I’ve been asked, “What is World Wide Technology’s cloud strategy?”
To answer, it’s helpful to first provide some background on WWT and I’ll borrow from our company profile. For over 20 years now, World Wide has been a systems integrator and VAR of technology products and services to businesses and government entities around the world. We have over 1,300 employees and a dozen supply chain integration centers across the U.S. We support our customers with award winning customer service and a full portfolio of products and services including project planning, design, logistics, implementation and managed services.
As you might imagine, over the course of 20 years, a company evolves and adapts to the marketplace and opportunities. It has been quite a transformation in just the past three years or so to see WWT evolve and strengthen our expertise in virtualization and overall solutions capabilities within the four walls our customers’ data centers.
The next question is, “What is the Cloud?” I’ve written before that there are many definitions of cloud computing. In a post about a year ago I suggested that:
Cloud computing is a new twist on a historical computing model: timesharing. Powered by Moore’s law of ever increasing power, Cloud computing is a framework built on open, internet-based technologies to deliver and manage business applications as a service (or utility.)
As a company, we’ve settled on using NIST’s definition which has become the standard in our conversations and workshops with customers:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.
What’s common in most definitions is that customers, from a business perspective, want a computing framework or model that is flexible, scalable and economical–that hasn’t changed in the past 25 years, or so, I’ve been in the industry.
NIST’s definition is useful since it clears up some “cloud confusion” by describing three distinct deployment models: private, public and hybrid and adds a fourth, community, which is actually a public or hybrid cloud for a specific community that has shared concerns/interested.
With all that as background, World Wide’s Cloud strategy is simply to:
- Help customers design and build the virtualization infrastructure to enable private, public and hybrid clouds. We have deep expertise with industry leading architectures, Vblock, FlexPod and Matrix, from our strategic technology partners: Cisco, EMC, HP, NetApp, VMware and Citrix. With the underlying technologies, these architectures provide the foundation for our customers’ applications and technology solutions including server consolidation, virtual desktop, tier-one applications, backup, disaster recovery, and many others.
- We engage our customers with a proven, methodical approach that typically begins with workshops and assessments. Our goal is to consult with our customers to ultimately generate a roadmap and plan to build-out a virtualized infrastructure to support their private, public or hybrid cloud deployment model.
In just the past three years, World Wide has developed a great deal of expertise working with the world’s largest enterprises, government agencies and telecom/service providers to help them build-out their cloud computing environments. This year alone, we’ve conducted over 125 workshops and assessments for Fortune 1000 accounts and federal agencies.
Our experience has lead us to create production demonstration systems that provide our customers a hands-on view of three strategic architectures, Vblock, FlexPod and Matrix. We had them all live on the VMworld show floor. Today, we have all three running in our St. Louis Technology Demonstration Center. These demonstrations are available in St. Louis or we can bring them to our customers. In fact, we’ve had a road show where we’ve presented the UCS architecture using high-definition video and hands on training to over 600 customers in 50 cities.
As we consult with customers and work with our partners, we continue to evolve our existing focus areas of virtualization, compute, storage, networking and facilities to add the additional areas of orchestration, security and managed services. We also believe that Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a key service model most customers are looking to deploy.
One of the main tenants of a cloud computing is self service. It affords the consumer the ability to select compute requirements that are automatically provisioned, managed and returned to the resource pool when no longer needed. There are many software management tools – from legacy application providers to up-and-comers – to choose from that enable the consumption of the infrastructure and the ability to provide access to those resources. Our latest efforts surround these new sets of orchestration tools. We have developed intellectual property and expertise to help accelerate cloud deployment projects with our customers.
WWT’s cloud strategy is really not that much different from what we’ve been doing for 20 years: providing enabling technology to help customers meet their business needs and address some of the challenges they face. To sum up our strategy, World Wide is here to help our customers transform the way they do the business of IT using cloud technology.
If you’d like to discuss or learn more about World Wide’s Cloud Strategy, feel free to comment or email me.