Lessons Learned When Moving to the Cloud

Karen Gondoly

Moving to the Cloud Lessons

At Leostream, we work with organizations around the globe that are moving workloads to the cloud. These organizations span a wide range of industries, vary in company size, and typically have very different motivations for why they chose to move to the cloud in the first place.

Sometimes, the company decides to move to the cloud to improve data security. They want to remove data from users’ end-point devices to minimize the risk of data theft. Other times, the company has elastic capacity needs, for example they’re hiring seasonal or temporary workforce’s. These organizations like the pay-for-what-you-need aspect of the cloud, which mitigates the CapEx associated with adding resources to their data center. We even saw a case where the company simply ran out of room in their data center to put more hardware.

Whatever the case, we’ve noticed some trends related to what these companies learned along the way. So, instead of letting you start from scratch, we’d like to share what we’ve learned and give you a leg up on the start of your cloud journey.

Lesson 1: The cloud allows you to support a distributed, global, and interconnected work force

The major public clouds have regions located around the globe. That means you essentially have a global data center at your fingertips without having to build it. This is perfect for a globally distributed workforce, as you can easily locate their applications, data, and desktops in a cloud close to where they live and work. Their user experience will be leaps and bounds over that of remoting into your corporate data center.

Plus, with the data and applications in a centralized location, users can collaborate and share content more easily. Do you have video editors who need to simultaneously work on a film? Putting the media and applications in the cloud makes collaboration a breeze!

Lesson 2: Just because you can move something to the cloud, doesn’t mean you should

As always, though, you need to consider the technology and business motivations for moving to the cloud, and be willing to admit when the cloud isn’t the right direction to go.

If the complexity of your network or application increases if you move it to the cloud, then keep that application in your data center. If your data center is already configured and optimized as a cloud (are you an OpenStack adopter?) and your users are all located near your data center, a move to a public cloud may not be compelling. If there is too much overhead in architecting, implementing, and maintaining a cloud version of your application or desktops, run away.

Lesson 3: The promise of the cloud is huge, but reining it in requires an effective management tool

It’s important to remember that the cloud is essentially an unlimited, flexible commodity. That’s not always a good thing. If you’ re moving to the cloud to trade CapEx for OpEx, keep in mind that your OpEx can unintentionally spin out of control if you don’t monitor and remove compute that’s no longer in use.

But wait, you say! You’ve heard that the cloud allows you to define access control rules, and create and terminate compute resources based on user demand.

Sure, but who’s managing those decisions for you? As you work more and more with the cloud, you’ll quickly realize that the practice of managing your cloud environment isn’t as easy or simplistic as you hoped.

Having a robust connection brokering solution in place that natively supports various cloud providers, such as Leostream, gives you the ability to ubiquitously and seamlessly connect, manage, and run desktops and applications across a hybrid cloud. With Leostream, you really can treat cloud compute costs more like a commodity. Without Leostream, you’d better keep an eye on your cloud to make sure it doesn’t spin out of control.

Flexibility and efficiency are key advantages of the cloud. But you can’t leverage those advantages if you don’t adequately manage your cloud. So use the cloud where it make sense, help out your global workforce, and don’t forget your friendly connection broker named Leostream!

By Karen Gondoly

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