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Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Trends for the 21st Century

The digital age is here and while some companies have embraced it, others are still in the process of becoming digital-ready. Most businesses have understood the need to adopt cloud computing technologies or a “cloud-first” approach. This is because of the many advantages which cloud computing offers to businesses. The most important benefits are scalable infrastructure, high-level competency, cost savings, agility and business continuity and the ability to manage huge volumes of data. So, a business strategy today cannot afford to overlook the importance of cloud computing. But enterprises which are shifting to the cloud will also need to have a proper strategy in place. And to have this strategy, entrepreneurs need to get an idea of the key cloud computing trends of the 21st century and how these can affect their businesses.

Trends in cloud computing for 21st Century:

Research by Gartner suggests that the main trends which will affect businesses in the near future are multi clouds which are likely to become the defacto standard rather than a single cloud adoption and development of cloud strategies. So, organizations will be adopting the cloud so as to implement frameworks that can help them create centers of excellence. This will allow them to deliver services more efficiently, make optimum use of the infrastructure and get an edge over competitors.

According to reports by Gartner, by the end of this year, nearly 50% of applications which are deployed in public clouds will be regarded as mission critical by businesses that own these. So, businesses will be moving their workloads to public clouds much faster to support mission-critical tasks. Likewise, the reports suggest that by the end of this decade, the cloud strategies will affect more than 50% of IT deals. With more adoption of clouds, there will more outsourcing or IT services since not all businesses have skilled technical staff to handle different aspects of cloud computing. Outsourcing will guarantee faster deployments, cost-effective migrations and expert support.

Another important trend will be the emergence of multi cloud strategies rather than adoption of a single cloud. The cloud computing market is highly competitive because there are innovative offerings from various providers. So, businesses will typically choose a provider which is suited best for a specific application and choose another provider for another application. With time therefore, businesses have understood that migration to a single vendor will be risky. There may service unavailability issues and vendor lock-in concerns. So, businesses prefer an ecosystem in which there are many vendors so as to get benefits of multi cloud solutions.

Another important trend that Gartner points out is that most businesses will start to reside in a hybrid environment. So, it is expected that there is going to be a key shift from a traditional data center to a hybrid environment. With growing demands for flexibility and agility, businesses will look out for customized options. In short, companies which will adopt a hybrid cloud will be able to increase their efficiency and save money. The hybrid model will be accepted as the defacto structure and this will help businesses go beyond traditional data centers and take advantage of cloud solutions across various platforms.

What will be planning considerations for the companies in the future?

• Businesses will first have to adopt a cloud strategy to increase long term profitability. They will need to create a road map so as to optimize workloads. Accordingly they must prepare their staff and equip them with tools and processes through proper building and planning strategies. While the public cloud is the more popular choice for new workloads, you need to consider SaaS for the non-mission critical tasks, IaaS for on-site workloads and PaaS for apps to be built either in-house or for open source services.

• Businesses must appoint a cloud architect. This individual will be directing the team and look into changes in the organization structure in different areas.

• It is important to deploy governance procedures in each cloud platform because if there are lapses in defining and implementing policies, it could lead to loss of data and breaches.

• It is important for businesses to plan a multi vendor strategy. They must evaluate and integrate with multiple providers.

• Businesses must invest in a hybrid structure. This hybrid model will help businesses to adopt cloud services properly. There should be a proper strategy for integrating security, networking and services from different cloud service providers. Using cloud managed services businesses can improve their IT management power.

• Finally, businesses will have to re-evaluate their data protection plans by creating a data protection infrastructure. This will be designed not simply to eliminate risks but also to guarantee seamless data availability as requested by end users.

For Interesting Topics :

What are cloud computing services?

What is private cloud computing?

