Cloud Market Influencer Series with Evan Kirstel | NETSCOUT
Case Study

NETSCOUT Hybrid Influencer Series with Evan Kirstel

At A Glance:

Evan Kirstel
B2B Influencer
Connect with Evan:

As a top B2B IT influencer with 125K Twitter followers I can help massively grow your online audience and leverage social media as a B2B sales networking, lead generation and thought leadership tool. I have been named on the top 20 most mentioned and RTs by Both CIOs and CMOs on Twitter in 2016. Member of influencer programs at Huawei, Pitney Bowes, IBM, ANA, DellEMC and others.

With 20+ years of sales, alliances & Biz Dev experience in the telecom and IT arena, I bring a unique perspective on opportunities in the Unified Communications & Collaboration segment, including deep knowledge of social, mobile, and the voice/video/web collaboration market and cloud technology. I have a solid understanding of emerging Cloud & mobile technology and market convergence dynamics, along with a strong track record in selling and marketing disruptive technology to enterprise and service providers.

Social Business had been a personal obsession for many years, as I've grown my Twitter (138K+ followers) and LinkedIn (14K connections) network while helping dozens of clients grow from ZERO to Tens of Thousand of engaged followers. My connections are a "Who's Who" of the B2B Enterprise IT, Telecom and Cloud landscape, and growing by thousands monthly-I have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US.

Engagement via Social media requires patience and commitment, and by working together we can "meet" new B2B prospects and business partners by adding 1000+ new, relevant social media followers per month. The combination of my social media influence, social business know-how, and passion for sales networking can help you drive visibility & engagement with influencers, customers, analysts, journalists, CxOs et al-while cutting through the noise to generate leads and set up tomorrow's sale.

When it comes to large and even mid-sized companies, the challenge of a lack of visibility across application dependencies enveloping the entire app service stack is something I hear consistently.  While the traditional infrastructure side of most businesses is mature in areas such as conventional data centers, when deploying into hybrid Cloud, there can be a real deficit for companies to measure and monitor both.   

Q: What are some of the dominant business and technology issues that are driving large enterprises to move to a hybrid cloud environment?

Kirstel: I think much of what’s driving organizations to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy depends on the industry a particular company is in. But broadly speaking it has to do with the hyper-competitive and rapidly changing global business environment companies are facing. They need to be agile and to increase the speed in which they deliver applications, products and services, and to drive efficiencies and cost savings throughout their IT infrastructure. Many innovative companies are looking to bring a DevOps-type model to their business operations. All of those factors are contributing to the need to move to a hybrid cloud environment.

Businesses in different verticals are moving to the cloud at different paces. Certain industries are hyper competitive and are moving more quickly. For example, e-commerce companies are facing massive competition and change, and they need to compete with peers that are adopting the latest technologies. Then there are more traditional companies such as telecommunications providers that have historically been pretty slow to adopt change. But they’re facing massive disruption from new business models, and are being forced to adopt cloud technology more quickly than they might have otherwise.

Q: How can companies effectively maintain traditional infrastructure assets while at the same time migrating workloads to the cloud?

Kirstel: It’s a challenge. Moving to a hybrid cloud environment is a complex undertaking and it creates a complicated landscape. The level of difficulty really varies from company to company. In many cases the lines of business are driving change by adopting new applications. They are driving a lot of the IT requirements, which creates the shadow IT phenomenon which is such a huge challenge for enterprises. Companies still need to maintain their on-premises infrastructure for their most sensitive business applications and information, and at the same time they have to figure out how to reconcile their legacy IT assets with the new cloud-based infrastructure that’s emerging. In some cases, they are deploying technology such as software-defined networking and software-defined data centers as part of the transition. But figuring out how to maintain the old while deploying the new is a real challenge for organizations. Today the lion’s share of large enterprises operate in multi-cloud environments that drive revenue and support business services that facilitate customer loyalty. Greater agility in application introductions, cloud migrations and service deployments across traditional infrastructures and Cloud are going to increasingly require better ways of viewing IT assets in a way that is “always on” and deeply granular.

