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ACCELERATE YOUR JOURNEY TO THE CLOUD with microsoft azure

cloud adoption

The Cloud provides a suite of data and compute solutions to create high performing, secure, monitored and fault resilient environments. To drive business impact and realize the TCO and agility promised by the cloud it is fundamental that holistic deployments of cloud features and functionality occur. A well architected landing zone lays the foundation for your cloud journey. 

ABOUT

To create the business impact which realizes the TCO and agility promised by the cloud it is fundamentally important that holistic deployments of cloud features and functionality occur. These need to be done with diligence and gravitas to ensure the security of the perimeter and networks of the cloud. This is where the Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) and the Well Architected Framework (WAF) become essential to the successful implementation of cloud technologies. 

WHAT IS THE CLOUD ADOPTION FRAMEWORK?

The Cloud Adoption Framework developed and adopted by Microsoft and AWS is a methodology designed to take customers into the cloud. The Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) follows a series of stages, which prepare an organisation for their ultimate destination, being the migration of workloads into the cloud. The framework gives a set of tools, guidance, and narratives that help shape the technology, business, and people strategies for driving the desired business outcomes throughout the adoption efforts. This guidance aligns to various stages and iterations of the typical cloud adoption life-cycle, ensuring easy access to the right guidance at the right time. In order to understand how the CAF Quick Start will enable organisations to start their cloud journey, the full Cloud Adoption Framework stages are explained at a high-level.

1. strategize

The strategy definition phase establishes the guiding principles of the “go to cloud” directive. The business motivations and outcomes with their justifications are understood and documented with a possible first project identified. By ensuring that guiding principles are defined and known allows for subsequent activities to be aligned to achieving the business outcomes. By understanding the business’ desired outcomes Tangent can ensure that the right workloads are chosen, the landing zone is correctly configured to meet these outcomes and of course, what the cloud adoption plan will look like.

2. PLAN

To go to the cloud what is going to be moved to the cloud needs to be understood, this includes IT and People. If the organisation’s digital estate is not well understood Tangent makes uses of Cloud Pilot, an automated, cloud readiness assessment tool which will assist in rationalizing the digital estate and identify dependencies between applications. In addition, an organisation needs to assess its current human capital and plan to re-skill their IT teams to be ready to manage and maintain the IT assets in the Cloud. Using this information, a Cloud Adoption Plan can be started. Cloud Pilot is costed and quoted for separately.

3. ready

The purpose of the Ready phase of the CAF methodology is to tangibly prepare the organisation to go to the cloud through decision making around resources to be deployed. This involves interactive sessions where an understanding of organisational structuring needs to be done, SLA, storage requirements, network topology, security and compute options. There is also focus on establishing the architecture of the logical groupings in Azure such as the management groups, subscriptions and resource groups. Thereafter identifying standards for naming and what tags are needed to understand the cloud environment. All of these activities paint a picture of what the to-be state of the cloud environment will look like as well as identify the options for resources used in the migration and deployment. The outcome of this phase is significant in that post the Ready stage, the organisation can start deployments in Azure.

In order to understand how the CAF QuickStart will enable organisations to start their cloud journey, the full Cloud Adoption Framework stages are explained at a high-level. 




DELIVER VALUE, CONSTANTLY

devops

DevOps is the key to unlocking organization agility and resilience. Constant delivery and the ability to respond to business challenges are essential attributes of successful organisations. DevOps ensures the implementation of development processes, continuous integration and delivery, collaboration across teams and constant communication and feedback. These components are what constitute modern delivery and highly effective digital executions. 

ABOUT

The rise and adoption of technology within organisations over time has created strong internal capabilities and practices in the fields of IT development, operations, quality engineering, and security. These are all fundamental components of the technology ecosystem. But without collaboration and cohesion, they can hinder progress, create needless bureaucracy, and thus create just as many challenges as they solve. 

This is where DevOps comes in. 

DevOps is the union of people, processes, and technology to provide the continuous delivery of value. The contraction of “Dev” and “Ops” refers to replacing siloed Development and Operations to create multidisciplinary teams that work together with shared tools and understanding. DevOps has become an essential part of the modern organisation and a permanent feature in the digital transformation landscape. Without DevOps it is fundamentally impossible for an organisation to become Agile or have Agility. 

We believe that DevOps should not be considered just a tooling or technology implementation but rather an initiative and method of working that has a tangible impact on organisational culture. With DevOps there is an increased need for organisations to embrace new ways of working, known within Tangent Solutions as N/Wow. N/Wow is core to the successful execution of DevOps, and it requires an openness to change, collaboration, modernisation, automation, and constant delivery of value.  

DELIVER FASTER

Effective use of Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployments and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) throughout the development process ensures that the team completes and delivers functionality as opposed to just working hard. This in turn allows for faster feedback cycles from testers and business users involved in the delivery of the project.


