An Engineer’s Perspective: Azure Migration & CSPs Vital Role

Scott Harvey, Atmosera’s VP of Engineering joined Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair for CloudExpo, to discuss the public cloud ecosystem and the cloud’s evolution, challenges, and best practices, as well as the integral role CSPs play in supporting businesses that host operations in the cloud. The transcribed interview is available below, and the video is available here.

Roger Strukhoff: I’m joined right now by Scott Harvey with Atmosera…Scott thanks for joining us. Tell us about the company and what it does. We’ll go from there.

Scott Harvey: Thanks. We started years and years ago as an ISP, but we are an MSP now. We participate and fully deploy into managed Azure, as well as private cloud and multi-tenant cloud. We’ve been doing that for a number of years now and are a premier partner with Microsoft.

RS: I talked this morning earlier, and I mentioned Azure and the growth that it’s had. I won’t say it’s unforeseen because if you’ve been working with Microsoft, it was not unforeseen. But it’s been dramatic. Azure has really grown in the last 12 to 18 months.

SH: It absolutely has, and we see that in our own business. We see that most of the incoming clients are requiring. So, we’re looking at that and saying, ‘Wow! Where is that growth coming from?’ It comes from migrations of private clouds and the on-premise clouds of the businesses that we’re supporting.

RS: Is this what drove the decision to go from being an ISP to providing the managed services that just getting this demand from customers?

SH: Yes, definitely. We’ve been in business for 23 years. We started our business as an ISP a while ago, and we went through the progression of becoming a colocation provider, which we still do, and then into manage clouds, private clouds, and multi-tenant clouds.

Then about five or six years ago, we were looking for the next way we could transform ourselves as a business and that was a public cloud. At that time, we looked at the AWS ecosystem, we looked at the Azure ecosystem, and we looked at GCP as well. The Amazon ecosystem was saturated. And where Azure was—where Microsoft was—they really wanted to drive that ecosystem and drive that adoption.

So, we were really at a good point at that moment to jump into that ecosystem and that is what we decided to do. We were a Microsoft Partner to begin with, and we jumped with both feet in the water, so to speak, and became an Azure partner as a CSP.

RS: How much does it help you that Microsoft—unlike a couple of the other big ones you mentioned—has been in the enterprise for a long, long time. They’ve been selling software and services for a long time. How much does that help you as you’re working with customers on their path with Azure?

SH: Yes, it very much does. What we find in our customer adoption is clients that come to us for support have already decided on the Microsoft ecosystem because they are already using the enterprise applications on-premise. They are familiar with the company, and they might even have an EA already in place with Microsoft. It is a natural adoption practice to go that way, so it helps a lot.

RS: Can you name a couple of specific challenges you are solving and—I think more important—challenges you might need to solve in the coming year or two years?

SH: The biggest problem with adoption of cloud is the governance of it. It is so easy to spin things up and spin things down that you find you are spending a lot more in a public cloud than you would otherwise on a private cloud.

You are bound in a private cloud by how many resources you have already deployed. When you go to a public cloud, the world is your oyster, and you can do whatever you want. You can spin these giant boxes up and then forget to turn them off. And that does happen.

So those challenges—and putting in place the governance necessary to be able to know when you’re doing that and how to turn those down effectively—is what MSPs and CSPs work on routinely. That is what our business is.

RS: So, this challenge is something that you face from the beginnings of a company, but it sounds like kind of the opposite challenge that some of these people might be used to.

SH: Definitely. Additional challenges to solve too are making sure that you can have the ease of adoption that you had on-premise as well. When you insert that governance, it is more difficult for clients to turn things up and turn things down at will. But you also want to make it easy. That is the challenge you were speaking about: ‘how do you add the governance and then also add the ease of hyperscale or cloud?’

That is what MSPs and CSPs do like Atmosera. We develop logic; we develop service logic and Java-based applications that ease in this transition and allow them to go ahead and still self-service but self-service in a safe way.

RS: How do people find Atmosera online and where can they learn more about everything you do?

SH: We can be found online at www.atmosera.com Certainly reach out to us ask us any questions you might have. We would be happy to help.

RS: Thanks for joining us.

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