In our Azure Video Series, OCSL’s Enterprise Architect, Tim Richardson talks through common Azure deployment challenges and how to overcome them. Using recent client examples he outlines how to: tackle the skills gap, get best-practice security and build a solid foundation for your Azure platform. Watch his videos and read his video transcript below.
Overcoming common problems in Azure
Organisations that don't do Cloud as well as they could do, typically go down one of two routes. They either spend months planning, strategizing and training but then fail to make any real progress. Or, when they are finally at the point of taking some action, all the cloud services have evolved, so they then need to start re-planning.
Without a proper strategy, organisations can just end up with an Azure bill and none of the real benefit.
Arguably, one of the main challenges with Azure is the skills gap. Most of the customers we work with have highly skilled IT teams experienced in managing on-premises platforms. But Azure is an entirely different model.; you are consuming services from somebody else's platform. And if you’re not fully up-to-speed, you could end up making costly mistakes.
One of the other challenges is security. The Azure platform by default is an incredibly secure platform. But it’s important to note, whilst Microsoft are responsible for the platform itself, what goes on the platform is down to you. Again, without the right knowledge, it can be easy to get this wrong.
Getting started in Azure, faster
We've helped lots of clients expedite their Azure strategies.
For example, one client was looking to refresh an entire on-premises platform. They had an awareness of Azure, but their initial perception was that it was a bit scary! For this reason, they weren't even considering it as an option.
We then introduced them to Azure Fast Start and they changed their mind. We quickly skilled them up and got them connected. As a result, they are now spending their money and time much more efficiently.
One of the key components of our Azure Fast Start is our best-practice Security Model; it enables customers to deploy services with peace of mind.
We de-risk projects. We help them make sure the set-up is right in the first instance. This helps save a lot of time and wasted effort.
Microsoft are fully behind OCSL’s Fast Start, because it helps customers quickly get started in Azure.
Azure deployment: start with the right foundation
From working with dozens of our clients on their Azure strategies we identified the core fundamental building blocks for Azure.
We then identified a way to automate the core Azure deployment using our own proprietary code. As a result, we can dramatically streamline the process for setting up Azure. Instead of 3 or more weeks, we can get it down to just a few hours.
OCSL’s Azure Fast Start service includes the foundational building blocks most organisations need to get started.
For example, it helps set up hybrid identity, i.e. getting your Azure Active Directory connected with your on-premises Active Directory. This hybrid identity means staff can log on with on premises credentials to Azure, including Office 365 and thousands of cloud applications.
We get the operational processes and hybrid networking in place. We’ll also spin up the domain controllers in Azure; so, servers can be joined into the Active Directory. In short, we'll make sure your Azure is set up in a best-practice fashion.
We're continually investing in the OCSL Fast Start offering itself. So, with every customer engagement we refine and develop our service.
The Fast Start portfolio is growing. We already offer a Data Fast Start service which helps tackle encryption, compliance, performance and data tiering. Next, we’re looking at Disaster Recovery Fast Starts, Enterprise Mobility and Security Fast Starts. So, watch this space!