“I’ll be honest,” says Jim Fagan, Global Platforms Executive at Telstra, “I thought that when I moved to the cloud – everything was going to be perfect. I was going to fix all my legacy problems and supercharge the business.
“But I think what we’ve all found as we’ve been on this journey from legacy to cloud, is that it’s a bit more complex than we thought.”
Traditionally, IT environments have existed in separate silos requiring bespoke work to interconnect, which in practice means that any move to new technology required an organisation to start again from zero and reintegrate the new platform.
“The complexities of cloud aren’t the same as legacy, but if you can’t solve them, you end up with a lot of the same problems. If you don’t have your cloud and network foundation right, you won’t be able to fully exploit today’s technologies. It’d be like building a house on a bad foundation,” says Fagan.
The Early Days
“When you actually move your first workload over to the cloud – it’s not too hard and generally pretty cool,” Fagan says. “You get to develop some stuff, get some quick wins for the business. But then you start moving your legacy over, or expand overseas and it gets really complicated, fast.”
The enthusiasm for early cloud adoption has left many businesses operating across multiple cloud and network environments, without any standardisation in processes and tools, making it difficult to gain a complete picture of and effectively manage their IT ecosystem.
“The complexities of cloud aren’t the same as legacy, but if you can’t solve them, you end up with a lot of the same problems.”Jim Fagan, Global Platforms Executive at Telstra
While a plethora of self-serve tools do exist for managing certain kinds of deployments and resolving specific problems, often the wealth of overlapping tools can just add more complexity, especially for organisations who can’t afford to maintain teams of specialised technical staff.
“Your cloud, connectivity and mixed bag of disparate management tools becomes like a box of party lights,” says Fagan, “that’ve become hopelessly tangled in storage. You open up that box and you just want to throw them all out and start over again. Unfortunately, that’s generally not an option with your technology.”
Untangling your clouds and network
“At Telstra, we’ve decided to take a different approach. We’ve focused on building platforms with toolsets integrated into them which can help you untangle those party lights,” he says.
At the heart of this approach is the Telstra Programmable Network (TPN), an on demand, flexible, automated global network, as well as the recently launched Telstra Cloud Sight, which assists with the management of public clouds.
Leveraging converged automation and virtualisation, these two platforms create a solid foundation for your organisation’s cloud environments, ensuring you can move at the speed required to innovate without creating a mess further down the track.
The Telstra Programmable Network enables near real-time, on-demand connectivity to clouds, data centres, security, application services and a partner ecosystem through a single unified view.Sign up for a free account today and discover TPN first-hand
Thinking as one - Telstra Programmable Network & Telstra Cloud Sight
“When we started working on TPN, our mission statement was basically: How do we make a network work like a cloud?” says Fagan. “As we were on that journey, we discovered that the only way we could actually do that was to build it in the cloud. Telstra Programmable Network is actually cloud native.”
Launched in April, Telstra Cloud Sight is similarly API-driven and cloud-native. Currently supporting Amazon Web Services, the toolkit hooks into public cloud deployments and simplifies their management. Microsoft Azure support is coming soon.
In addition to assisting with the initial provisioning of new environments, Cloud Sight assists your cloud management by monitoring your cloud against a variety of compliance standards (pre-configured profiles include CIS, HIPAA and PCI), as well as your set budget (via notifications or hard cut-offs).
Together, these two platforms provide end-to-end virtualisation, visibility and management over your cloud and network.
Working as one
By leveraging virtualised, API-driven network and cloud platforms you avoid having to rebuild everything each time you trial a new opportunity, which makes it easier to focus on what matters and innovate.
For example, you can test and develop a new application on AWS and have it comply to your organisation’s security requirements. Via the TPN web portal, connectivity can be established to AWS, secured by deploying Telstra’s Gateway Protection service, a fully configured virtual firewall which can be deployed in minutes, rather than the traditional days or weeks.
Through Cloud Sight, the AWS account can be quickly instantiated with the appropriate pre-configured compliance blueprint, and compliance can be maintained through continuous monitoring and alerts e.g. when MFA is not enabled for an user.
You can then also set a budget for the test environment, where you will be notified if actual or forecasted spend has reached the threshold, allowing you to take action.
“What we’ve created through TPN and Cloud Sight is the ability to digitise and interconnect your network and cloud so you can move simply and at speed,” says Fagan.