Cloud up­ris­ing

De­con­struct­ing the state of cloud com­put­ing with Veeam Soft­ware.

HWM (Malaysia) - - SMB - By Peter Chu

Cloud com­put­ing has gar­nered sig­nif­i­cant trac­tion over re­cent years. In fact, Gart­ner pre­dicted that this year, the world­wide pub­lic cloud ser­vices mar­ket – which en­com­passes seg­ments such as Cloud Busi­ness Process Ser­vices (BPaaS), Cloud Ap­pli­ca­tion Ser­vices (SaaS), and Cloud Sys­tem In­fra­struc­ture Ser­vices (IaaS) – is ex­pected to grow by 18 per­cent to US$246.8 bil­lion (ap­prox. RM1.057 tril­lion), which trans­lates to an USD$37.6 bil­lion (ap­prox. RM161 bil­lion) in­crease from 2016.

We spoke to Asanga Wani­gatunga, who was re­cently ap­pointed as the Se­nior Di­rec­tor of Cloud and Ser­vice Providers for Asia-Pacific and Ja­pan at Veeam Soft­ware, to learn more about cloud com­put­ing and its adop­tion in the re­gion.

Can you tell us a lit­tle bit about your role at Veeam?

It’s been two and a half months since I joined Veeam. Peter McKay, the Pres­i­dent and CoChief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Veeam Soft­ware, has four big pri­or­i­ties for the com­pany, and one of them is the cloud.

This means we need to look for ways to in­crease our part­ner ecosys­tem, fig­ure out how to en­ter mar­kets, and also how to mon­e­tize the cloud. Part of my re­spon­si­bil­ity is to build the ex­e­cu­tion ca­pa­bil­ity of the Asia-Pacific re­gion and Ja­pan.

The mar­ket for us in this part of the world is quite in­ter­est­ing, be­cause the mar­ket ma­tu­rity of the var­i­ous coun­tries is very dif­fer­ent. There are also fac­tors such as vir­tu­al­iza­tion and cloud adop­tion that

“We ab­so­lutely be­lieve that the fu­ture will be a hy­brid world.” Asanga Wani­gatunga

needs to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion as well. We have al­ready iden­ti­fied a cou­ple of key pri­or­ity mar­kets, such as Aus­tralia and New Zealand – they are prob­a­bly the most ma­ture in the world. Ja­pan is also a key mar­ket for us.

When we look at the ASEAN re­gion, Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia, In­done­sia, and Thai­land would be the more ma­tured mar­kets. There are a cou­ple of rea­sons for this: firstly, the vir­tu­al­iza­tion pen­e­tra­tion rates in these coun­tries are much more ad­vanced than some of the other mar­kets. Se­condly, we’re find­ing that the en­ter­prise and com­mer­cial mar­kets – and even gov­ern­ments to a cer­tain de­gree – of these coun­tries be­lieve in the whole no­tion of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. That’s an in­di­ca­tion of where we need to in­vest in. We have teams on the ground that al­lows us to ex­e­cute into these mar­kets, so my fo­cus in the next cou­ple of years is to build an ecosys­tem in them. Are there any com­pa­nies that are still skep­ti­cal about switch­ing over to the cloud? Yeah, ab­so­lutely.

Why do you think this is the case?

Se­cu­rity. Data sovereignty. We’ve found that cus­tomers have an in­er­tia of mov­ing [to the cloud] be­cause they’re not sure where their data is. They don’t want their data to be lo­cated off-shore, be­cause of com­pli­ance, gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions – it could be a myr­iad of things.

So what we spend more time telling our cus­tomers is that ‘one size doesn’t fit all.’ We don’t be­lieve that if you’re do­ing 100 per­cent of your work­load on-premise to­day, you’re going to be putting all 100 per­cent of it in the cloud. You’re going to have to fig­ure out what work­load in your plat­form or dat­a­cen­ters are ac­tu­ally right for the cloud, based on the com­pli­ance and se­cu­rity reg­u­la­tions of your com­pany.

The sec­ond rea­son would be se­cu­rity: com­pa­nies don’t know if their data could be hacked or ex­posed be­cause they can’t con­trol the vari­ables. That usu­ally tends to be an­other rea­son why they’re re­luc­tant to move to the cloud.

And the third thing could be net­work con­nec­tiv­ity. Bad com­mu­ni­ca­tions is never a good sign for cloud adop­tion, es­pe­cially when one of the def­i­ni­tions of the cloud is be­ing able to ac­cess data and ap­pli­ca­tions over the net­work. So if your net­works aren’t good…

In its Q1 2017 State of the In­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity re­port, Aka­mai men­tioned that the av­er­age in­ter­net con­nec­tion speed in Malaysia is 8.9Mbps. Would it be suf­fi­cient enough for busi­nesses and en­ter­prises to im­ple­ment cloud-re­lated strate­gies?

It hon­estly de­pends on the work­load. Let’s use a SaaS (Soft­ware as a Ser­vice) ap­pli­ca­tion as an ex­am­ple: Veeam uses Sales­force in­ter­nally, and you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need a high band­width to use Sales­force. Would I be mov­ing ter­abytes of data over an 8.9Mbps link? Prob­a­bly not. So again, it comes down to hav­ing the right work­load.

What would be your sin­gle big­gest rea­son for com­pa­nies to em­brace the cloud?

I would en­cour­age them to make the jour­ney, but it would make no sense for a com­pany to fork­lift their en­tire in­fra­struc­ture to the cloud un­less there’s a com­pelling rea­son – like whether or not their on-premise in­fra­struc­ture is cur­rently at its end-of-life sta­tus, or if it has a three-year life­cy­cle, and whether it’s going to be re­freshed. There has to be a com­mer­cial rea­son to do it. An in­fra­struc­ture re­fresh would be the per­fect time to as­sess whether the work­load is ready to go to the cloud.

If I have a CRM (Cus­tomer Re­la­tion­ship Man­age­ment) prod­uct, an ERP (En­ter­prise Re­source Plan­ning) prod­uct, or a fi­nance prod­uct that needs an up­grade or is ap­proach­ing end-of-life, the ques­tion now is whether do I now go SaaS? All these plat­forms can be backed up or re­cov­ered into a cloud stack with­out need­ing our cus­tomers to build an­other dat­a­cen­ter for it – so there’s a com­mer­cial ben­e­fit.

All the dig­i­tally-driven com­pa­nies that are born to­day are rid­ing on cloud-na­tive apps be­cause it al­lows them to scale out glob­ally. If I was a Malaysian com­pany run­ning my en­tire busi­ness on an ap­pli­ca­tion stack and plan­ning on going global in the fu­ture, I would be think­ing if that would be the right struc­ture to scale out. It de­pends on the as­pi­ra­tion of the busi­ness.

What is your ex­pec­ta­tion for cloud com­put­ing over the next cou­ple of years?

The fu­ture is def­i­nitely a hy­brid world. I think there will be on-premise so­lu­tions, there will be cloud, there will be hy­per­scale cloud, and even pur­pose-built clouds. And I think that’s why it’s going to get quite in­ter­est­ing for our cus­tomers, as they will need to fig­ure out how to ar­chi­tect a plat­form that is vis­i­ble to all of them. There’s no longer a ‘one size fits all’ so­lu­tion – they’re no longer just pro­tect­ing their on-premise stuff. We ab­so­lutely be­lieve that the fu­ture will be a hy­brid world.

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