You can’t talk modern computing without focusing on the cloud. Nearly everyone and everything is stored or managed on the cloud now. Not every organization is using the cloud wisely, however.
Why did companies even adopt cloud computing? Cost, of course. Saving money is a surefire way to sell the C-suite. But the flexibility is attractive as any other benefit. Public cloud services give startups and growing businesses the freedom to pay for infrastructure that would otherwise hold its ascension back. The likes of Google, Dropbox and Amazon Web Services (AWS) give organizations the computing infrastructure they need without the suffocating investment. There are even smaller cloud providers that cater to specific industries and their business needs.
Modern cloud computing strategies leverage more than public clouds – Multi-cloud architecture combines public clouds, private clouds and a colocation environment. For business with enough capital, the ultimate control over their own private cloud infrastructure is extremely attractive. In-house data centers host your own cloud environments and support your mission-critical applications.
Third-party colocation data centers have built their own infrastructure, but connect you to your private cloud. A colocation provider should also help you optimize your computing performance, prevent or minimize downtime and meet your security and compliance requirements. “Edge” data centers are particularly beneficial, located closer to your end-users, IT staff and customers at the edges of your network.
The right mix of a multi-cloud strategy depends on having a thorough understanding of your goals and requirements. As of today, there are several best practices to follow within the big four needs in cloud computing: security, performance, connectivity and reliability.
Security – Data encryption for both in-transit and stationary data (end-to-end encryption) keeps critical information safe from leakage and theft. Privacy controls, including user data access and time limits on data storage limits your data exposure. Consistent vulnerability testing uncover weaknesses in your cloud infrastructure and processes. Systems and software security updates and patches strengthen identified vulnerabilities. And lastly, your website should have security certificates (SSL) to encrypt links between your web server and browsers.
Performance – Preventative maintenance must be proactive to maximize system uptime. To that end cloud providers or IT must constantly and proactively monitor your power, cooling, network performance and security. 100% visibility is the key to preventing and minimizing downtime.
Connectivity – A wide variety of connectivity options is vital to ensure the flow of data throughout your networks. Cloud computing companies must have direct connectivity and access to all major cloud providers, including AWS, Microsoft, Google, HP, IBM. At vXchnge, Megaport enables such a direct connection.
Reliability – Your cloud environment is only useful if users can accesses any file or data they need, at any time. Uptime is mission critical, which is why proactive monitoring and testing is an operational necessity. Assess providers’ uptime rates.
Though already adopted by many forward-thinking businesses, multi-cloud strategies are increasingly adopted in the IT world. From the control and millions of infrastructure cost savings of building a private cloud to the flexibility and varying functionalities of different cloud environments, combining public, private and colocation is the ideal solution to meeting your unique needs.
A similar trend is the diversification of IT environments as a whole. Businesses want utmost flexibility to implement best-in-class infrastructure and tools, regardless of the IT environment. As such, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will trend toward extinction as Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) platforms move in – with its superior agility and cost efficiency.
One of the most valuable and growing container providers is Kubernetes, “an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications.” Open-source container orchestration empowers you with simpler cloud deployment, efficient management and advanced scaling.
As you assess and solidify your needs, you’ll want to explore your multi-cloud options and learn which strategies could help you meet your goals.
Learn the most valuable multi-cloud strategies to design the most beneficial IT environment. Click below to download your copy of When Public Cloud Is Not Enough: How Your Business Can Benefit from a Multi-Cloud Data Center Architecture.