Cassius Rhue, VP of Customer Experience at SIOS Technology, shares his predictions for 2021. According to Rhue:
– Migrate more mission-critical applications, ERPs and databases to the cloud, but lack of planning for high availability (HA) and disaster recovery will delay that.
– Move away from DIY clustering and move more towards purpose-built solutions, professional-grade commercial solutions, particularly for HA and disaster recovery.
– Ensure that their solution not only increases uptime but also keeps their data secure and highly available.

Here is the abridged version of the discussion.
Swapnil Bhartiya: Hi, this is your host Swapnil Bhartiya. We are at the end of 2020 and we are almost there with 2021. Today, we have with us Cassius Rhue, VP of Customer Experience at SIOS Technology. Cassius, you are holding a crystal ball for us to give us a peek into what the world will look like, from the context of disaster recovery and high availability, especially as companies are moving towards cloud, they’re moving a lot of mission-critical applications to the cloud. But before we go there, I would love to learn from you a bit about SIOS Technology. What problems is the company solving for its customers?
Cassius Rhue: SIOS keeps end-users productive, minimizes the downtime, and we take care of complex applications like databases and SAP. We keep them running, we automate manual tasks, and we monitor the entire stack. We’re taking the complexity away from the end-user for having to worry about automating recovery, monitoring and availability. And that’s really what industry standards call high availability and disaster recovery. We’re in the business of ending downtime.

Swapnil Bhartiya: Now, you can go and grab your crystal ball. If you look at the ongoing trends, we expect to see more enterprises migrating more mission-critical applications, RPS, and databases to the cloud. I mean, everything will move to the cloud. But what do you see as a major factor which might slow down this progress?
Cassius Rhue: I think one of the biggest factors for delaying migration to the cloud or interrupting that cycle is going to be lack of planning. What I mean by that is lack of planning for high availability and disaster recovery, or customers and enterprises choosing to do a DIY approach, just sort of figuring it out and feeling their way as they go. Those things cause delays because companies realize that they forgot about availability or that they didn’t test real-world scenarios. Suddenly, when they get to the cloud, they have this realization that they aren’t as prepared, that they haven’t planned for it in a way that leads to productive deployments and reduces the risk of downtime. There is also going to be the challenge of misunderstandings of what it means to lift and shift to the cloud.

Lift-and-shift really doesn’t mean that you take your on-premise environment and move it as-is to the cloud. There are a lot of differences that enterprises are going to need to understand between on-premise and cloud. These things have to be thought through. You have to architect your solution. You have to plan for them – overlay IPs, whether you’re using a load balance. You want to understand what’s available in the cloud, whether that’s NFS that you had on premise can now be subsidized with something like EFS and Amazon’s EC2. You’ll have to understand that in your on-premise environment, there are going to be trade-offs that you have to make when you’re moving to cloud. Not understanding and planning for those trade-offs on control and access are going to create the delays that we’ll see in customers and enterprises moving to cloud in 2021.

Swapnil Bhartiya: As cloud adoption takes center stage and companies accelerate their move to the cloud, how do you see companies solve some of these long-standing challenges to business continuity, data recovery, and disaster recovery?
Cassius Rhue: As cloud adoption continues to take form and drive our innovations, you’re going to start to see more hybrid cloud solutions for disaster recovery. Customers are going to be aware of these cloud outages and how critical it is to maintain their application availability. They’re going to leverage the kind of on premise and cloud for some of their workloads. You’re going to start seeing companies leverage hybrid cloud or multi-cloud where they’re going to start picking best-in-class to run particular workloads as part of their strategy. They’re also going to stop wasting time on do-it-yourself clustering solution and move more towards purpose-built solutions, professional-grade commercial solutions, such as the SIOS Protection Suite line of products for Linux and Windows. They are going to leverage this commercial-grade, cloud-agnostic, OS-agnostic solution that frees their resources to do what they do best, which is to focus on their business, to focus on DevOps solutions, to focus on things that help optimize what they’re in the business of doing. And they’re going to leave the high availability and disaster recovery to a unique solution that’s capable of making sure their applications, their databases, things like SAP, and all the complex solutions are highly available in one framework.

Swapnil Bhartiya: One thing we cannot not talk about is uptime. How important is uptime, especially for database and ERP systems, as companies look to mine critical data from the edge to the cloud?
Cassius Rhue: A long time ago, we would think of IT infrastructure being all about the hardware and the experts who managed it. With the advent of the Internet of Things and all of these edge devices and lots of applications that are moving to the cloud, and the tremendous amount of data, we’re starting to see the rise and increase of data being the king. Companies really are looking for something that goes beyond just protecting their availability, but also protecting the data. You’re going to see enterprises move towards making sure that in their solution, they’re not only increasing uptime, which end customers and enterprises care about, but they are interested in making sure they have access to that data, making sure that data is secure, and making sure that the data itself is highly available because that’s going to be the most important thing for these enterprises as they go forward. They want to have those applications available. They want to have data available so they can mine it to produce better solutions and better experiences for their customers.

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