If your enterprise is still on the fence around cloud - here's what you need to know today
Cloud infrastructure services are rapidly becoming the de facto choice for enterprise IT workloads. According to Gartner, the 2019 worldwide revenue from public cloud IT services is expected to grow by 17.5% and will become a $330 billion dollar industry by 2022. Cloud-based technology is no longer an emerging trend, it’s mainstream, with 69% of enterprises moving business-critical workloads to the cloud.
What is the appeal of the cloud?
Cloud technology enables an agile working environment that can drive successful business transformation initiatives. In most cloud solutions, all a user requires is an active internet connection and login credentials to consume enterprise workloads. An Agile workplace helps to facilitate team collaboration, hot-desking, and home working initiatives that can boost productivity and enhance working relationships.
In cloud computing, everything is bigger, and the sheer scale of major cloud provider’s technical solutions is staggering, harnessing this scalability is another major appeal of the cloud. Cloud products are horizontally and vertically scalable, meaning users can scale out their applications using multiples of efficient compute nodes, and scale up (and down) dynamically adding or removing compute resources to individual systems.
As businesses grow, there may be a surge in capacity requirements, including a faster network and the extra demand for storage. Onsite enterprise data centers are expensive to maintain, and purchasing new hardware is heavy on the wallet. With the cloud, petabytes of storage are available at the click of a button, and you only pay for what you consume. Cybersecurity is always a top agenda item in any company boardroom, and cloud computing enables users to consume security as a service.
Cloud security is primarily about protecting against the user's data being compromised (destroyed or stolen), and users experiencing a service outage (denial of service). Cloud platforms designed from the ground up to be secure, and as threats are increasing in scale and severity, many enterprise organizations are choosing the cloud to mitigate the security risk.
Cloud infrastructure has backup and redundancy capabilities at its core. All cloud providers offer some type of backup-as-a-service, and the system architecture is created to be redundant, so that all data is protected, all of the time. Offsite copies of data are stored regionally specific, and most cloud providers offer disaster recovery services as standard, giving the user the capability to seamlessly fail over services to another region/country if major system issues are experienced.
One other major appeal of the cloud is the expectation of cost savings, although the costs will take time to reduce, over time, the capital expenditure will decrease significantly as businesses switch away from a local data center model, buying and leasing servers, and all the associated costs and complexities of licensing.
The jump to the cloud requires significant planning and preparation to reap the wealth of benefits available. Even if a business chooses to outsource this responsibility, we recommend all organizations have a grip on what cloud services they want and how they want to consume them.
Multitudes of technical activities are required for successful cloud migration. Creating Service Level Objectives (SLO) is an essential task to help define how the service should perform. Setting Service Level
Indicators (SLI) will allow you to measure the attributes of the service, such as system availability or the overall performance of the service. Together, these will help determine if a cloud solution is fit for purpose. Google Cloud suggest the next steps are the creation of a presentation layer (network) that handles the flow of information through the cloud service, a Business logic layer (compute) that manipulates the data to make it useful for the user, and the data layer (Storage) to store or retrieve the digital information.
Each cloud design must be resilient, horizontally and vertically scalable, and disaster recovery capable. A distributed design adds resiliency for geographic scaling and failover. Many businesses experience a “peak season” where system usage ramps up for a period of time, scalability of compute resources and being able to increase the number of compute nodes adds an elastic computing capability.
Cloud services are secure, future-proofed and cost-optimized. In a traditional data center, physical or virtual computing assets are purchased in advance, often sitting idle, wasting money, resources, and power. On-Demand compute fixes this capacity planning problem.
Additional services such as automated deployment (DevOps), monitoring, alerting and incident response are an inherent design of the cloud. Stateless design drives SLI, SLO and SLA objectives and your enterprise will be able to grow exponentially, both financially and geographically, with the benefits of uptime, scalability and future expansion being readily available.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.
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