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The Results are In: Attributes Driving Where Applications Live

By Angelo Luciani & Sachin Chheda

Our previously published blog on what is driving where applications and IT services live and run had generated a lot of interest from our customers and prospects alike. In the numerous conversations we had since the blog was published with virtualization and infrastructure admins and architects, IT managers and execs, two key themes emerged. First, they uniformly shared their frustration with a cloud first strategy and it’s misalignment with the application teams. Second, they didn’t know what were the attributes they should consider or what framework should they use to decide their infrastructure choices for specific applications and IT services.

Naturally, we were more than happy to share the blog we published on this topic. We also created a short survey to ask you, our community to weigh in on the list of attributes. The findings are as we expected.

The Results:

Out of the 135 valid and completed responses collected, the following were most heavily weighted:

  • Application availability and criticality (weighted average: 2.87 out of 3)
  • Application performance (weighted average: 2.78 out of 3)
  • Specific security and compliance requirements (weighted average: 2.69 out of 3)
  • Let us explain the methodology we used to calculate the weighted average. To keep it simple, we asked survey respondents to assign a high, medium, low or NA weight or score to represent an attribute’s influence on where an application runs. We assigned a score of 3 to high, 2 to medium, 1 to low and 0 to N/A and calculated a weighted average associated with an attributed. Three (3) would be the max and zero (0) would be the lowest weighted average.

    When interpreting this blog, we want to make sure that you do not make the mistake of assuming that these are the only three attributes that matter. The other attributes (listed below) also play a role. It may not be at the same level as availability and criticality (including uptime, RPO/RTO service levels, etc), performance (including throughput and latency), and security and compliance (including meeting various regulatory standards and privacy requirements).

  • Application related costs (2.57 out of 3),
  • Application functionality (2.47 out of 3), and
  • Application complexity (2.19 out of 3).
  • The survey also encouraged respondents to provide additional attributes through a write-in option. A few respondents (less than 10) wrote in IT and application teams skill set as an attribute for consideration where an application gets placed. Others expounded on variations of cost (including TCO and migration costs), performance (in terms of growth and latency), and security and compliance (describing their data locality or data gravity needs) as factors to consider in their write in comments. Application and data portability came up in the high single digits as a driver. Utilization and agility were also brought up, but those weren’t in the context of the applications. For the purpose of the survey, we explained that functionality includes factors such as app/data type(s), usage, seasonality, and development agility. We could have expanded on it with additional attributes, but it would have worked against the simplicity goals of the survey process. We also posted the survey respondents’ demographic information on our community site if you are interested.

    You may also be thinking that there is a selection-bias to this survey and you would be right. The survey was done within the Nutanix community including folks who participate in our Xtribe community, receive our newsletter, or participate in our online community. The purpose of this survey, the blogs, and I’ll go so far as to say our much more comprehensive third party conducted double-blind Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index survey is to spark further discussion and conversation in the IT community and hopeful within your organization.

    What Should You Do:

    So, now the multi-trillion-dollar IT question: what should you do for your IT and your organization’s set of applications and IT services?

  • Understand what are the different applications and IT services attributes that your organization cares about. Conduct your internal survey.
  • Build a short to mid and mid to long term infrastructure plan involving the various cloud options including ‘on-prem’ and ‘managed/hosted’ private clouds and shared public cloud. Evaluate how do those options satisfy the various attributes and needs.
  • We realize it may be too late for new year resolutions, but consider regularly sitting down with your application and business counterparts. Discuss everything from tools and processes to understanding infrastructure choices to build and maintain your application catalog.
  • We can help!

    For those who genuinely want and need, we can help them build a framework to align their applications to their infrastructure choices and become cloud smart. How? We can share different frameworks that we found effective with other IT organizations. And for those who qualify, we can bring a cloud transformation workshop to your location and share best practices for the three areas mentioned above. Reach out to us on Twitter (@StorSC or @angeloluciani) or through LinkedIn or through our info@nutanix.com email alias (just mention to route it to us). As always, we are hungry for your feedback. Let us know if you have any comments or questions on our community site. You can use this thread.

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