Azure Migration

Things to Remember When Migrating to Azure

As the cloud computing technologies continue to make their presence felt, the enthusiasm among businesses to adopt such technologies continues to escalate. This means that even businesses that were till recently hesitant to adopt the cloud are now looking at ways to migrate to cloud solutions as Azure. The migration to a cloud is not the same as taking up just any IT project. Because of the complacency attached to this approach, costs tend to shoot up. This is primarily because of reasons like the absence of proper training of staff, inability to use the best solutions offered by cloud architecture and not monitoring or controlling the staff seriously right from the beginning.

Azure refers to a cloud platform within Microsoft data centers. It also provides an operating system along with developer services. It will run applications locally and may be used for different types of scalable applications. To ensure a smart way to migrate to the Azure, it is necessary to be aware of the challenges which are faced in Azure migrations.

How to move to the Azure smartly:

While almost 52% of businesses will plan to shift their operations to the cloud, hardly a handful will take care to plan properly. Companies are so overwhelmed by the benefits of cloud computing that they take the plunge without thinking only to realize that the process is both long and expensive. In most cases, the companies are not able to handle the technical functions involves and they become susceptible to risks and performance failure. Migration is not only about data replication and it involves many important aspects. Even if you make the tiniest mistake, you may be forced to face unnecessary complications. So, when you do not have specialist staff, this process of migrating the whole infrastructure to a cloud may well cause a huge disaster.

You should definitely not transfer all the business systems together when shifting to the Azure. While the prospect may be tempting, it may lead to unwanted accidents. These may not only be irreparable but also very time-consuming. The transfer should therefore be well planned; you need to put down a proper list of steps and identify the key data components which must be moved first. You need to evaluate the risks so that there are no future security-related issues. You must engage in proper training and communication with the staff so that everyone is well-versed with his role in the entire operation. At this time, knowledge of the risks involved is a big help.

For migration to Azure, you need to ensure that there is proper integration of the apps. Your plan must take into account that every application will have integration points, whether it is payment gateways or external storage or web services or third-party vendors. These need to be considered to ensure that apps are scalable. When hundreds of apps have to be shifted to another data center, the process may be quite complicated. So, you can do a Proof-of-Concept beforehand to get a proper idea about how ready your system is for relocation. This means you must consider the existing apps, networking problems that you are likely to face, the support from the cloud provider etc. Your OS should also be compatible with Microsoft Azure. Experts in Azure or your vendor’s specialist staff can help you with this.

It is also wrong to assume that migration to Azure will automatically resolve other pending issues. In other words, instance of data loss and disruptions of service may well occur when the apps experience performance issues. With every change that is taking place in the processes or structures there is an issue of adjustment.  So, some of the employees will have to learn new techniques for management. Business procedures may also have to be redesigned for migration. Software may need to be scaled and re-synced. In short, web developers will be too busy handling these to focus on anything else. However pressing business issues should not be neglected just because a business has to adapt to the cloud. This explains why it is recommended that you get experts to help you in migrating to Azure. Those in charge of managing this migration will have to know the unique attributes of Microsoft Azure.

Moreover, when you migrate to any IaaS platform such as the Azure, you must find out about the amount of bandwidth needed. In hybrid clouds for instance, there is high traffic between the remote cloud elements and locally-hosted elements. So, traffic that earlier would run on LAN now run on WAN and local bandwidth may not be sufficient.

While eliminating downtimes completely may be hard, you should prepare to deal with it. So, you must anticipate rightly how much downtime will be involved in every step and then make changes so that it has least impact.

When shifting apps to the cloud, you must also realize that there will be dependencies. Many connection configurations will be made invalid by this shift and therefore, a business needs to understand these before making the move.

Security is also a prime concern when moving infrastructure and apps to the cloud. Building a virtual private network having end-to-end encryption is recommended.

Besides making sure that databases are compatible even in the Azure, it is equally important to ensure that apps stay compatible too. So, ideally you should put these apps to test to identify incompatibility issues.

For Interesting Topic :

Microsoft Azure – Ushering the Dawn of Digital Transformation