Navigating Today’s Cloud Market: Consider Infrastructure as-a-Service

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Cloud, cloud, cloud. There are so many commercials and advertisements talking about cloud, you could start a new drinking game each time you hear the word. What is this cloud thing we keep hearing about? There are many kinds of cloud offerings today, but the category I want to focus on in this blog post is Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS). IaaS delivers hardware, networking, and storage in a virtual form that is rented to customers instead of customers having to purchase and manage these individual components. Cloud is making it easier to manage and deploy infrastructure and has started to replace traditional IT infrastructure at many organizations.

The cloud market is a new and has exploded over the past decade. The total public cloud market is expected to reach $160 billion in 2018 according to IDC. Recent findings from Synergy Research Group, tell us that traditional IT has dropped by 18% over 24 months, while public cloud has increased 35% in that same time.

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Companies are considering the public cloud because solutions like Amazon Web Services (AWS), a major leader in the public cloud space, make it so easy. With AWS, you can create a brand new, redundantly powered, physically secured data center in Ohio in about a day, with workloads running in physically separate data centers and interconnected with 10 Gbps. No more waiting for equipment to be shipped, racking the equipment, configuring, worrying about licensing, etc.

Yes, the public cloud is running your infrastructure on someone else’s computer, but that someone has rules that you must be aware of. Traditional networking that we’ve grown up with has taught us to segment and break up our networks into 24 CIDR blocks to help reduce chatter such as multicast and broadcasts. AWS abstracts these communication protocols because everything in AWS is software. Access to the hardware is completely removed. Not only must you be aware of these guideless, but AWS has thousands of services, which can be overwhelming when you are trying to decide which services to choose. One of the first and most popular services is S3, Simple Storage Services. To keep it simple, you can think of S3 as a NAS that has a global reach. S3 uses buckets, which are folders, and the names for these buckets are globally unique. Each bucket needs to be different and follow naming guidelines like bucket names should not contain upper-case letters. Also keep in mind that not all workloads that run in the private data center should necessarily be migrated in AWS.

Navigating all of the considerations for your organization’s initial cloud migrations can be quite an undertaking. Look for partners or vendors with a strong team of engineers who have experience performing cloud assessments and cloud migrations. Is your vendor able to help you determine service requirements – for instance by performing detailed gap analyses to help align the right technologies to the needs of your business? Be sure to select a partner who can assist with determining which workloads are best suited for the cloud, and which should stay on-premises. Legacy three-tier application architectures may not be the best fit for the public cloud, while variable customer facing workloads with the use of auto-scaling and much larger network segments may make a perfect match.

Organizations are increasingly looking to make their internal IT simpler and easier to manage by turning towards the public cloud. AWS is one solution that can help reduce the need to maintain backup tapes by utilizing their global object storage service, S3. Over time, cloud can also help reduce cost by not having to purchase extra equipment for peak seasonal usage.

As the public cloud market grows bigger and stronger with each passing day – 74% of technology CFOs say the public cloud will be the tool that has the most impact on their business – let Burwood Group’s cloud experts help you get ahead of the curve and prepare your business for a new digital era. Contact us to get started.


 

February 6, 2018