By Sramana Mitra and guest author Shaloo Shalini
What is the contribution of cloud computing in today’s rapidly evolving enterprise data center – is it speed, efficiency, lower costs, or more? Cloud adoption is driven today as much by time to market as by the cost and efficiency considerations. Businesses demand a data center that is responsive to the IT needs of the organization. The next-generation data center is flexible; easy to manage; highly efficient in terms of performance with lower costs for deployment and operation; actively harness technologies such as virtualization; has mechanisms for improved power and cooling; and incorportates cloud computing and its new business models.
In the following interview with Sramana, Dave Hart shares his views on the impact of cloud computing in today’s enterprise data center. Dave believes that private and hybrid cloud options are the most viable path for mid to large enterprises journey into the cloud. On the topic of blue-sky opportunities for entrepreneurs in cloud computing domain, Dave thinks that the strategy of coming up with business solutions and offerings that can work seamlessly in a private cloud, hybrid cloud, or public cloud mode would be a compelling proposition in terms of market needs.
Dave Hart, is the CTO and executive VP at Presidio Networked Solutions. He guides technology and strategy for enterprise, commercial and government industry segments. He has nearly 20 years of experience in information technology integration through his work at Integrated Solutions and Networked Information Systems (NIS). Dave served as CTO at both firms and joined Presidio when it acquired NIS in 2007. He holds a BS and an MS from the University of Massachusetts.
Presidio Networked Solutions, Inc. is the leading provider of professional and managed services for the full lifecycle of advanced IT infrastructure solutions with clients in businesses and government sector. It is the largest subsidiary of Presidio Inc. which is $1 billion company. It delivers a broad portfolio of solutions involving systems and network security, unified communications, advanced network transport, data management and storage, telepresence and videoconferencing, and network and systems infrastructure. Presidio Networked Solutions partners with Cisco, IBM, Sun, EMC, NetApp, VMWare, and Microsoft and offers customers an extensive range of financing solutions, including leasing.
SM: Welcome, Dave! Let’s begin with some context about your company and the backdrop of your IT environment, which we are discussing in the context of cloud computing.
DH: Well, Presidio is a $1.3 billion infrastructure technology solution provider here in the United States. We are located primarily on the East Coast, but we service customers nationally and internationally from that sales and marketing front. Our business is driven by private cloud computing, virtualized data centers, and next-generation data center infrastructure, which is certainly one of the biggest along, with collaboration and unified communication technologies. In addition to these, we deal with advanced networking technologies like mobility and security. We primarily service the lower end of the Fortune 500, say the middle market, but we probably don’t get to the S in SMB. So, the sweet spot for us is between 150 to 200 seats and up. We have Fortune 500 accounts that use us tactically in some of their project-based business and in some of their work in their data centers.
SM: In that context, what is the situation in your workshop in terms of cloud computing? What stage are you in, in terms of cloud adoption? Could you talk about your strategy and the thinking behind cloud adoption? We are exploring the adoption aspect not from a vendor’s point of view; I’m asking from the point of how you organize your own IT infrastructure at Presidio.
DH: Our own IT infrastructure is very much a private cloud computing infrastructure. Almost all of our applications run on virtualized infrastructure on consolidated services and storage. Our major applications are Salesforce automation, and our so are our financial systems or the processing systems, office productivity as well. We do consume a couple of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. You might consider them as public cloud-based offerings for some HR management applications and also for our payroll, which is a hybrid cloud computing setup. Our adoption of the public cloud is limited to niche applications that are provided by our service provider, which specializes in that application. All of our infrastructure and our tier 1 applications, we operate those ourselves in our own virtualized cloud environment.