Going to the Cloud: Stories from the Frontlines

Enterprise IT heads to share their experience transitioning to cloud-based service models

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

March 8, 2016

3 Min Read
Going to the Cloud: Stories from the Frontlines
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

You hear a lot from vendors and leading industry experts at data center shows, and they have a lot of good, insightful information to share. But some of the most interesting sessions are often people talking about projects they’ve done in their own data centers or IT departments, sharing stories of their successes and failures. These are rare glimpses at theory applied in practice – stories that most of the time don’t travel beyond the circle of those immediately involved.

A number of real-world stories about enterprise IT shops making the transition to cloud – public and private, IaaS and SaaS – are lined up for next week’s Data Center World Global conference in Las Vegas. Here are some of the highlights from the list of data center frontline stories you’ll have a chance to hear:

Juniper IT Goes from 18 Data Centers to 50 Racks

Bob Worrall, senior VP and CIO of the networking technology giant Juniper, will share his experience transforming the company’s IT infrastructure by modernizing its application platform and migrating to cloud. The company set a target for a zero data center footprint for corporate IT in order to innovate faster and improve how corporate applications functioned. Between 2011 and January 2016, Juniper went from 18 data centers to just one with only 50 racks, resulting in significant cost savings and increased efficiency.

School District Transitioning to Cloud

Andrew Moore, CIO of the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, will talk about his experience in transitioning an organization that serves more than 34,000 end users to the cloud, from moving calendars, email, and collaboration systems, to the more complex transition of the ERP and other mission critical applications. Topics will include security, access from anywhere, organizational considerations with ways to effectively manage them, change management needs, transition from a capital to expense budget model, and reduce the physical space needed to house traditional on-premise data centers.

Healthcare Provider Switches to as-a-Service Model

St. Joseph Health System data center manager Shawn Arcus and the system’s VP of infrastructure and operations Robert Rice will talk about the key cost considerations they’ve learned are necessary before changing the service model. Prior to potentially changing any service model, it is wise to know your current internal cost, and which portions of that cost may be modified if the service model changes, including fluctuating and hidden costs.

Medical Center Implements SaaS

Joe Furmanski, director of data center facilities and technology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, will share his organization’s experience with implementing Software-as-a-Service: Where is SaaS a good fit? When may it be better to host on-premise? Who manages the application, and how can it impact your enterprise? Where does your data reside, and how should you approach disaster recovery planning, management of software upgrades and features? What are your direct costs beyond the SaaS fee? And, what is the impact on your network and security?

Mapping Software Company Explores Public Cloud

John Parker, disaster recovery and global data center operations manager at ESRI, a mapping software services company, will talk about understanding the cost of public cloud, including cloud VMs, networking, storage, data transfer, and other expenses. In a separate session, he will talk about identifying applications that are best fit for public cloud and about his company’s experience transitioning to the cloud and the unexpected issues that arose as a result.

Join these IT leaders and 1,300 more of your peers at Data Center World Global 2016, March 14-18, in Las Vegas, NV, for a real-world, “get it done” approach to converging efficiency, resiliency and agility for data center leadership in the digital enterprise. More details on the Data Center World website.

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