Focus on data and applications, not the cloud

Focus on data and applications, not the cloud

Cloud is a means to an end, not an end. Companies that choose the cloud do so because it allows them to focus on activities that make a difference, such as how they use data and analytics. That’s what they want to focus on, not the operational management of cloud infrastructure. Therefore, focus on data and applications, not the cloud!

It’s in this context that we must look at the collaboration between Piros and SBI Consulting. The two companies jointly offer SAS’s data management and analytics software on Red Hat OpenShift. This product offers an additional and very interesting platform next to the classical cloud providers.

Operational results

“Our aim is to unburden our customers,” says Frank Rossaert, Business Manager at SBI Consulting, the SAS reference partner within the Cronos Group. “Companies want to focus on the operationalization of data and analytics. They want their investments in data and analytics to deliver concrete results. A lot of companies are on a road from a more traditional on-premises world to a full cloud world. They look for a possibility to combine the cloud and on-premises world. They prefer to have as little as possible to worry about when it comes to the underlying technology.”

A managed OpenShift solution has the same goal. The approach offers companies the opportunity to fully engage with data and applications, making abstraction of the underlying platforms. SAS, a supplier of software for data management and analytics, opted fully for Microsoft Azure regarding cloudification until about a year ago. However, those who don’t want to use Azure now have the option of an alternative via OpenShift. Piros and SBI Consulting offer end-to-end guidance to help customers in setting this OpenShift environment.

Step by step to the cloud

Interest in OpenShift is growing rapidly. Companies are increasingly looking at how OpenShift can offer them a solution. “Very often they still work on-prem and want to make the leap to the cloud,” says Rossaert. “But they don’t always want to commit themselves to just one brand. In addition, they usually want to make their journey to the cloud in steps. They don’t want to just put everything in the cloud at once.”

OpenShift offers an interesting route. You can work on OpenShift independently of the underlying platform, as it acts as an independent layer between the software and the actual platform. It allows data and applications to be placed anywhere: from OpenShift on-site or OpenShift on Azure to OpenShift on Google, and so on. Only the platform changes. What’s on OpenShift always remains the same.

More options

“For many companies, OpenShift also offers a form of extra security,” says Martijn Cielen, co-founder of Piros, the Red Hat reference partner within De Cronos Groep. “They often conclude that the cloud isn’t the Holy Grail they had hoped for. They’re pulling back from the radical idea of just putting everything in one hyperscaler. With OpenShift, they can keep more options open. OpenShift offers more room to maneuver.”

That room for maneuver will likely come in handy in view of the roadmap that SAS foresees for Viya over the next two to three years. “In the coming years, SAS plans to allow its customers to switch from their existing on-prem applications to Viya, which runs in the cloud,” says Cielen. OpenShift also offers an important advantage in that context. Those who already use OpenShift may find it easier to make the jump to SAS Viya precisely because there should be no doubt about the cloud platform on which this should take place. “It shows once again that an investment in OpenShift isn’t made for one specific application but for a very conscious, open approach to the cloud — for all your business applications.”

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