Inside One Firm's Private Cloud Journey

By Robert Lemos, CIO |  Data Center, private cloud

So far, the move to a private cloud has paid off, he says. The company has already saved $1.7 million and expects a total savings of $7 million over three years, including staff savings. Because of the increased efficiency of the company's private cloud, the company avoided throwing more engineers at its problem.

"Bladelogic enabled us to re-allocate resources to other areas of the business because of the efficiency offered," Baughn says. "Without it, it is possible that we would need a handful more engineers than we have today to manage the release process...and we'd need a few more systems engineers if we hadn't embraced virtualization."

In addition, the company has a better handle on its nine major audits, which check its compliance with the usual suspect list of regulations, such as PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley and Graham-Leach-Bliley. The company uses reports from BMC's BladeLogic software to validate that changes required by compliance regulations have been made to all servers, both physical and virtual.

Public Cloud When Secure Overall, the move to a private cloud has simplified the company's IT infrastructure in some ways, but it also comes with some additional challenges, warns Baughn.

"There is a learning curve associated with that as the virtual environment and some of the toolsets are different, so you need to build time to develop and implement best practices," he says. "We have also greatly increased the ability to deploy more quickly and add capacity on demand, but with that comes a greater responsibility to manage that capacity."

While Concur has focused on implementing cloud computing ideals inside its company, the IT staff has not ruled out using public cloud-computing services to help the firm save money in the future.

"We have not determined a best-practice approach as of yet," Baughn says. "In order for us to move forward here, we have to ensure that everything we do is as secure as if it were within our own private cloud."

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