ACCELERATE THE FEEDBACK LOOP

By leveraging DevOps monitoring tooling and through the integration of the alerts and notifications with the development function, DevOps teams can proactively solve functional or application issues before users are affected. Additionally, through measuring success criteria the business can determine whether changes delivered have created the desired results and impact.


DEPLOY MORE FREQUENTLY

Practices such as monitoring, continuous testing, database change management, and integrating security earlier in the software development process allow for frequent deployments with greater predictability and security.


REDUCE LEAD TIME

Lead time is the time it takes for a feature to be delivered the end customer, after it has been accepted. By working in smaller batches, automating manual processes, and deploying more frequently, DevOps teams can achieve in days what once took weeks.


REDUCE CHANGE FAILURE RATE

A new feature that causes failures in production can create a lost opportunity between the business and the customer. By leveraging the tooling of DevOps such as comprehensive automated tested, code quality assessments, automated deployment and desired state management, failure rate due to change is dramatically reduced.


RECOVER FROM INCIDENTS QUICKLY

When incidents do occur DevOps teams are able to recover more quickly. This is due to improved understanding of the incident enabled by monitoring, faster feedback cycles between business, operations and development, faster time to deploy, and finally a reliable deployment. All of these contribute together to create agility and reduce the time from reaction to resolution.


Unleash your business

cloud modernisation


about 

Modernisation is the refactoring of your software or environment to leverage the new standards in modern computing. This means using cloud native and open source technologies as well as leveraging the Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Fabric technologies provided by the Cloud Vendor (Azure or AWS). This is opposed to a “Lift and Shift” strategy for migrating a workload to the cloud without redesigning the application or making changes which offers a far smaller spectrum of value. A modernized architecture is cloud first, future proof, enables business agility and can scale to meet the demands of the future. Due to the business-critical nature of many of the systems running in the cloud, it needs to be fault resilient, provide reliable disaster recovery and potentially provide high availability. In today’s high-risk digital environment, it is also imperative that the digital assets of the company are secure and constantly monitored. The modernization of the application stack provides significant gains in fault resilience, reduced hosting costs and the overall total cost of ownership, reduced dependence on outsourced (internal or external) IT professionals and vastly improved business agility. However, in order to truly benefit from application modernization an organisation should implement DevOps practices which allows for continuous deployment and proactive monitoring of their productionised workloads. Modernisation should not just be viewed as a technology change but rather a pervasive implementation on cloud technologies that addresses a spectrum of technical and non-technical requirements with the delivery of new ways of work and the enablement of busines agility.

Developing client-server applications has resulted in a focus on building tiered applications that use specific technologies in each tier and is typically divided by functional layers such as front end, business logic, and data storage. Such applications are often referred to as monolithic applications and are packaged onto hardware scaled upfront to cater for worst case scenarios or peak loads. The main drawbacks of this development approach are the tight coupling between components within each tier, that individual components cannot be easily scaled as well as the infrastructural cost of the multiple environments needed to build, test, and run the application. A simple update can have unforeseen effects on the rest of the tier, and so a change to an application component requires its entire tier to be retested and redeployed which severely reduces the agility of the business. An additional significant concern facing businesses in the digital age is that monolithic applications can't be easily scaled. A monolithic application is scaled by cloning the entire application stack onto multiple machines which is costly and difficult to provision and manage.

A container is a modified runtime environment built on top of a host operating system that executes your application. A container does not use virtualization, so it does not waste resources simulating virtual hardware with a redundant operating system. This typically makes containers significantly more lightweight than VMs. This design allows you to respond quickly to changes in demand or failure. Another benefit of containers is you can run multiple isolated applications on a single container host as since containers are secured and isolated, you do not need separate servers for each app and are key enablers of microservices.

Microservices offer a different approach to application development and deployment, an approach that is suited to the agility, scale, and reliability requirements of modern cloud applications. A microservices application is decomposed into independent components that work together to deliver the application's overall functionality. The term microservice emphasizes that applications should be composed of services small enough to reflect independent concerns, so that each microservice implements a single function. In addition, each microservice has well-defined contracts so that other microservices can communicate and share data with it. Microservices can scale-out independently, as compared to monolithic applications that scale together. This means that a specific functional area, that requires more processing power or network bandwidth to support demand can be scaled rather than unnecessarily scaling-out other areas of the application. Some of the benefits of using microservices are: Each microservice is relatively small, easy to manage and evolve. Each microservice can be developed and deployed independently of other services. Each microservice isolates any issues. For example, if there is an issue in a service it only impacts that service. The other services can continue to handle requests. Each microservice can use the latest technologies. Because microservices are autonomous and run side-by-side, the latest technologies and frameworks can be used, rather than being forced to use an older framework that might be used by a monolithic application.

The task of automating, managing, and interacting with many containers is known as orchestration. Keeping containerized apps up and running can be complex because they often involve many containers deployed across different machines. Kubernetes is open-source orchestration software for deploying, managing, and scaling containers. Kubernetes has become the de facto choice globally for container orchestration and is supported by all the major technology vendors. Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is Microsoft’s PaaS service for Kubernetes on Azure and is a complete orchestration service for containers with distributed architectures with multiple containers.

