Last month I went into the financial side of moving to the cloud. This month I am going to focus on the other main reason I have seen customers migrate to the cloud: Security of business. When I say security, I do not mean username and passwords, but a stability of the environment factor that causes companies to have a sense of security. Nobody wants their environments to be affected by uncontrolled or outside forces. Whether that is mistakes by companies digging in the ground around your datacenter or office, or the electric company not doing a good job in keeping the power flowing. Things happen, and allot of times, there is nothing you can do about it.
There can be tons of reasons why you are concerned about the stability of your environments, but the main idea is to make sure you have your data available to your company when it needs it.
Moving to the cloud is one way of assisting you in your endeavor to stabilize your company. You now have a company that is responsible for your environment, and depending on your company of choice, they can provide support to you 24 hours a day.
So, what parts, if not all of your datacenter, are you going to move to the cloud? That is a personal question that you and your company as a whole need to evaluate. Every company is different, and no two datacenters are ever exactly the same.
You may have several application servers that could go, but then you need to think about the databases that they need to communicate with. You don’t want to worry about paying for bandwidth charges for your apps to communicate with your local company because you separated the frontend with the backend.
Another situation may be providing better customer facing apps. This is one of the most common reasons why companies go in the cloud direction. If your customer facing applications are busy all the time, the cloud can provide a more robust environment at a cheaper cost that you may be paying for co-location services with a third party company.
Another reason companies move, is the backup capabilities that the cloud provides. This is sometimes overlooked when companies start evaluating is they should take advantage of the cloud. Some cloud providers offer managed services, which take care of your instances on a more personal level. How?
Depending on your cloud provider, it could mean keeping your instances patched on the operating system, backing up your instances to another facility, or taking snapshots of your instances and putting them on separate storage. One cloud provider I worked with actually helped me customize my environment so I could do my own form of managed services through automated scripts. This practically negated the need to have the client pay for the managed services to begin with.
Do you need managed services? That is a question you need to answer for yourself. There are added expenses if you choose to have managed services, but it can also allow you to trim down your support teams that are taking care of your systems. That is something you really need to think about thoroughly first.
So, we have two of the main reasons why most companies in my experience move to the cloud, financial and security of business. But now that you have your reasons why you should move to the cloud, you still have to answer one question: “Where do I start?”
We will cover that topic in more detail next month.
By Richard Thayer