To cloud or not to cloud: a long-term perspective
Since the rise of the cloud, many businesses have completed their cloud transition in search of better functionality, greater security, and lower expenses, as compared to on-prem servers.
Many more companies are still in doubt regarding this step, as the news of the leaks of naked celebrity photos or the hacking of more than 100 millions of medical records instill caution, if not terror in their hearts. How can a business trust a cloud service provider with their mission-critical systems or their customer’s PIA? Is it safe to go to the cloud after all?
We assure you — it is. As the experience with Pentagon and CIA shows — the most important data of the US government can be trusted to AWS cloud storages — and it’s not the CSP’s fault the users leave this data lying in the open… The same goes for the aforementioned celebrity leaks — in none of the cases they originated from the cloud provider’s fault. Quite the contrary, it was the girls themselves who gave the hackers their credentials through fake password reset requests. Well, being pretty or powerful does not equal being smart, and using the cloud right.
However, as we have outlined quite a few times before, the cloud is one of the three pillars of the successful digital transformation nowadays. It does provide multiple benefits:
- Costs reduction as compared to purchasing and maintaining bare metal servers in conventional data centers. With the cloud, you pay only for the computational resources consumed, with no upfront expenses.
- Easier data backup and recovery. All of the leading CSP’s, be it AWS or GCP, Azure or IBM Cloud provide convenient backup/restore functionality, and the user has only to tick a checkbox to make it work. With dedicated servers, configuring the process is a task you have to pay for.
- Multiple APIs and auxiliary features. When going for GCP, AWS or Azure you can be sure they have a plenty of additional features and APIs that provide literally any functionality your business can require, Big Data tools being one of the most important of them.
- Infrastructure scalability. Cloud service providers are able to scale the resources up and down at your request, so you do not pay for the unused resources and you can always have as much RAM, traffic or CPU power as needed.
- The convenience of monitoring. There are multiple built-in and third-party monitoring tools available to the cloud users. This enables them to always be aware of the current state of events with their software and services, receive smart alerts of any issues and adjust the infrastructure accordingly.
- The basis for Big Data. Of course, the business can leverage on-prem dedicated servers and computational resources for Big Data analytics. However, these resources will remain idle between the analysis rounds, or some complex configuration will be required to administer them appropriately. In the other case, you will have to suffice with limited resources and the analysis will take too much time to be useful.
- Meanwhile, you can simply order the needed amount of storage, RAM and CPU power from the cloud provider, perform the calculations and dismiss the resources afterward.
The most important benefit of using the cloud still lies within the fact that the users have to pay only for the resources they consume, without having to pay for the utility and personnel wages. As new and new tech enters the market, the prices go down steadily, like with the new generation of M5 — general-purpose AWS instances presented to the public during the AWS re:Invent week 2017.
Final thoughts on the long-term perspective of moving to the cloud
While the entrepreneurs retain the right to have certain concerns, the question is actually not if they must or not must move their infrastructure to the cloud. The question is how soon they do it and if they will be able to reap all the benefits.
Do you have any questions or concerns regarding the cloud transition? Ask them right away, we will answer gladly!