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Implementing an effective cloud computing and virtualization strategy offers every business improved agility, resiliency, and reduced total cost of ownership on their application infrastructure.
Cloud computing technologies are designed to drive optimization around the applications they run, the skillsets of the IT staff supporting them, and the experience of the users who access them. At the same time, these technologies are more resilient, agile, and secure than purpose-built or dedicated servers, but only if leveraged properly. The first step to gaining these advantages is taking a closer look at the differences between common cloud environments:
Private cloud environments can be configured to support nearly any application. However, running and operating a private cloud generally makes the most sense for legacy applications, I/O-intensive applications (i.e. HR, accounting systems, or localized databases), for mission-critical applications with strict security and compliance requirements, or for workloads that don’t require a high degree of elasticity. Private clouds can be built within your own data center or colocation environment and managed internally or outsourced to a managed private cloud provider which can provide many of the advantages of public cloud, without the risks associated with multi tenancy.
In public cloud environments, an organization gains access to pooled computing resources either from underlying physical servers or from a virtualized environment. Often organizations select the public cloud environment for tasks such as long-term data storage, testing environments that need to scale up and down quickly, or new applications where demand is variable or uncertain. There are many public cloud solutions each with their own advantage; some are designed for lifting and shifting existing workloads directly to the cloud, while others are more niche, designed for serverless microservices. Leveraging the right public cloud provider can often determine if a project is both a technical and an economic success.
A hybrid cloud strategy offers a blend between private and public cloud allowing the best of both worlds. An organization can run legacy applications in a stable and highly secure environment in a private cloud, with the option to reach out to the public cloud when elasticity is needed or in the event of a critical failure. Most organizations need the ability to increase computing, storage, and backup capacity, and manage new applications on the fly. With these needs, it makes perfect sense to virtualize some tiers of the application stack in private cloud and migrate some applications to the public cloud.
There are three main cloud computing service models – IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. The key is to choose the right level of cloud service for your workload and your environment.
While the infrastructure and computing resources that run today’s businesses such as storage, hardware, servers, and networking components are critical, they are often underrated when it comes to being ranked as business priorities. That’s because, although the infrastructure is expected to perform predictably and reliably to support the business, it is not necessarily viewed as being a differentiator that delivers a competitive advantage. This belief, however, is far from the truth.
In fact, today’s information technology leaders are turning to infrastructure services to help them drive efficiency and power digital transformation across their businesses. One way they are doing this is by adopting the IaaS model in lieu of server hardware refreshes. IaaS is a cloud computing model where an organization outsources the fundamental infrastructure equipment used to support operations, i.e., storage, hardware, servers, and networking components, and access to computing resources is delivered through a virtualized, cloud-based environment. This creates a joint delivery model where organizations own “up stack” from the virtual machine, but everything required to run that virtual machine from the hypervisor down to the hardware and power, is managed and maintained elsewhere.
While IaaS has its place in a cloud computing strategy, it is far from the only tool organizations have. Software as a Service (SaaS) applications are the most recognized cloud-based IT services category, and they include popular applications like Microsoft 365, Google G Suite, and Box. A Platform as a Service (PaaS) example would be a development platform that is used to build and run applications in the cloud without the need to manage individual servers. Typically, these are comprised of serverless microservices that connect to databases or other data storage environments. Each model, SaaS to PaaS to IaaS, moves the demarcation of control to a different point in the computing stack, so it’s important to map the right as-a-Service approach to the right workloads and business needs and then align them with the right delivery model as part of your IT operations strategy.
According to a recent Gartner study, the global cloud market will reach an astonishing $482 billion by the end of this year, with hybrid cloud leading the way. If your organization is considering a move to a cloud-based environment, it’s important to evaluate the different options available based on your critical infrastructure, applications, and users. Enterprises can successfully leverage cloud architectures to meet new business goals and determine winning strategies for moving certain applications or servers to the cloud, but if the proper evaluations aren’t made beforehand, cloud adoption and migration can quickly increase complexity and costs, rather than reduce them.
Moving to a cloud-based infrastructure is more than just a strategic consideration for organizations. It has become the norm due to its potential for improving business outcomes across the board. Bluewave partners with the leading providers of public, private, and hybrid cloud computing solutions. We work closely with you to assess your current services and how they align with your needs and budget.
Cloud solutions are fast and easy to set up which can lead to cloud creep and shadow cloud deployments. Bluewave can provide holistic management of your cloud solutions to ensure you buy and control what you need.
We understand that cloud technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Because of this, we have designed our process to ensure you get the right solution for your needs. We’ll start by assessing your current solution to see what’s working and what’s missing. The best method to determine the right solution for you is to identify useful features that will optimize your business outcomes. Once we have that, we can narrow down the service providers and determine which will be the best fit.
Additionally, migrations to cloud technologies aren’t done in silos. There are security and connectivity shifts that need to occur to align to new delivery models. Bluewave’s deep security and network experience makes sure that we are considering how your cloud strategy and shift impacts other areas of your technology footprint.
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