Deploying public cloud platforms is effortless and fast. Even beginners can achieve visible results quickly — a virtual machine only takes a few dozen seconds to set up. Just give your credit card details and get started on your project, and what you don’t know yet, you can easily learn as you go along, right?
However, ease of use conceals risks. Platform providers may invest heavily in issues such as security, but novices can easily wind up building an insecure environment. Expertise is also needed when choosing a solution for each purpose: reserved but unused capacity can lead to unnecessary costs.
Granting full freedom of action to projects can backfire later, by making them difficult to manage or by raising costs. Environments paid for with plastic and built hastily around project needs may include needless overlapping solutions.
Build safely on a solid foundation
As in construction projects, a safe and stable foundation guarantees a firm basis on which you can build, and provides opportunities for extensions. Repairing a foundation retrospectively can be laborious and incur unnecessary costs.
However, nothing is set in concrete at the beginning of a cloud project — the configuration can be updated as use expands. On the other hand, you should design the basic components related to e.g. account structures, network connection and authentication at the very start, in order to move forward on a firm basis. Role-based access and user management provides clarity and improves security. Well-designed network structures within, as well as outside, the cloud enhance security and boost intuitiveness. Management of confidentiality should also be clearly planned and communicated.
Where necessary, certain cloud services can be excluded from normal use — few users need the computing power of supercomputers, for example. However, such services will certainly accrue costs. In many cases, there are also good grounds for restricting the geographical location. It’s often best to start by opting for the users’ local region, particularly if it offers a sufficiently broad service portfolio. You can select a certain single region or, for example, the EU/EEA.
As use expands, matters tend to arise such as monitoring solutions of various kinds, log management, and increasing and ensuring fault tolerance.
An expert partner will help you make the right choices and define the basic principles. There is certainly no need to spend weeks poring over plans, and you can also make sure that the cloud foundation complies with the best practices recommended by platform providers.
Cloud Foundation or Landing Zone?
It’s easy to get lost in the terminology jungle. Different platforms may use slightly different terms for a cloud foundation, but they nevertheless mean the same thing. In the most straightforward cases, the provider offers a ready-made framework on which a cloud foundation can be built from code.
This means that design of the foundation does not in any way hinder the project from starting, but ensures smooth work and efficient resource use in the future.
For larger projects, it also makes sense to consider setting up your own cloud-focused competence centre to provide projects with support and expertise to ensure efficient use of the cloud.
Controlled expansion, efficient operation
A sensible and controlled basis also provides opportunities to expand into new areas; completely new solutions can be built on the cloud foundation, or existing ones transferred there. Centralised cost management enables cost optimisation and ensures overall visibility.
Centralised Devops practices to streamline product development and a highly automated cloud architecture minimise the need for manual work, ensuring efficient and modern cloud-based operations. Automatic recovery from faults is no longer the stuff off science fiction.
Towards more sustainable, genuine benefits
Thanks to public cloud platforms, ICT architectures can be built in hours or days, rather than weeks of months. However, the pace must allow for taking time to get some of the basics right and thereby guarantee efficient and secure use of the cloud in the future. Even in the cloud, security, scalability and ease of operation are not intrinsic values, but a well-designed foundation can help to ensure that you genuinely gain from a cloud-based environment.
Do you want to get the most out of cloud services?
Take a step towards your goal by signing up for our free GTalks webinar “Good basics of Cloud“ 11.3.2021 (11:00 to 12:30 EET).