In an exclusive interview, Sreekumar Balachandran, Global IT Head, SunTec Group, sheds light on the evolving landscape of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and its profound impact on Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). From the rise of automation and Infrastructure as Code (IAC) to the challenges and opportunities posed by cloud-based solutions, Balachandran outlines key trends shaping the industry. He emphasises the need for OEMs to adapt strategies that align with the demand for dynamic, scalable infrastructure and shares insights on overcoming challenges related to security, data privacy, and regional variations. As the industry moves towards serverless microservices, Balachandran provides valuable perspectives on how OEMs can leverage these changes to stay competitive and future-ready.
As the Global IT Head at SunTec Group, what key trends are you observing in the emergence of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and how are these trends reshaping the future of OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)?
The extensive prevalence of automation, including IAC (Infrastructure as a Code), in the dynamic management and provisioning of infrastructure through code and the need to have flexible infrastructure as dictated by PAAS and SAAS layers have given profound significance to having infrastructure too in an IAAS framework.
With virtualization technologies getting into all layers and containerization being adopted extensively, there is a need to have the core infrastructure layer be as dynamic, flexible, and scalable as the upper application layers.
With the increasing adoption of cloud-based solutions and IaaS, how can OEMs adapt their strategies to meet the evolving needs of customers and remain competitive in the market?
Demands for dynamic and scalable infrastructure, especially for HPC, big data analytics, etc., have enabled OEMs to push IaaS as the more preferred model, which enables pay as you use and avoids infrastructure hogging.
Instead of owning up the whole stack, the progressive layers provide clear abstraction, and IaaS provides the bottom layer to build up PaaS and SaaS on top of it and independently manage it without the need to bother about operating systems, middleware, etc.
OEMs should hence adopt strategies, systems, and frameworks that help organisations manage the top layers independently by offering a seamless IaaS layer that is flexible, compartmentalised, dynamic, and scalable.
IaaS is moving far away from just being a BMaaS (bare metal as a service) or a vanilla compute model, i.e., virtualized compute, network, and storage (HCI) on cloud, to a fully serverless microservices regime, and the race is on.
What are the main challenges and opportunities that OEMs should be aware of when navigating the IaaS landscape, and how can they leverage these changes to their advantage?
The traditional VM model is slowly moving towards containers and serverless concepts, which is a challenge for the traditional OEMs and provides an advantage to those who have robust Cloud Foundation layer offerings. These technologies also help in building up cloud-native technologies within the data centre, enabling perfect hybrid models.
OEMs should be looking to offer strong orchestration layers built on tools like Kubernettes to manage the cluster ecosystem. Those who deliver the most to enable a perfect microservice architecture will be the true winners.
The opportunities, of course, are immense, as organisations need flexibility, scalability, availability, and ease of provisioning, which is dyanamic with a flexible pricing model and IaaS offers just that.
Security and data privacy are critical concerns in the IaaS environment. Could you share insights into how OEMs can ensure the security and compliance of their solutions while embracing these new market trends?
While adopting IaaS, your data is parked elsewhere, and hence it calls for shared security responsibilities. However, the ownership rests with us, including the strategies, policies, and practices. The risks are also compounded, mainly related to data breaches, data loss, and denial of service.
The mutual roles and responsibilities have to be clearly defined through operational-level contracts and SLAs.
Data encryption is a must in storage, compression, monitoring, and control systems to be provisioned to have complete control over the system at all times.
SunTec Group has a global presence. From your perspective, how do you see regional variations affecting the adoption of IaaS by OEMs, and what strategies should they consider to address these differences effectively?
SunTec has implemented native cloud technologies within our core datacenter and has built a strong cloud foundation layer with one of the reputed OEMs. This has enabled us to have a seamless hybrid cloud framework with our Devops pipeline extending to the cloud. This gives us immense flexibility to move workloads back and forth to optimise costs, as well as ensuring availability, flexibility, and scalability as required. For example, some HPC (high-performance computing) requirements and big data processing, which may be expensive to perform on the cloud but use cloud-native technologies, can be done within the datacenter itself.