Whether the destination is a private, public, or hybrid cloud, it’s clear that companies are continuing to migrate their workloads and applications to the cloud.
The latest RightScale report shows that 95% of the respondents for its 2017 State of the Cloud survey are currently using or experimenting with cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). By 2021, Gartner reports that of the organizations using the cloud today, more than 1/2 will not just have a few workloads in the cloud, they will be “all in.” This means that rather than lifting and shifting into the cloud, companies will be refactoring and re-building directly in the cloud. In other words, there’s no going back to on-premises.
How can companies expect to benefit from migrating to the cloud? While every organization’s motivation for migrating to the cloud will be different, the advantages are available to companies of every size and in every sector. Let’s take a closer look at what your business can achieve through cloud computing and migration to the cloud.
On-demand resourcing essentially means that when you need to provide a resource within the cloud, it’s almost immediately available to you to allocate where and when you need it.
Sourcing additional resources for your infrastructure, whether it be compute, storage or network, will be a lengthy process. In addition to all of the steps necessary for choosing and ordering equipment, you’ll also need to install and configure it before releasing it into the production environment. This whole process can take weeks, and weeks is not good enough in today’s world. Sometimes days or even hours is too long to wait for additional resources, especially if it’s impacting your customers’ experience. The on-demand resourcing aspect of cloud computing alleviates this issue entirely by providing almost instant access to a resource that you have selected and configured via a series of options.
Cloud computing offers you the ability to rapidly scale your environment’s resources both up and down and in and out depending on your requirements and the demands of your applications and services. When scaling up and down, you are altering the power of an instance, perhaps using one with greater CPU power to scale up. When scaling in and out, you are simply adding or removing the number of instances you’re using. The cloud’s on-demand resourcing is what makes this scalability possible. Imagine trying to quickly add additional servers and bring them online within your environment after a sudden surge in demand!
Flexibility and elasticity
Cloud computing offers huge flexibility and elasticity to your design approach. You can choose to have as many or as few resources as you require without having to guess your capacity up front. Architecting for surges in demand on-premises can be both tricky to plan for and expensive. Consumers now expect to access what they need with an almost instant response. Having failing and slow response times could easily result in customers taking their business elsewhere. The sheer flexibility and elasticity of the cloud allow you to deploy different resources and services within minutes or seconds, with as many or as few resources as you need, when you need them.
With many cloud services, you only pay for what you use. For example, if you only have one server running for two hours and then shut it down, then you only pay for two hours’ worth of compute resources and that’s it. With the cloud, you only pay for resources when you are using them.
Within a data center, although your infrastructure is typically available and running 24/7/365, it isn’t always utilized. The power on coiling costs alone for this infrastructure can be phenomenal over time especially when you’re talking hundreds or even thousands of servers. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just go along and switch off the servers when you’re not using them? You could, but that rarely happens. Even if you did, you’d still be paying for the footprint space that those servers occupy. The cloud offers you the ability to shut down any instance that isn’t in use, and you can even schedule it ahead of time.
By design, many of the core services within the public cloud and its underlying infrastructure are replicated across different geographic zones and regions. This alone can be a real advantage for many businesses. Having offsite replication built into some services offers a significant advantage over on-premises business continuity solutions. Many organizations do not have the luxury of having multiple sites to replicate their data, or they are often too small to operate a wide-scale disaster recovery program. The cloud helps ensure the durability and availability of your data often without additional configuration dependent on the service type. It’s all provided by the vendor as a part of their service.
Public cloud vendors such as AWS, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure have to operate their security at an extremely high standard. They must adhere to global governance and compliance requirements that cover all industries and sectors. Cloud vendors pour huge amounts of capital into developing their security infrastructure with the best technologies and creating new services to help end users secure their data. As a result, other customers using the cloud are able to benefit from the same level of security that large financial corporations require.
While public cloud vendors provide exceptional security for the underlying infrastructure of the cloud, it’s still up to the end user to then architect security in the cloud using the tools and services and applications available.
Understanding the benefits of the cloud is just a starting point. How can it propel your business forward beyond the constraints from an on-premises solution?And how will it impact your operations and your teams?
We can help you answer these questions. Our course, Should Your Business Move to the Cloud? is designed to help you understand cloud computing from a business perspective. We help you understand the pros and the cons, and we’ll take a look at real use cases to help you and your teams ask the right questions to guide your discussions. Try Should Your Business Move to the Cloud? for free today.