We often discuss the virtues of private and hybrid clouds, since so many companies utilize more complex clouds as they scale. But where public cloud is concerned, we thought we’d share some ideas for how to frame a smart approach to ensure that your public cloud is serving the needs of your business best.
Thoughts? Let us know on Twitter @CloudGathering.
Multiple availability zone: An important first step to achieve a smart public cloud set up, ensuring your cloud is in multiple availability zones (AZs) sets the stage for a number of other important aspects of cloud functionality, be it performance or disaster recovery: being in multiple AZs can improve product delivery to end users as much as it can form the foundation of a highly redundant cloud architecture.
Resiliency inside each AZ: There’s a difference between high availability (HA) and resiliency. HA is being in multiple AZs. Resiliency is within a single site having redundancy. This includes no single point of failure in that single AZ – having multiple database, web servers, and application servers. Having this set up can decrease the risk of a smaller failure spiraling out into a larger problem, and it can be a good first step in building up layers of redundancy to guard against broader failure events.
Ongoing care and maintenance: Setting up your public cloud is only where it begins. If you do this right you can save a lot of money in the public cloud. But if you leave stuff up and running, costs can sky rocket. There are too many examples of companies that have for example $10k/month of servers up and running unused. Paying attention to your infrastructure is part of the game in the public cloud, and while that may seem obvious, the upkeep can be rather tedious. Be smart, be proactive, or look for outside management if the burden of focus is too much for your business.
Managing goals: The cloud isn’t a silver bullet. If your application has performance problems, the cloud won’t solve those issues. You can throw more resources at it, and cheaply, in the public cloud, but that’s treating the symptom, not the actual cause. For the public cloud to be valuable to your business, you need to know what it can and cannot do. This is particularly important in using the amount of resources you need to help manage the cost component of your public cloud strategy.
Understanding the now and later: The beauty of the cloud is that you don’t need to focus on long term strategic planning. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t be mindful. With public cloud you can focus your business goals around 3, 6 and 9 month increments, with an eye to some longer-term requirements with little stress because you don’t need the same focus on growth capacity planning as you would with private or hybrid cloud deployments. But you do need to have strong practices around how you grow each component along the way, paying special mind to scaling infrastructure up versus out. Part of understanding the later is also knowing when to upgrade from a public cloud to a more complex platform. To learn more about that, check out this post.
Any other recommendations? Let us know on Twitter @CloudGathering.
By Jake Gardner