Weekly Packet: To Cloud Infinity, and Beyond
In the latest cloud news, GCP announced a new availability zone, containers are picking up more steam, and devs are increasingly using sandbox cloud instances.
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Both vendors and cloud users continue to push cloud adoption strategy ever further. This week in Building More Data Centers, Google Cloud Platform announced its third availability zone in its Oregon region. With the new zone, Google Cloud also added new services for users — CloudSQL and regional Managed Instance Groups, which can be used to spread VMs across multiple zones for business continuity reasons. More public cloud provider zones means more choice for IT teams trying to reduce distance (and latency) from users to the apps and services they need. Google Cloud doubled revenue growth in the past year, but it’s still playing catch-up to AWS, along with Microsoft Azure and even IBM Cloud.
A recent study found that containers — sometimes thought to be a niche technology — are emerging as a key part of multicloud portability. That’ll continue to be important as enterprises choose multiple public cloud providers that lack integration or API capabilities. The report (sponsored by a container tech provider, naturally) found that nearly three-quarters of respondents are using Kubernetes, which is a container management and orchestration tool. It also found that IT management and operations teams are the primary users of container technology, contrary to earlier beliefs that containers were primarily for developers. For those trying to avoid cloud provider lock-in and push forward in using the right cloud for the job, containers may be the best bet for now.
Another approach to smart cloud adoption strategy may be using sandbox development cloud instances. In these cases, IT teams build a replica of an on-premises production environment using a public cloud. Then, testing and modeling can catch potential issues with less at stake. Ideally, this small-scale approach will also save money upfront before you dive into deploying a new app or making dramatic changes in actual production. Sandbox testing has long been a sweet spot for public cloud, but make sure to plan and document carefully when it’s used as a replica, so you know what mistakes to avoid.
On the topic of multicloud and hybrid cloud, F5’s recent report on application delivery focuses on the on-premises application delivery controller that’s used to deploy application services. That piece of technology is changing along with most others as we look toward a cloud future. The study found that organizations will use, on average, 14 application services to optimize and secure their clouds, including network firewalls, secure VPNs, and load balancing. F5 is now pushing new products to address application delivery needs across multiple public and private clouds.
Delivering cloud and SaaS applications is a reality for lots of businesses today. Office 365, one of the popular business SaaS apps in use, is overwhelming lots of corporate networks, according to a recent survey. Nearly 80% of those surveyed are using or plan to use Office 365. Of those using it already, 70% report latency issues on at least a weekly basis. To us, that sounds like an awful lot of help desk tickets rolling in. Survey respondents also found that required network upgrades for Office 365 cost more than expected. We know that monitoring is essential here — Office 365 is critical for users, and we’ve talked with lots of customers about how to see into the actual Office SaaS network path to find and fix problems.
Till next week, think big about your cloud strategy.
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