One of the primary reasons I went into the technology field after the military was because it’s always changing, improving, upgrading, and new. I think most people in tech would agree that although there are mundane tasks, what we’re working with is quite dynamic.
As tech is always changing, I’m always learning so I’m not left behind. I routinely take courses and certifications in the most relevant areas to my business clients. The most recent certification was through Intel to become a certified cloud specialist. We’re all familiar with the cloud but, here are some of the most recent updates.
“If you don’t have a cloud strategy in place, one will be enacted upon you eventually”, and may steer you in the direction you don’t want to go says Intel. The question right now is; where do you want to go, and how fast?
You can either create your own cloud setup through Open Stack or Mesos or, you can use a commercial version such as Veeam, Microsoft, RedHat, HP Helion, etc.
There are 3 main cloud infrastructure setups to select from. Without getting into all the deep details they consist of; public, hybrid, and private cloud setups. Intel forecasts that the future of cloud lies in the hybrid setup which will allow you to leverage the advantages of both public and private, tailoring them to your company specific needs. I’ve listed a few main highlights of each are below, this is just meant as a brief overview.
A very popular option and often looked at for the cost reasons, public cloud can be a great fit for many situations. If you’re experimenting with apps and programs, it’s a great environment to test in. It’s also much lower cost so if you have large amounts of data or backup that need cold storage, public cloud could be a great resource.
The SLAs on public cloud tend to be limited, with support being less responsive. Public cloud is also less predictable and less secure, making it a questionable choice for critical company information and core company apps. However, it can still be a good fit for many support applications. A few examples would be the giant tech whales like Microsoft and Amazon clouds.
The most agile option, you can quickly make changes and allocate resources which gives you the ability to plan better and be proactive, instead of reactive. The private cloud can be much safer than the public cloud and is a great option to utilize cloud cost savings over hardware, performance benefits, and keep critical company information in house.
Private cloud is a best fit for stable and established company apps where you need to achieve maximal efficiency, and the highest utilization. It’s also where you would place the most sensitive information in the company that needs to be virtualized.
The combination of both cloud structures, and the future of cloud computing. An example of a well leveraged small scale hybrid cloud structure would be to use public cloud like Amazon Glacier for long term data storage and retention, Veeam for back up and replication of critical information, and Nutanix as the core private cloud platform for virtual machines, vsan, etc. This depends entirely on your setup and goals and is only meant as a general example.
The big scary question I commonly hear is; doesn’t cloud cost a lot?
There is an upfront cost when investing in the cloud. This cost is off set by the cost savings received through higher efficiency, lower power consumption, and hardware virtualization, which helps shift IT spending from less predictable capex to more predictable and smoother OPEX. This is the result of reduced onsite hardware needs as systems and apps are virtualized and cloud usage increases. This also reduces the workload on IT departments, meaning overworked IT staff can focus on more critical tasks, and less on system maintenance or app management and deployments.
This is just a broad intro, as there are a lot of options and details when it comes to cloud. Whether you’re looking into public, private, or hybrid there are a few things to consider. Do you need to reduce CAPEX? Would you prefer to manage it yourself or utilize a service? Do you have a hardware refresh scheduled that would benefit from lower cost virtualization?
If you have specific questions about any brand of solution, or general inquiries, please contact me for more detailed information as this is barely the tip of a very large iceberg.