Cloud computing is more than the delivery of servers, storage, software, and analytics over the Internet. Everything is a service that connects and combines with other services to serve a variety of application needs. Consider how a straightforward communication platform like Slack works. You fill out a web form and immediately receive Collaboration as a Service. Through APIs, you can integrate Slack with multiple platforms ranging from Google Drive and Trello to MailChimp and even Microsoft Teams. It only takes a few clicks to extend the capabilities of Slack.
The ecosystems of IaaS clouds like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure incorporate resources beyond standard compute, networking, and storage. They amalgamate these elements into solutions that transform the way companies build applications. Instead of having developers code from the very beginning, these giants harness APIs to add security, analytics, Machine Learning (ML), or blockchain efficiencies. All they need to do is get an open-source code from GitHub and sew it all together. Customers then have feasible, long-term business solutions that do what they expect in record time.
At this point, companies are experiencing an economic downturn as the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. The capital and human resources required to set up servers as well as license software may be cost-prohibitive. As a result, an accelerated shift to the cloud is inevitable, and this is exactly what governments and industries are doing.
Transitioning to the cloud means revisiting and optimizing technology stacks to facilitate a cloud-native implementation. So, what implications does this have for those who have or are planning to shift on-premises applications to a CSP’s platform? Luckily, the majority of modern applications are purpose-built for the cloud, allowing businesses to capitalize on scalability and architectural patterns. These developments pave the way to new roles like DevOps engineers and security architects.
Here are some cloud trends to look forward to in 2021 and beyond:
Collaboration as a Service
Initially, equipping one’s business with sophisticated collaboration technologies required complicated, time-consuming infrastructure and network installations, not to mention the endless training and high CapEx. The proliferation of cloud platforms where a vendor hosts applications in data centers and allows users to access them via a mobile device or web browser has changed everything. When an organization collaborates in real-time through online meetings or shared team workspaces, the anywhere-access of cloud solutions unlocks real business value. This includes 24/7 global deployment, mobility, file syncing, easy deployment, maintenance, and more.
So, chances are that companies will increase investment in unified communications that integrate telephony, e-mail, and instant messaging as a service. Collaboration has huge potential for both SaaS and the cloud. There is sufficient bandwidth and you gain real business benefits by connecting to the Internet. Cloud-based applications are accessible 24/7 from any web browser, so there is no need to account for uptime or time zones. Your CSP hosts and updates the software, so you need not worry about version or compatibility issues.
Enterprises opt for serverless as it allows them to work on core products without having to operate or manage any servers. You simply add a container PaaS after which you do not have to purchase, rent, set up, or configure servers.
How is this relevant? Serverless transforms the ergonomics of the cloud to introduce efficiency and cost-savings. If we examine the typical cloud business model which AWS advocated, it requires organizations to lease VMs, bare-metal servers, or containers like Docker and OCI that are fairly self-contained entities. They may as well be servers as they come with network addresses. In addition to spending on the length of time these servers exist, the customer has to budget for the resources they consume. Instead, with the Lambda model, the client leases a function only for small slices of time in which the code is operating. AWS charges a fee as per the memory space dedicated to the function.
Serverless architecture improves a developer’s productivity by handling dependencies in the background, including housekeeping, bootstrapping, and environmental aspects. This gives the developer more space to concentrate on the specific function he is attempting to provide. It also compels them to approach that function in a more objective way. This creates code in the object-oriented style that becomes easy for the underlying cloud platform to compartmentalize and scale up or down.
DevOps & Shift Left
Shift left is a software delivery practice that improves quality by moving tasks to the left at an early phase in the life cycle. Most companies understand the tactical benefits of adopting this method but have been slow in doing so. With cloud security consolidation becoming increasingly common, security and DevOps teams have a more viable opportunity to shift left. Businesses can incorporate security into the development pipeline and guarantee cloud-agnostic protection.
Let’s consider an example. Many businesses are turning to Infrastructure-as-code (IaC) as they automate their build operations in the cloud. By shifting to IaC, teams can keep away from manually creating and configuring infrastructure in favor of writing code. A CNSP can run a scan on IaC templates to detect problems in the development pipeline. They can then suggest automated remediation in case any security issues do arise.
Many organizations that have migrated processes to the cloud have time and mission-critical data and workloads on-premises. As a result, they tend to prefer the hybrid model that gives the best of both worlds. This utilizes the private and public clouds to maximize efficiency and ROI. For instance, the healthcare and financial sectors can keep operations involving sensitive patient medical records or credit card information on-premises. They can then move the domains that do not demand as much security to the public cloud.
From security to efficiency, the hybrid model occupies the limelight. Here is a list of reasons:
Enterprises receive the security of the private cloud and the services of a public infrastructure. Although the information residing in a private solution shifts to a public platform for analytics and other processes, companies can add advanced encryption tools to ensure end-to-end security.
Why incorporate the hybrid model into your IT architecture? Doing so provisions the control and security of private networks and the versatility of the public cloud. Companies can decide where data and workloads should reside based on compliance, audit, or policy requirements.
The environments that make up the hybrid model are separate and unique entities. Containers or encrypted APIs that transmit workloads and resources help migrate between these environments. Businesses can then manage both critical and less sensitive workloads in the private and public clouds respectively. In addition to reducing data exposure, this arrangement flexibly customizes your IT portfolio.
You can optimize the network to reduce latency and speed up data so that it can reach where it should be. For this purpose, a hybrid strategy offers fast data deployment and development options. It retains the management control, security features, and predictive economics of a private infrastructure to accommodate specific applications, use cases, or projects.
The hybrid approach is a catalyst for business agility because it allows IT to launch innovative capabilities quickly and scale resources up or down according to changing business demands. It is ideal for workloads with varying requirements for speed, security, storage, and other resources. Companies have the freedom to make arrangements for your data and workloads where it makes the most business and technical sense. What do they get by shifting them between on-premises as well as private and public cloud setups? The answer lies in cost and performance optimization.
If you go beyond the technical bits of hybrid cloud management, you will see that it is not complex at all. Taking DevSecOps into account, frameworks like Identity and Access Management (IaM) help you build homogenous security across layers. Your IT department can even map out applications and understand their value, data requirements, expected loads, networking, integrations, and anything else that may affect availability or performance.
It is simple to find solutions that gather information from on-premise and public cloud systems and display them on a single pane of glass. With everything in a central location, you have a common, intuitive platform for metrics, analytics, and reporting. IT can comfortably meet user performance expectations by building private-public interfaces, data transfer pipelines, and latencies. Finally, you get access to fast, automated and low-risk options for migrating your workloads from private to public cloud infrastructure and back.
Cloud is the future of work, but your business journey may be unique. As a leader in the technology space, Clouve offers powerful, secure, and cost-efficient solutions that revolutionize the way you extend your data and applications into the cloud. Please contact us today to learn how our experts can help your business maximize IT infrastructure performance and productivity!