You’ve Got Cloud. Now, What?

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You've Got Cloud. Now, What?


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Multi-cloud architecture and server-less computing are only two of the fine-print strategies you should think about adopting.


5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


So, you’ve managed to sell the idea to your CEO that your company should move to the productivity and efficiency heaven that is the cloud. And he or she agrees.

Related: Why Cloud Technology Is the Smart Move Right From Start Up

And, why not? No longer just a cost -cutting solution, the cloud today, with its many facets, has become a business enabler, offering companies large and small the ability to be fast, agile and innovative.

But while multi-cloud adoption is through the roof, many businesses realize too late that the real battle begins only after the cloud has been adopted. From not sizing bandwidth needs to assuming the cloud is secure just because someone else is handling it, these unsuspecting companies’ failure to define the cloud has taken a toll on many of them.

Don’t let your company be one of them. Make sure that you get the best bang for your buck by using the following suggested four strategies to make your cloud experience the best one yet …

Use server-less computing.

Don’t let the name fool you: “Server-less computing” still requires server (all cloud computing does), but hides server management from the operators: hence the name. Server-less computing is simply a cloud-computing execution model that dynamically allocates resources based on demand.

Also known as “function as a service,” server-less computing breaks up applications into individual functions which are performed as individual tasks; these tasks can be scaled to any limit, as needed. So, even as you work in traditional cloud computing, you rent space in a server or container that is constantly running, in FaaS, and pay only when your function runs.

Server-less computing presents numerous advantages over regular cloud usage, including a faster time to market, incredible scalability and even more reduced costs. These advantages make it an ideal addition to your cloud strategy.

Add data de-duplication to the mix.

Companies that rely on a high number of redundant operations always have to deal with managing server space and bandwidth. Traditionally, every time a new version of a file is created, both versions are stored, resulting in wasted storage.

Data deduplication gets around this storage efficiency problem by storing only unique pieces of information instead of the whole group of files. So, if the same 1MB file has been sent as an attachment 100 times over email, your backup will need 100MB of space to save them all. With de-duplication, your system will store only one instance of the file and point back to it for every other instance, thereby reducing the total demand to just 1MB.

Data deduplication can be performed on the client side or server side and can reduce storage space requirements by 80 percent.

The advantages of such a system cannot be overstated. Storing and transferring less data over a network means greater security, as your disaster recovery can cover data that was previously not stored. Sending less data to backup also means less cooling will be required, which reduces a company’s carbon footprint.

Use SaaS business intelligence.

While most companies will be tempted to have their own set of data-analytics tools in-house, cloud analytics tools can help you do everything your own hosted software can, without any of the drawbacks.

The cloud-based analytics solution offers substantial benefits over on-premise analytics. First, you don’t have to bother with a data center, upgrade and patching. All maintenance is handled by the service provider. Since cloud-based business intelligence (BI) is usually deployed as a pay-as-you-go model, you can forgo the licensing and maintenance fees of a traditional BI software. In fact, it’s easy to shell out 300 percent to 500 percent of a software license’s ancillary cost when going for an onsite setup.

Cloud-based business intelligence systems can automate everything from data discovery to report generation. Greater data security, more configurable options and enhanced agility are all points squarely in favor of using a SaaS BI.

Use a multi-cloud architecture.

Since clouds are not an all-or-nothing sort of affair, companies can go for different services and technologies depending on their budgets or requirements. In the past, a multi-cloud strategy was used to avoid redundancy and vendor lock-ins.

Related: 4 Reasons Small Businesses Should Migrate to the Cloud

Today, however, companies opt for a multi-cloud approach to help them accomplish their business goals. These can include two advantages: 1) harnessing more features, capacity or speed of certain providers over others; 2) and obtaining greater redundancy and more price options to explore. By opting for a multi-cloud approach, you can distribute your resources across the different service providers that best suit your needs.

Such an approach offers many benefits. For instance, certain cloud providers might provide better data warehousing while another might have a more efficient sales-support setup. Your developers might also prefer the virtual environment of one cloud service. A multi-cloud approach can also help you scale effortlessly in the future.

Related: Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of the Cloud

Conclusion

Cloud computing is all about scaling hardware and software to the tasks at hand; so it’s best not to think of it as a start-all, be-all. Keeping your options open will help you not only to cut costs, but add (or subtract) services as — and when — they are needed. Doing so will help you manage some of the risks inherent in cloud computing while keeping your organization secure and future proof.



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