At Inverted Software we help companies get to the cloud. We often analyze all of your systems and advice which one will be better suited to run on the Cloud and how we can help you get there.
We find that often times, companies want to get to the cloud, but, don’t fully understand what the Cloud is and how to properly use it.
“The cloud is where my files are right?” Well yes. Your files are in a cloud storage container along with millions of other files and you can access them by calling an API your Cloud provider has set up.
You probably pay a monthly fee to store your information and you know that your files are safe and secure, but, are you really using the cloud to its fullest? Are you taking advantage of everything the cloud has to offer?
To understand how the cloud works and what you can do with it, please read on.
What is the cloud?
The cloud is servers. Lots of servers. Sometimes the servers are stacked on racks and sometimes they are organized in a large container. A container can hold up to 10,000 servers. It ships on a truck and when it gets to a cloud facility, it is placed on a platform and connected to power, cooling and the network.
HP, for example sells their Performance-Optimized Datacenter (POD). The 40-foot PODs can weigh as much as 100,000 pounds depending on the IT that’s packed inside. That weight means you can’t airlift it into place.
The idea behind such a dense environment is cutting down IT costs. When a container loses more than 50 percent of its servers, it is backed up into a new container and the old one id sent back to the factory to be fixed. You can imagine this process can take years!
If in average, a company will hire a single IT technician to maintain 50 servers, with a cloud, a single IT technician can maintain thousands and even tens of thousands of servers.
The cost benefits are clear. Doing things in bulk is almost always cheaper.
There are many benefits to such a large concentration of servers.
First and foremost, as each server can go offline at any moment, your data is always backed up into multiple servers. Your files are copied to three different disks and your virtual machines are backed up as well. The chances of something getting lost are slim indeed.
The biggest benefit the cloud has to offer is scalability. The ability to scale computing power up and down depending on your needs.
If your system is cloud ready, it will be able to run on multiple servers. As you go through peak times for the systems, you can add servers to handle the increased compute power needed under load or remove them during off hours.
A well architected cloud system, will not require expensive hardware to run on, rather will function well on a collection of small machines, allowing adding and removing machines as needed.
Is the Cloud secure?
There are two main categories that define security: Network and Software.
A cloud’s network is as secure as any DMZ network you can build in house. You can set up private networks in the cloud and even bridge them into your local network with a VPN gateway. Inverted Software works with Amazon, Azure, Rackspace and many more cloud providers and they all have multiple security certifications including PCI, CDSA and more.
The fact of the matter is that the cloud is as secure as your software. If your software has vulnerabilities, the cloud will not fix them, and if your software is secure, it will continue to be as secure on the cloud.
When moving to the cloud there are three main migration strategies: public, private and hybrid
There are many options when moving to a public cloud. Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, Rackspace and more. The benefits of a public cloud is that someone else will be maintaining your hardware. You can still secure your data, create VPNs along with sub networks and do everything you do locally.
A private Cloud is Cloud software running on your local servers. This is the same software public Cloud provides might use to create their Cloud. Software like OpenStack, Azure Pack and more. Unlike a public Cloud, now you will have to maintain the Cloud software as well as maintaining your applications.
This can prove to be more then you bargained for and you might find that now, the Cloud that is supposed to save you money, is actually keeping your IT and DevOps very busy.
If you keep sensitive information on your servers, such as credit card numbers, you might consider a private Cloud.
A hybrid Cloud is the combination of a public and private cloud.
Is it the most expensive to operate and maintain, however, offers the most flexibility. You might choose a hybrid Cloud when a consumer facing application requires more computing power then you have in your local data center, or if you can offload some of the backend processing to a local machine, saving computing cycles in a public Cloud.
Cloud and SaaS
If your company is a SaaS (Software as a service) provider, the cloud might be a perfect solution to compliment your software. There is no need to over build your data center in expectation of growth, or if you under built it, adding computing power is usually a simple push of a button.
Multi tenancy is also easy in the cloud and if you tend to shard (horizontal partition) your data, you will find that the cloud is a perfect partner.
Many Cloud providers offer pre-configured distributed caching systems, databases, messaging systems and cold/hot storage, which can also scale along with your application.
The Cloud can take away the pain of setting and configuring production environments, distributed messaging and caching systems and leave you free to do what you do best. Making your software better. It is secure, fast, reliable and dependable.
To find out if the Cloud is for you and how we can help getting you there, contact us today!