data center transformation includes business transformation, infrastructure modernization (integration and migration) as well as resource consolidation and intelligent virtualization to increase utilization.

    A d is t r ibuted c loud based archi tecture wi th point - to-point interconnection and unified resource management is the best choice for telco's next generation data center. For multi-national operators, cloudified data centers in different regions and stages allow the operator to scale into a logical resource pool that incorporates physical and virtual resources. This allows telcos to achieve unified management, presentation, and operation.

  • 10

    Figure 7: Service-Driven Distributed Cloud Data Center

    5.1 Long-Term Commitment

    Any telco starting a cloud transformation journey requires a unified, consistent and long-term vision that addresses the particular needs of the telecommunications industry:

    Comprehensive

    The architecture must satisfy CT and IT requirements for current and future implementations.

    Inclusive

    The architecture must be open and support heterogeneous devices so that telcos can benefit from low-cost COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) hardware and software.

    Agile

    Virtual Data Center (VDC) structure deploys applications and services quickly and accelerates the time to market of new business.

    PrimaryProduction Data Center

    Unified Service and Technology Management

    VDC 2 VDC NVDC 1

    SDN

    Heterogeneous Server, Storage & Network

    Seco

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    Unified

    Unified and simplified operation and management of both cloud and non-cloud; physical & virtual; and uniquely heterogeneous architectures brings efficiency and cost savings in operations and management.

    5.2 Deployment Strategy

    In order to obtain cost benefits and avoid vendor lock-in, telco IT often employs a diversified hypervisor strategy. IDC notes that it is normal for IT environments to include more than one brand of hypervisor (Chen 2013). Gartner has also confirmed this trend in more recent analysis: 75% of companies surveyed in 2015 will have a dual-hypervisor strategy for virtualization and cloud (Osborne 2015). A dual-hypervisor approach helps to balance risk management and cost optimization. However, this approach induces complex operations of multi-hypervisor environments and higher operating costs in the long run. In order to overcome this complexity, deploying an open cloud platform (e.g. OpenStack) on top of a diversity of hypervisors provides unified and efficient management, and also maintains a cost-effective operating environment.

    Future Focus

    Telco CIOs spend a large portion of their effort on improving the operations and maintenance of the IT landscape. At the same time, they need to pay serious attention to innovation in order to meet business demands. Therefore, when the CIO considers constructing a platform to support his/her Cloud strategy, OpenStack, an open-source cloud platform, shall not be overlooked. According to the cloud transformation study, by leveraging OpenStack, Over 30% of cost savings can be achieved when comparing to the commercially proprietary cloud platform.

    Legacy Support

    Risks associated with the migration of applications to a new cloud platform must be taken into consideration. Migrating less critical applications to the open cloud platform first can minimize transformation risks and immediately realize the cost-saving benefits. It also allows IT staff to accumlate experience with open cloud as they develop the cloud ecosystem.

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    6 Conclusion

    Cloud transformation achieves two goals of reduced cost and increased capabilities to ensure future business value from expanded IT offerings. Transformation is more than just new hardware; Teleco IT transformation includes business transformation, maturity evolution, infrastructure modernization, as well as resource consolidation and intelligent virtualization to increase utilization.

    Lower TCO

    Cloud architectures help reduce total cost of ownership through shared resources arranged in consolidated frameworks managed by highly-automated unified management systems. Heterogeneous commodity equipment is integrated in the system through open technology protocols using multiple hypervisors running on commodity hardware.

    Agility & Visibility

    Cloud architectures increase agility and improve time to market by deploying shared resources instead of relying on cumbersome procurement processes. The current capacity, performance and KPI levels are easily understood for better decision support.

    Maturity

    A comprehensive cloud transformation ensures that the maturity of an organization is improved to make full use of the cloud technologies available.

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    7 References

    [1] Chen, Gary. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization #231938R1. Whitepaper, Framingham, MA USA: IDC, 2013.

    [2] Felden, F. Paving the Paths to New Revenue. Boston: Boston Consulting Group, 2014.

    [3] Gartner. The Four Futures of IT When Digital Business Makes Every Budget an IT Budget. Research Note,

    Stamford, CT, USA: Gartner, Inc., 2014.

    [4] Gartner. Winning Asset Management Strategies. 8.0 IT Spending: How Do You Stack Up? Executive Report,

    New York, NY: Gartner, 2003.

    [5] Huawei Technologies. Next Generation Innovative Data Center Architecture. Whitepaper, Shenzhen,

    China: Huawei, 2013.

    [6] Osborne, Charlie. Gartner: The top trends shaping the face of cloud services by 2020. 22 June 2015. http://www.

    zdnet.com/article/the-top-trends-shaping-the-face-of-cloud-services-by-2020/ (accessed Sept 5, 2015).

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    8 About the Authors

    We are a professional team specializing in Cloud Data Center / IT Strategy, Transformation and Architecture. On

    average, our consultants have over 15 years of industry experience.

    We understand that your business transformation via Cloud evolution is crucial in reducing costs, improving

    productivity and becoming more agile than your competitors. We will work with your team to develop a

    comprehensive strategy, roadmap and pragmatic action plan for your IT transformation to speed time-to-value

    and deliver measurable business results. Our evaluative benchmarking analysis includes current and future state

    assessments, value and architectural modeling and process optimization insight.

    Allan Mow Gracen Duffield Lu Xi

    Data Center Consulting, Business & Network Consulting

  • www.huawei.com