Cloud strategy for your business from a reliable MSP

Cloud transformation strategy is crucial for any business that wants to minimize its spending on IT infrastructure and ensure cost-efficiency and resilience of its operations. However, to build a viable cloud business strategy, you will need a trustworthy contractor with sufficient experience, who will be able to solve all the cloud migration strategy challenges proactively. IT Svit has wide experience and a thorough understanding of cloud migration best practices, so we are able to design and implement an effective cloud business strategy for our customers at scale.

Building hyper-converged infrastructure with any cloud provider

IT Svit has long ago positively evaluated the efficiency of building hyper-converged infrastructures, as defining all Infrastructure as Code helps simplify the management of production environments. This also guarantees repeatability and predictability of all infrastructure management operations, ultimately guaranteeing a shorter time-to-market for your products and cost-efficiency of your cloud environment. This also simplifies cloud backup procedures and disaster recovery operations.

Public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud strategy from IT Svit

While the company might be absolutely sure of the need for using a cloud-first strategy for all their product deployments and operations and be adamant about Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform being their destination, selecting the most appropriate cloud computing model for your goals can be quite hard. IT Svit provides cloud consulting and helps businesses find the best approach to building their cloud-based environments, be it public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud deployments for data and applications.

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Why would your business want to migrate to a cloud? Why would it not? Cloud computing coupled with DevOps workflows is more cost-efficient in terms of OPEX, requires no CAPEX, provides more security, scalability, operational resilience, helps shorten time-to-market for your products and features and provides many more business benefits as compared to on-prem or dedicated servers. The only downside is — in order to work as intended and help reach your business goals, your cloud strategy + DevOps methodology must be correctly designed, implemented and configured. This is where things can get a bit tricky.

When a business wants to come up with a viable cloud transformation strategy, lots of questions must be answered. Depending on your business domain and the project requirements, this list will change, but certain points are the same for all cases:

  • can we lift-and-shift the application or should it be rebuilt in the cloud from scratch?
  • what components of our existing infrastructure and workflows will we migrate to the cloud?
  • what must be left behind and replaced with cloud-based tools and services?
  • what would the data processing approach be? Will we use public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud strategy?
  • how are we going to migrate our data to the cloud — and are we going to?
  • will we implement the best cloud features like Big Data analytics right away or plan for it proactively?
  • most importantly — who will perform the cloud migration and ongoing infrastructure management?

Even though the benefits of moving to the cloud are quite tempting, the business must be ever cautious with their investments at such a scale — and cloud migration requires quite a lot of resources indeed. Therefore, you must clearly understand all the alternatives and outcomes of answers to the questions posed above.

Regarding the application — most of the legacy code and apps created 5-10 years ago are monolithic and cannot scale well to handle intense workloads. They most often deal with peak workloads by requesting more RAM memory and CPU power. This is not cost-efficient and is solved by splitting the app to microservices, so different parts of the application can scale independently to ensure system resilience, cost-efficiency, and fault-tolerance.

Thus said, some apps can be moved to the cloud by lift-and-shift without much refactoring, while some use outdated technology that has no cloud-based analogs today. These apps have to be rebuilt from scratch using cloud-native technologies and RESTful APIs. Therefore, your business stakeholders must decide whether to lift-and-shift the product or to rebuild it in the cloud, based on your project requirements and budget.

Regarding the components — no business evolves the same way. Every company builds its IT infrastructure using the best of its available budget, technology, and skills, but with time most of these investments become legacy systems — inefficient, irrelevant or simply obsolete. Thus said, moving these systems to the cloud is inefficient, and it’s better to drop them for good before the cloud migration and replace this functionality with relevant cloud-based services and tools.

Regarding the data storage and processing — the public cloud is the cheapest option and provides sufficient security and scalability if it is configured right (auto-scaling groups placed behind a CDN for scalability and a bastion host protecting a private subnet for database security). The private cloud is needed when regulations demand your customer data to reside within the country boundaries — for medical or financial apps, for example. To ensure that, a sector of public cloud is cut off and provided at your own disposal. This costs more, but the cloud platform can ensure the data is stored within one Availability Zone and never leaves the territory of the USA or any other country.

