Our Perspective on IT Infrastructure & Cloud
The purpose of IT Infrastructure is to enable an organization to take advantage of the productivity gains made possible by technology. It is the underlying layer that determines how efficiently and securely technology can be used. An IT setup is measured on the following dimensions:
- Can the infrastructure support current business needs?
- Can the infrastructure be effectively secured?
- Does the infrastructure make the organization dependent to specific products, vendors, or technologies?
- Can the infrastructure support future changes?
- How much does the infrastructure cost (setup, licensing, maintenance, etc)?
The term "Cloud" refers to any computing service running on a generic infrastrastructure, often operated by an external company. In contrast with traditional data centers, the abstraction level for users is a Cloud process or container, instead of virtual machines or physical hardware. There are two fundamentally different ways to leverage the Cloud:
- Computing Platform: Existing software is run on (in-house or external) Cloud servers, instead of local machines
- Software-as-a-Service: A (typically external) Cloud provider performs services, e.g. store/retrieve data in a database
The trade-off between external vs. in-house Cloud solutions is similar to the trade-off between renting vs. buying. External Cloud-based solutions typically excel when workloads vary greatly. This is because Cloud capacity is only paid for when it is used. On the other hand, in-house Cloud infrastructure will usually offer a substantial cost and performance advantage for more steady workloads.
Moving workloads to the Cloud creates both opportunities as well as additional security risks that must be managed appropriately. The right blend of different Cloud systems (in-house, hybrid, external) is critical to fully leverage the Cloud opportunity while managing the associated risks.
Our Areas of Focus
- Conduct diagnostic on existing IT Infrastructure and identify concrete recommandations for improvements
- Provide vendor-independent expert advice: We do not resell any technology or software
- Identify the best ways to benefit from Cloud technology for a specific organization
- Help to select appropriate software solutions for a given context
- Help organizations to leverage open-source software effectively
- Develop effective IT strategies
BIG expert Thomas Dillig has a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford and has spent 10+ years designing and implementing IT Infrastructures for organizations of all sizes. He has also architected and implemented multiple specialized high-performance computing setups processing terabytes of data per day for the US Department of Defense and DARPA, used in research applications relating to software verification.
BIG expert Aurélie Beaumel has significant Computer Science background from her studies at Stanford and 10+ years of experience as a management consultant. She has a full understanding of the business needs and challenges related to IT.
Together, we provide independent expert perspectives on IT Infrastructure & Cloud that starts and ends with business requirements and objectives.