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Cloud computing has been touted as one of the most innovative and important technologies for smaller businesses as they look to compete with larger organizations. How it makes this possible is by offering the dynamic computing environments that can help bring these smaller businesses into the information age without saddling them with massive infrastructure costs while doing so. That’s not to say that the cloud is cheap by any means, and this month we will discuss how cloud computing is a great option and how if it isn’t managed properly, it can be problematic for the businesses that rely on it.
There could be a number of reasons why a business would choose to deploy cloud-based computing resources. The breadth of reasons are led by, what else? Money. The cost of new computing infrastructure is prohibitive for many small businesses and the pay-as-you-go structure that cloud resources present can be a major benefit for any-sized business. Additionally, businesses can pretty much get any type of computing environment in the cloud, including ultra-secure computing that meets all IT hosting security requirements for regulatory compliance.
It stands to reason that as cloud computing resources have advanced over the past decade that more and more businesses have identified them as a valuable addition to their IT infrastructure, but there are some issues that continuously pop up. The first is that with many public cloud-hosted applications, the underlying infrastructure is managed by the provider, giving a business less control over their IT than they would probably like. Another issue is a security one. While the infrastructure the cloud resources are hosted on is sufficiently managed and maintained, it is also home to other customers’ applications and data. This increases risk somewhat; as does transmission as all apps and data need to be transmitted over an Internet connection.
With a large percentage of organizations choosing to utilize cloud computing for one thing or another, strategies and solutions have been developed to circumvent the traditional problems that arose from cloud computing deployment. Let’s take a look at a couple of them:
If you are familiar with the way that IT administrators monitor and manage network resources, it won’t be a big surprise to know that there is always a shred of doubt that a business’ cloud providers live up to their service level agreements. The best way to know that you are getting the cloud computing that you are paying for, especially if you are hosting mission-critical hardware with the provider, is to consistently monitor your cloud services.
Workload automation has been an important IT management tool for some time and has evolved enough to help organizations manage their cloud computing resources. This allows businesses more flexibility to choose cloud-based resources while still hosting their mission-critical sources in house. Workload automation allows for what is called a hybrid cloud solution and can be a great reactive tool to provision more or less computing resources quickly. On top of that, it can give IT administrators a great guide to their organizational computing needs and allow them to make decisions about how to manage a business’ computing inventory that often includes multiple operating systems, dozens of applications and databases, and various network management and security tools. Automating your workload management will go a long way toward the high-availability, highly secure experiences every growing business wants from their cloud-based resources.
One way organizations are doing better at managing their cloud resource costs is by using a strategy called serverless computing. This strategy is where an organization pays for services as they need them, and after they are finished, the computing resources are returned to the provider. Also known as Function-as-a-Service (FaaS), a business can completely strategize their use of cloud computing resources and maximize efficiency doing so. Per GB costs will obviously rise by using this method, but you can completely control overall costs. If you need short term cloud services for a precise function, you could save money by considering serverless computing.
Businesses can go further and do more in the cloud than they could ever imagine to do by designing, building, hosting, and supporting their own in-house infrastructure, but they can also waste a lot of money if they don’t have the knowledge needed to do it right.
At Digital Seattle, our technicians have extensive experience deploying computing infrastructures of all types to all manners of different businesses. Give us a call today to learn more about how cloud computing can take your business where you want it to go.