Without data, digital doesn't matter

DATA analytics

Over the last decade the amount of data that systems and devices generate has increased significantly. Because of this increase there is a significant driver for organisations to understand their own operations and ecosystems better. To create value and tap into the promise of this new data landscape, organisations need to evolve their methodologies and technologies. 

ABOUT

The establishment of the Cloud as the preferred location for compute has been a game changer especially with regards to data analytics and insights. The Cloud provides a comprehensive set of data technologies that can store, transform, process, analyze, and visualize data in a secure way. The Cloud model has brought an important change to traditional on-premises hosting models in that cloud requires no upfront capital investment. Instead, an organization provisions services in the cloud and pays only for what it uses. This brings data analytics and insights, which was traditionally an expensive and investment heavy capability, to all organisations.

OUR METHODOLOGY

The traditional approach to data analytics has been to extract raw data from a structured or unstructured data pool and migrate it to a staging data repository. Because the data source might have a different structure than the target destination, the data from the source schema then is transformed to the destination schema. Following the transformation of the data it is then loaded into the data warehouse. These steps form a process called extract, transform, and load (ETL). This approach has several disadvantages, the biggest of which is the assumption that the required data model is understood upfront. An assumption which has been prevalent in computing and has since been disproven through the rise and adoption of Agile as an execution methodology.

Tangent prescribes an alternative approach, which is to extract, load, and transform (ELT). In ELT, the data is immediately extracted and loaded into a large data repository such as a Cloud Data Lake. This change in process reduces the resource contention on source systems. Data engineers can begin transforming the data as soon as the load is complete. ELT has more architectural flexibility to support multiple transformations without any loss of data due to early transformations in the data pipeline. For example, how the marketing department needs to transform the data can be different than how the operations department needs to transform that same data.

Through the utilization of the power of the cloud Tangent deliver next generation ELT architectures which allow for an agile execution empowering the analytics function to meet the evolving requirements of the modern organisation.

MANAGED SERVICES


ABOUT

The rise and adoption of Cloud and DevOps technologies within organisations over time has created internal needs and practices in the fields of IT development, operations, quality engineering, and security. Many organisation struggle to resource these needs adequately to suit the business’ needs and as such have recognised that capacity assistance is needed or that some or all of these services must be outsourced. Tangent provides for this engagement model by providing “operate” services to suit your organisations needs and preferred engagement models. This engagement models have been generalised into two forms: 

 • Managed Services 

• Consulting Services

 
Business People

MANAGED SERVICEs 

Migration to the cloud, stabilization of an environment and subsequent running of the hosted resources is not where an organization’s cloud journey should end, but rather there it should continuously go through a process of optimization and innovation. It is to this end that Tangent crafted the BSOI (Baseline-Stabilize-Optimize-Innovate) methodology alongside a cloud platform support service augmented by technical advisory services to provide the needed expertise and resources to guide and manage our customers’ cloud platform requirements.

BSOI 

The BSOI Cloud Management methodology is based on the activities of Baseline-Stabilize-Optimize-Innovate. This methodology aims to safely and at a managed pace move a company through the maturity levels of cloud adoption. As the cloud is diverse and there are many aspects requiring maturation, the BSOI framework is based on agile and uses iterations to continuously evolve a cloud environment to improve resilience, to increasingly utilize cloud platform provided up-times SLA's and of course to drive innovation on top of cloud technologies. 

BSOI operates on the principle of iterative cloud adoption maturity appropriate activities. The whole project of BSOI provides an underlying framework and vision, which are then split into activities of Baselining and Stabilization, followed by iterations of stabilization, optimization and innovations on cross functional impact areas such as cyber security or compute. Verticalized initiatives or Special Projects such Data lake implementations are managed separately and quoted for separately. 

At a high level the BSOI engagement model can be represented as such:

The identification of iteration efforts which optimize the cloud environment is informed and guided by the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework. These focus areas are prioritized based on business priority and metric driven insights. 

TEAM AUGMENTATION

Tangent sees Cloud consulting and DevOps consulting as fields in IT that are growing at a rate which is beyond the capability of many organisations to resource internally. To this end Tangent has crafted a team of Cloud and DevOps experts that are able to consult and provide capacity over a range of technologies and competencies. 

We provide specialist services with a focus on the implementation of industry best practices. Our consultants are mature, well-spoken, and efficient with a high sense of ownership and believe in the delivery of value for our customers. 


2020 CASE STUDIES

award winning

Tangent Solutions is a Microsoft Gold partner with multiple competencies and an Advanced Specialization in the Modernization of Web Applications to Microsoft Azure. 

2020

Microsoft Application Development Innovation Partner of the Year

2019

  • Microsoft Application Development Innovation Partner of the Year
  • Microsoft Open Source Partner of the year

2017

Microsoft Application Development Partner of the Year

Award Trophy

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