The cloud is the biggest change to IT since the Internet and offers both fantastic opportunities and significant challenges. With cloud computing you don’t need a server or software, all you need is an Internet connection.
Cloud computing is perceived as a relatively young concept with different opinions about exactly what it should be – but there is consensus on one thing: it’s here to stay.
This paradigm shift may have you asking the following questions:
- What are the risks and what are the benefits to my business?
- What tier of cloud service is right for me: IaaS, PaaS or SaaS?
- What applications should be in the cloud?
- Which cloud platform provider should I go with?
- Which company can help me make the right choices?
How We Can Help
Quadrus can help you answer those questions. We have the software development expertise to handle the technical aspects of developing cloud-optimized applications and the business process know-how to help you adopt and manage the transition to cloud computing.
The Benefits of Cloud Computing
As organizations continue to evaluate how cloud computing can help their business, it’s important to keep in mind the difference between having a cloud-hosting-compatible application and an application that is optimized for the cloud to truly take advantage of its benefits.What are the benefits of Cloud Computing?
One of the main features of a true cloud application is that it can scale up and down to meet demand. However, your application has to be capable of running in this fashion with well thought-out rules of when to fire-up new machines and when to back off as load decreases. This especially suits applications where there will be peaks of demand at certain periods. Even if you can’t anticipate extra demand right now, it’s good to know that extra resources are available should you need them.
You can start using the cloud without making a big investment because there is little or no up-front commitment required. And you can stop using it when an application is no longer financially viable or required. Your only commitment is to pay for what you use.
Reduced Cost through Consumption-Based Pricing
The cloud provides better hardware utilization and enables cloud providers to bulk-purchase bandwidth. This can reduce your costs compared to traditional dedicated, co-located or self-hosted environments.
Faster Time to Market
Deploying a new application in the cloud can be much faster without the typical delays when deploying enterprise systems of provisioning equipment along with platform software. Leveraging the cloud, a new application could be deployed to Azure in as little as 15 minutes.
Simplified IT Maintenance
For SaaS or PaaS cloud offerings, keeping OS software updated is the service provider’s responsibility and thus doesn’t impact your application, saving your IT staff time and effort. Server-health can be monitored for you with hardware replacement taken care of automatically and data-integrity protected through a level of managed redundancy that would be hard to match with an internal system.
Better Alignment of IT and Business
Using the cloud can remove IT constraints and allow you to focus resources on core business initiatives. Your IT team will become much more business-savvy as IT strategy and business strategy become more aligned.
At Quadrus we have the solid fundamentals of good software development practices from many years of successful client engagements and the architectural expertise to create an optimized cloud solution that will be cost effective.
Challenges and Considerations
It would be a mistake to imagine that simply moving an application to a cloud hosting platform will provide the benefits promised and yet sadly, many companies do just that and then blame the cloud as a failed concept.
There are different challenges to consider when designing distributed systems for the cloud that need to be considered.What are the challenges of Cloud Computing?
Security in the cloud comes down to a partnership between you and the cloud provider. This partnership is designed to protect you and provide a secure platform on which your applications can be built and run. However, these applications must follow appropriate best practices and prudent security protocols such as data encryption. Of course, these same best practices should be employed on any application development project – and they are, when you engage with Quadrus.
Establishing trust with your cloud provider is key. A roadmap will help you take measured steps from deploying proof-of-concept applications and performing threat-modeling and security assessments, through to running your production application. Quadrus can help you be confident in the final solution.
Reliability is where cloud platforms typically excel. Amazon for instance provides eleven 9’s reliability for their S3 storage in the cloud which is 99.999999999%. They explain it the best: “If you store 10,000 objects with us, on average we may lose one of them every 10 million years or so.” This kind of reliability is only possible when you are replicating data between multiple datacentres and is hard to match with single in-house systems. Quadrus can guide you in the design, architecture and development of your solutions in order to best take advantage of its features.
While the issue of vendor lock-in continues to be addressed, you want assurance that you can bring cloud-based workloads into the enterprise datacentre if circumstances change. Quadrus can help you assess the different approaches and develop an application with portability in mind. We can also help you select the appropriate cloud provider and cloud features to ensure that your application meets your requirements.
The approach taken to disaster recovery in the cloud is different than the approach normally taken when IT resources are in-house. Cloud providers will use replication and redundancy to protect data and systems automatically, whereas on-premise IT requires specific DR equipment and plans in place. To make sure you have continuity, Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective requirements must be clearly understood.
In-house Capability & Process
Developing cloud-optimized applications is different than developing in-house applications: developers must have the appropriate skills for cloud development. Quadrus developers have the expertise required; we offer a variety of engagement options to deliver your solution in the way that best fits your needs.
Nearly all cloud providers allow you to see real-time usage, and billing can be inspected daily or even hourly if required. Quadrus will ensure an application is designed with operational considerations in mind.
Quadrus can help you get it right the first time by designing your cloud application to work efficiently and robustly, appropriately leveraging the benefits of the cloud.