Tips for Making Your Cloud Environment Last
With the cloud landscape changing rapidly, it can be difficult to create a cloud environment that stands the test of time.
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If you are looking to convince your company to make the transition to the cloud (or already have), you will want to ensure that both the cloud culture and infrastructure is as future-proof and long-lasting as possible.
You certainly don’t want to make the transition only to have to transition back to an older infrastructure due to lack of support or because things stopped working as expected. With that in mind, here are some tips that may help make your cloud environment last not only for 2018 but into the future as well.
Celebrate and Grow from Early Successes
A.K.A "Land and Expand." If you can start with some smaller pilot projects then you can demonstrate to the right people in your organization to how a cloud integration can be successful. If people see the value added when the cloud is put in place for the smaller projects, then it will be easier to see how that value would be brought into the larger infrastructure. These controlled pilots also give you a chance to iron out the people handoffs and process issues that inevitably accompany any major shift in culture.
For example, if you are being pushed to move over quite a few apps into the cloud, including a very important app that will be a larger project, you can start with one or several of the smaller apps. Once you have made the transition, you and your team can display how the transition went and how things have improved with the cloud. You might be able to demonstrate how easy it can be to spin up another server when needed to deal with a heavy load or to provide additional memory or disk space for easily scaling of these apps.
Being able to display apps working in the cloud, along with the agility provided to quickly balance load or scale as needed may help to show how much help a cloud infrastructure can be for many years to come.
Design for Agility via Hybrid and Multi-Cloud
Protected, confidential, and sensitive information can be stored on a private cloud while still leveraging resources of the public cloud to run apps that rely on that data. This is especially important for businesses that store sensitive data for their customers. (Think health care providers and payroll processors, for example.) — Tyler Keenan for Upwork
It is almost certain that your company will have some information that needs to remain private, while other things can be deployed into the public sphere. If you plan for a hybrid cloud early, it can save quite a few headaches later.
For example, deploying everything to a public cloud could potentially leave private information in greater peril of being obtained by someone that should not have it, and could cause a company to leave the cloud entirely, not wanting to risk such an incident happening again. On the other hand, having a hybrid cloud in place early can help people see that both the public and private parts of the transition have been thought about and can be applied as needed for your organization.
In addition to recognizing the need to holistically manage on-prem and off-prem workloads in a hybrid manner, you should avoid painting yourself into a corner when it comes to public cloud options. According to recent Gartner research, over 90% of companies have stated they will be using Multiple Clouds by 2020. While there is certainly some elegance in using the native tools of a given public cloud provider, best-in-class IT organizations are establishing a multi-cloud strategy that does not require bouncing between multiple cloud tools.
Avoid Lock-in with a Single Vendor
Suppliers are nervous about customers changing providers and are therefore not making the whole task of migration easy. Suppliers will try to lock in customers to avoid them migrating to a new provider. For the customers, they often don't know how the lock-in will impact them and this can be devastating when it happens. — ComputerWeekly.com
There are a number of cloud vendors, and migrating from one to the other may not be the easiest thing to do. Also, if one or more of these vendors should merge or leave the field, you would need to migrate to something you haven’t used yet rather quickly. This could be particularly difficult and has the potential for downtime and other issues that could arise.
It is a good idea to work with several vendors, at least for the ability to know how each works and be able to have a migration plan in place should the need ever arise. Being able to see how your infrastructure fits in with a number of cloud vendors can prove to be very helpful in creating a good migration plan and being able to implement it quickly when needed.
The lock-in discussion doesn't just apply to cloud choice. Decisions around hypervisor stacks, container technologies, PaaS offerings, configuration management tools, and more are all rife with potential pitfalls. When you look at the average enterprise IT landscape it's no wonder that automation and agility is such an elusive goal. Homegrown approaches are impossible to maintain but getting into bed with a single vendor can be limiting. This is particularly true when you look at the half-life and hype cycle of technology nowadays.
Another option you can use that allows you to work with multiple cloud and technology stack elements in a standard way is a unified orchestration layer such as Morpheus. The right orchestration can provide a standard set of APIs and processes which will, in turn, insulate organizations from the underlying complexity and make enterprise agility possible. With such a service, you can use most any cloud vendor or platform to create public, private and hybrid cloud infrastructures.
Following these tips can certainly help you make your cloud environment a happy and lasting one. Keep in mind that every company’s situation is different, so be sure to move forward in a way that will best suit the needs of your organization. Let us know if you'd like to set up a demo and learn how Morpheus can provide you with a timeless cloud platform.
Published at DZone with permission of John Pollock, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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