Q: What are the key challenges that IT professionals and architects are facing as they try to achieve optimized results in the Cloud?

Kirstel: There are many, some real and some perceived, and it can be hard to differentiate between the two. Certainly cyber security is top of mind. Security related to cloud adoption is a real concern for many companies. They have to ensure that data is protected regardless of where it resides, and that access to cloud services is well managed.

There is also the challenge of lack of control in terms of IT assets that might not be physically located on premises. You’re now operating an IT ecosystem that encompasses multiple private and public clouds as well as your own data center. How can you guarantee that you have visibility of the environment, and ensure high performance and reliability of cloud services? Another key challenge is knowing how to select the best cloud service providers to meet the organization’s needs. And even when companies are successful in selecting the right cloud service provider, maintaining an all-inclusive perspective and view comprising applications and various IT dependencies both on-prem and in the Cloud can be a real concern.

When it comes to large and even mid-sized companies, the challenge of a lack of visibility across application dependencies enveloping the entire app service stack is something I hear consistently. While the traditional infrastructure side of most businesses is mature in areas such as conventional data centers, when deploying into hybrid Cloud, there can be a real deficit for companies to measure and monitor both.

Q. What has worked in terms of strategies of migrating to the cloud, and what has not worked?

Kirstel: One good strategy is to take an incremental, step-by-step approach when moving to the cloud, as opposed to launching a giant, ambitious project and seeing it fail. Start with easier activities with quick payback, such as consolidating a few systems to reduce costs. You want to ensure reliable, fast benefits when you’re starting out in the cloud.

Another good practice is to look at partners that can bring in and support multi-cloud frameworks. Sometimes it’s a good idea to bring in expertise from outside, rather than attempting to do it all inhouse. You also need to bring in the necessary skills, so working closely with human resources and staffing is a critical factor.

In addition, it is pivotal to understand performance and service levels throughout the entire Cloud migration lifecycle. The most successful companies begin with measuring a baseline so that they can ensure end user experience is not compromised after hybrid cloud migration occurs. The best way to do that is to examine measurable service levels before, during and after a migration.

Q: What are some key best practices for successful cloud implementations for large companies?

Kirstel: One is that companies should focus on rapid provisioning of services and understanding how best to manage those service within the enterprise. Another is to have good visibility into data, applications, workloads, etc. Visibility is key to gaining strong security, high performance, reliability and optimal user experience. When migrating to the cloud, enterprises should consider doing proofs of concept and trials or small-scale implementations before beginning a wide-scale implementation. Another best practice is to provide good training for users about cloud services, including secure access. Finally, it’s vital to find the right business partners that can help address some of the challenges of moving to the cloud, especially if you’re using multiple clouds.

Q: What are some best practices for successful support once migration has begun?

Kirstel: Again, it’s important to make sure that the staff is well trained and well equipped. Training on the fly is often the reality when companies are moving to the cloud. But forward-thinking companies include mandatory training as part of their cloud migration strategy.

On the technology level, large companies find success by defining and implementing approaches for continuous observation and control of hybrid cloud environments, traffic flows and application workloads.

Q: How do you recommend large companies maintain visibility and control of their hybrid cloud environments?

Kirstel: Automation is critical for visibility and control. Too many companies are using too many tools without automation. These include server management, network management and application management tools. They need to have an automated solution that examines network traffic in real time and provides the data to give them insights into key performance indicators such as availability and reliability.

This tool should provide a single pane of glass for that visibility into all aspects of their networks and clouds. Visibility and control need to take place at multiple levels, especially customer experience and support, and customer interaction. Enterprises need to have super granular insight into sessions or interactions. Deploying tools that can provide that view are absolutely key.

Related Resources

Please attend this education webinar from IEEE Cloud Computing: Maintaining Visibility in the Hybrid Cloud