Q&A with Cloud Thought Leader Lawrence Guillory, Chief Executive Officer & Board Member, Racemi

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VCloudNews is pleased to feature Lawrence Guillory, Chief Executive Officer & Board Member, Racemi which is focused on the server and cloud migration space. Lawrence leads Racemi with a unique entrepreneurial background in the field of Sales and Marketing. His leadership in this area spans nearly 15 years of increasingly greater responsibility in the management and development of software companies. From 1994 –2000, he worked for Brown & Williamson as a Software Development Manager and since then he has co-founded Cpons.com and has worked at CheckFree Corporation. 

 

As cloud adoption is accelerating, customers of all segments are trying to migrate workloads in a heterogeneous cloud environment. In this exclusive Q&A with VCloudNews, Lawrence provides his insight on the cloud market and workload migration considerations across disparate datacenter resources.

 

We know most data centers are heterogeneous. What’s your take on migrating workloads between disparate physical, virtual and cloud resources?

You are correct, most if not all enterprise data centers are heterogeneous. The reason I came to Racemi is because I started out my career in the early 1990s manually building and rebuilding servers, ultimately setting them up to migrate and automate. When I learned Racemi could do this between devices of multiple types, across all major hypervisors and eventually cloud, I knew that Racemi was a one of a kind product that every data center needed.

The task of migrating servers is a daily requirement that is constant in IT. There are compelling events that drive the need to migrate servers, so therefore you must have a solution to support all of your varied needs instead of having a standardized solution that only works for one platform. As a system administrator, there is nothing more irritating than having to use 10 tools for one job. So by using a single tool, it is more valuable to the project overall. When it comes to moving servers between physical, virtual and cloud, Racemi is the best choice.

Are there workloads that are more suitable for private cloud vs public cloud?

Although public cloud providers preach that all workloads are best in their cloud, I disagree. Some workloads are much more suitable for private cloud. In determining whether a private or public cloud is best, you have to start by analyzing the particular organization and its level of readiness for the cloud. The data constraints from regulatory, governmental and industry norms all influence the argument of private vs. public. Additionally, the overall architecture of the business influences this decision as well. Based on these and other key decisions, some applications will be best in a private cloud. That said, most applications will likely run and scale best, be more secure and cost less running in a public cloud. For this reason, within 20 years nearly every application will run in a public cloud; the majority will migrate in the next 10 years.

What should our readers look for in a good server migration product or service?

When looking for a good server migration product or service, I would first start with looking within. You have to profile your company and the migration project you are about to tackle. How cloud ready are you? Can you actually execute the project? Is this a small, medium, large or extra-large project? For example, moving 150 servers to the cloud may be one percent of your overall project or it may be 100 percent of the project. Some companies are very cloud capable, while others are just starting, and regardless of size or cloud readiness they may or may not have the time or desire to personally lead and execute a cloud migration project. That said, most companies realize that moving production applications and entire data centers to the cloud is a highly specialized expertise that is best left to companies like Racemi to execute.

When a company gets to the point of selecting a partner, they need to approach the situation in a similar way as they would approach researching a home builder or choosing a specialized physician for a major surgery. It’s simple: you want to have the best possible company and expertise you can afford. Moving production workloads to the cloud cannot come with mistakes and mishaps. You do not want to hire a generalist, you want someone who specializes in cloud migrations, has the global expertise and customer successes to drive up the chances that your migration will be successful—all while working within your budget. In this market, these requirements narrow down the options to very few firms that are qualified.

Are cloud workloads suitable only for a certain set of customers – for e.g. are SMBs more suited than enterprise? 

SMBs and enterprises all have the same overall suite of applications so in general, the value of cloud is the same, yet what is different is most SMBs can move a larger percentage of their business needs to a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution and 100 percent of their workloads to the cloud. Alternatively, enterprises will have a much more complex migration between private, public and PaaS.

We have seen consolidation in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud market as Gartner reported in MQ 2016. How will the cloud market look in 5-7 years in your opinion?

Now more than ever, the future of IaaS is easy to predict. Over the next 10 years I would bet heavily on AWS, Azure, Google, Oracle and SAP for running specific workloads, and SoftLayer and Virtustream which will have some fragment of the market. I would not bet on any telecommunication or colocation provider to last the long-term. These solutions will ultimately fail and with it their customers will fail too.

Would you like to address a specific pain point in the industry?

Rather than address a specific pain point in the industry, I would rather point out the primary issue I see in the market, which is customers standing at the edge of cloud and not making a decision to go. They are over-thinking cloud and not using experts like Racemi or the major GSIs to help them with their strategy. They are under the false belief that everything has to be rebuilt in the cloud to take advantage of the cloud’s benefits, which leads to a standstill. Migrating a business is not and should not be “big bang” but it equally should not be “analysis paralysis.”

Our most successful customers like GE and CSC work with Racemi to build a comprehensive strategy to choose which applications go to private cloud and which go to public cloud and then quickly mobilize teams to begin executing. The key to their success is achieving consistent wins that move their organization forward with real cloud success stories. Our cloud experts work hand-in-hand with the customer. We use a very agile process that drives out these consistent wins while providing the necessary feedback loop to ensure the project runs into a few issues as possible. Customers looking at a large multi-year, waterfall project leads to doing nothing, wasting money or major failures. If you are not migrating quickly to cloud you can bet your competition isn’t either and when they start attacking with greater efficiencies and quicker response to your customer’s needs, it will be too late for you to catch up. To stay ahead of your customers and competition, you have to have an action-oriented plan that is cloud focused. This is exactly what Racemi provides and exactly the type of customers we prefer working with.

Lawrence Guillory, Chief Executive Officer & Board Member, Racemi

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Lawrence Guillory leads Racemi with a unique entrepreneurial background in the field of Sales and Marketing. His leadership in this area spans nearly 15 years of increasingly greater responsibility in the management and development of software companies. From 1994 –2000, he worked for Brown & Williamson as a Software Development Manager and was recognized for three straight years of delivering over $5 million in software development projects, on-time and on-budget. While there, he co-founded Cpons.com, which grew into one of the Internet’s largest online discount golf communities supporting more than 750 golf courses in all 50 states and 820,000 golfers as members. In 2001, Guillory began working for CheckFree Corporation. While there, he launched two new businesses, grew sales by 530 percent in the first two years on one product line, drove the company’s flagship product from early adopters to a mainstream consumer base of over 25 million consumers, built a new emergency payments business, and turned around a flat-lined business for a seven-fold growth plan. Lawrence has a Bachelor of Computer Science and MBA training from Mercer University.

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