Cloud computing journey starts with the data centre

In a special series, Fairfax Business Media Asia will be previewing speakers from the CIO Summit 2012.

The debate on cloud computing should not be about private or public clouds but on the data centre, according to Raju Chellam, cloud practice head, Dell South Asia & Korea.

And the key questions are about merging legacy systems with new infrastructure and "migrating apps without migraine," said Chellam. He shares with CIO Asia why the answers lie within the data centre.

You made the point that converged infrastructure and the data centre are key to cloud computing adoption. Can you share your thoughts in this area?

The DC is the heart of the large enterprise. It is also the soul of cloud. All cloud, whether private or public, resides in the DC. However, over time, heterogeneity, patching & multiple - and sometimes incompatible applications - have taken a toll on DC efficiencies. This leads to high latency & vulnerability to malware. Convergence is key. Convergence not just in the DC hardware, but also OS & apps.

What are some of the pain points that CIOs face during their cloud journey?

Many MNCs, banks and government organisations have legacy infra, legacy OS, legacy apps & legacy databases. Not all apps can be seamlessly migrated to a virtualised, scale-out cloud model. Many of these apps need to be retired. Migrating legacy databases & apps to the new environment is not just tedious, but also vulnerable to malfunction if not done meticulously. Automated migration packages such as Clerity's UniKix Mainframe Rehosting do a wonderful job in migration. However, the final testing has to be done & certified by the CIO's office.

How crucial is this converged infrastructure to the CIO?

Converged infrastructure is the only option that a CIO has if his organisation plans to standardise, simplify, virtualise & move to a cloud computing model. The huge efficiencies offered by the cloud computing model cannot be ignored. And the move to cloud cannot happen unless the core DC infrastructure is optimised, standardised and converged.

What are your recommendations to CIOs for their cloud journey?

The journey to the cloud starts with standardisation of the DC infrastructure which basically comprises servers, storage and networks. A standardised infrastructure should be capable, scalable, virtualisable and finally affordable. On that core, the CIO adds the virtualisation layer. And on that there are the apps layer & the security layer. That's the basic roadmap. Beyond that, the CIO can gain extra efficiencies by juggling apps and data on premise (private cloud) and off premise (public cloud) via proven integration packages such as Boomi Atomsphere.

What are some of the key messages you have for CIOs at the CIO Summit organised by Fairfax Business Media and IDC Asia Pacific?

1: Ensure your DC has standardised infrastructure which is cloud-ready.

2: Take baby steps to the cloud by first running a PoC (proof of concept) with non-mission critical apps.

3: Move from PoC to production using the same infra scaled out.

4: Garner optimal efficiencies from the hybrid cloud model.

Raju Chellam will be speaking at the CIO Summit on 2 August 2012 at Marina Mandarin Singapore. CIO Summit is jointly organised by Fairfax Business Media Asia and IDC Asia/Pacific. For more information, please visit


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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