Workload Optimization: The Strategic Imperative for Today's Businesses

March 1, 2024
Cloud, Data Migration

In the modern world of business, having your applications perfectly attuned to your operational needs isn't just a technical matter; it's a fundamental business requirement. With IT deeply woven into the fabric of enterprise operations, owners and decision-makers are now considering a much larger equation when it comes to optimizing their critical business applications. Below, US Signal's Vice President of Product Development, David Humes, shares his insights into finding that sweet spot where technology meets business strategy.

A Strategic Approach to Workload Optimization

It's a defining moment for many organizations when it comes to deciding where to place their workloads. We've heard organizations declare that public cloud first is their strategy, and we've also heard others firmly root their infrastructures on-premises. Yet, progressive businesses are realizing this is not a binary decision. Establishing the right fit involves pragmatic methodology — not a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

The solution is changing the mentality from “cloud first” to “workload first,” where the needs of the business and the outcome a given application provides are the primary consideration. Workload first considers performance, scalability, security, compliance, and other requirements… and then choosing the right service or technology stack to support those requirements. Since workload first typically translates to hybrid cloud, there are some complexities to consider, such as connectivity, vendor management, and security – to name a few.

The cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all platform - each business must weigh their needs, costs, and industry demands to chart their path. One must also consider how to connect and secure their hybrid environment intelligently. At US Signal, our approach is to support our customers’ IT operations anywhere.

Debunking the 'One Cloud Fits All' Myth

Ever since the first public cloud service was made available, there has been a public vs. private divide, with some choosing one or the other completely. However, that approach fails to consider the nuanced requirements of contemporary applications. Modern applications, built on microservices that often require widespread distribution and are variable by nature, thrive in public cloud environments. In contrast, traditional applications, such as ERP systems, may fare better in a private cloud setting. Most organizations have a mix of these.

To demonstrate, let’s consider a hypothetical manufacturing organization:

  • They may have critical operations that hinge on proximity to physical infrastructure, where an edge computing deployment is ideal for local data collection, Manufacturing Execution (MES), and more.
  • That same manufacturer may also have centralized needs in terms of ERP and core financial systems that are best suited to live within US Signals’ private cloud.
  • They may also provide business-to-consumer services where they’d benefit vastly from the scalability and global accessibility afforded by public cloud deployment.

Lifting and shifting traditional applications to the public cloud often leads to dissatisfaction and high costs—because not every workload was meant for that environment. It’s all about the right platform for the right application, starting with the end in mind.

Right-Sizing Your Business’ Infrastructure is Key to Prolonged Success

David Humes, leveraging his extensive IT expertise in manufacturing, speaks candidly about the art and science of infrastructure calibration.

“When I lead an IT organization at a manufacturing conglomerate, we would buy new computing hardware every three to five years. When I would go make that capital purchase, I would purchase based on what I knew we were consuming today, plus a projection in terms of what we would consume over the lifespan of that purchase. But I would never get it right.”

“It's impossible [to predict] because you either way overestimate, which is the natural tendency, and you buy more than you need, or you way underestimate and then you have to go back to the business and ask for more budget. This all ignores the reality of mergers, acquisitions, and new applications that impact IT infrastructure needs regularly. In short- flexibility is the key!”

This common frustration is where US Signal steps in—we adeptly ascertain the precise requirements for customer applications within our cloud infrastructure and beyond. Our methodology employs tools like Dell Live Optics, observing and measuring customer environments to garner accurate data. This allows us to demonstrate to customers where they may be over, or under, provisioned across enterprise workloads and right-size that environment when moving to cloud – whether that’s US Signal Cloud or a Tier 1 provider such as AWS or Azure. This translates to more efficient use of resources (dollars) to reduce waste.

Another benefit to this approach is understanding specific performance needs of our customers’ workloads, which allows us to make sure they’re running on performant storage, for example.

“Then we are on the path to optimize their spend and ensuring that they're giving their applications the right amount of resources to suit their business. Not too much, not too little.”

US Signal's Commitment to Expertly Tailored Workload Optimization

When navigating the intricacies of workload optimization, the value of a knowledgeable partner cannot be overstated. US Signal stands as more than a service provider—we are a dedicated partner, intent on ensuring that your workloads are meticulously calibrated to the unique tempo of your enterprise’s operations.

US Signal is synonymous with our network-powered cloud, unmatched people-lead services, and rock-solid infrastructure. With the complexities of hybrid deployments, we meet our customers where they are, helping to solve real challenges around connectivity, security, vendor management, cost control, and more in the hybrid world we all live and work.

Reach out to US Signal today—your ally in navigating the complexities of workload optimization. Together, we can elevate your enterprise to unprecedented heights of operational excellence.


About the Author - David Humes