The hybrid cloud suits situations where some data must be securely stored and quickly processed on-prem, while other parts of the system reside in the public cloud. This is useful for Big Data applications, training Machine Learning models, running prescriptive analytics, etc. The fourth approach is a so-called “multi-cloud strategy”, where your systems span several cloud platforms and use services from different cloud vendors. This is useful for high-workload projects, where services from different cloud providers have to be combined to provide the required functionality. This ensures cloud-agnostic modular infrastructures, where components can be swapped relatively easily upon demand.

Regarding the data migration — every business stores all kinds of data and every app uses some kind of database. Depending on the type of cloud migration (lift-and-shift or cloud-native rebuilding), you might need to upgrade the version or swap the database to some other one. This is one of the most important decisions of the project.

Regarding implementing the latest features — cloud migration is the best time to future-proof your application. You can replace the outdated database with a more productive one with more features. You can ensure better app performance by splitting the monolith to microservices and adding RESTful APIs to ease the possible integrations with third-party products. You can plan ahead for the ability to implement Big Data analytics, serverless computing functions, blockchain, AR/VR and other features. This is best done as a part of the cloud transformation strategy, to avoid the need to invest in it after some time. However, in the case of limited time and budget, this task can be postponed, or be totally irrelevant, based on the nature of your app.

Regarding the contractor for the project — this is another crucial choice that can make or break the project. You can actually choose between several variants:

  • task your in-house IT team with the cloud transition and learn by trial and error
  • try to attract the needed talents through hiring and invest an unidentified amount of time and money in recruitment and HR-management to form a cohesive team,
  • delegate the task to the support engineers of Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform and risk a vendor lock-in
  • hire a dedicated team from an IT outsourcing company and risk trusting an unscrupulous contractor.

As you can see, only the disadvantages of working with an IT outsourcing company can be alleviated quite easily. The only thing you need to do is some background research and finding feedback from previous customers. A trustworthy Managed Sevices Provider like IT Svit will have lots of positive customer reviews, will be listed in various ratings and will be able to provide references to satisfied customers.

Building hyper-converged cloud infrastructure for your projects

Hyper-converged cloud infrastructure or HCI is a term describing the virtualized environment where all parameters are configured through scripts, rather than manually. This is exactly what Infrastructure as Code approach is about, the DevOps best practice we mentioned earlier. We use the Terraform and Kubernetes tools that leverage so-called “manifests” — textual files where all the required characteristics and settings of an environment are described in simple descriptive language. These files can be versioned like any other code, so building the required version of an environment is as easy as launching the required manifest.

This way both the software delivery of new product features and the cloud infrastructure management tasks become easily repeatable, transparent and predictable. Using manifests removes the room for human error and ensures continuity of environments, from developer’s IDE all the way to production, removing decades-old “works on my machine” problem. IT Svit can use Terraform and Kubernetes to build immutable and performant cloud infrastructures with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, MS Azure, DigitalOcean and other cloud vendors.

Helping select the right cloud strategy for your business

IT Svit has 5+ years of DevOps expertise and more than 200+ successfully accomplished DevOps projects. We can select, design, implement and manage the best cloud structure for your project, based on your business goals. We provide configuration and management for public, private, hybrid and multi-cloud software ecosystems and environments.

IT Svit provides end-to-end cloud solutions of any scale. We will help at any stage of your project:

  • audit your existing infrastructure and processes,
  • help select the best approach to cloud migration
  • implement the required improvements,
  • enable database transfer to the cloud,
  • ensure  security, scalability and resilience of your cloud infrastructure
  • help redesign the application to split it to microservices and implement RESTful APIs
  • provide capabilities for integration of the latest cloud technology

We are always open to new partnership possibilities. Contact us with your project requirements and we would be glad to assist!

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