Moving to the Cloud 101: What is moving to the cloud?
Chief Technology Evangelist
March 2, 2022
Moving to the cloud or ‘cloud migration’ describes the process of deploying digital processes and procedures to a cloud-based infrastructure. The ‘art of the possible’ in cloud computing was demonstrated by Salesforce in 1999, who showed that software programs could be delivered to businesses over the internet. Since then, companies such as Amazon with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) have created the infrastructure and cloud service models needed to take cloud computing to the masses.
What types of cloud-based service models are there?
There are three types of cloud service models:
SaaS is a cloud vendor that provides applications accessed via the internet from a web browser or similar using an API (application programming interface).
PaaS is a vendor that provides the underlying cloud infrastructure needed to allow an organization to build and run its cloud-based apps.
IaaS is typically, a pay-as-you-go service that gives access to cloud storage, networking, and other cloud resources.
The different cloud deployment models: public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, and multicloud
What is a public cloud?
A public cloud environment is the most common form of cloud infrastructure. Gartner predicts that end-user public cloud spending will increase by 19.6% in 2022 to $397,496 million. Public cloud resources such as servers and storage are owned, hosted, and delivered by third parties. Public cloud resources are often shared with other companies or ‘tenants.’
What is a private cloud?
Private cloud environments can be hosted by a third party or an organization. Private cloud resources are dedicated to a single company and not shared, as with a public cloud.
What is a hybrid cloud?
A hybrid cloud environment uses a mix of one or more public and private hosted clouds. The two are managed and linked using orchestration services. The choice to use public or private cloud depends on the workload in question, but considerations include data compliance needs.
What is a multicloud environment?
A multicloud environment is an approach to the cloud where an organization uses multiple cloud services from different vendors in a single architecture. This environment can be a mixture of private clouds, public clouds, or both. Multiple cloud environments can provide cost savings, expanded infrastructure capabilities, improved compliance, better flexibility, and enhanced disaster recovery.
Why is migrating to the cloud to the cloud a good idea?
Moving to the cloud is part of the digital transformation of services and operations. A recent Splunk survey found that 83% of organizations are moving to the cloud as they see it as an essential part of their future strategy and growth. Cloud computing offers several key benefits to a business:
Cost-effective access to apps and storage:
Public clouds offer cost savings, with pay-as-you-go services that reduce initial outlay costs and ongoing support and maintenance. Public clouds reduce the need for costly hardware. Hosted services that run from public clouds allow small organizations access to enterprise-grade, well-maintained apps and services.
Managed support reduces maintenance and support required by an organization's internal resources; routine support is provided by the cloud host.
Greater scalability and resilience:
The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that businesses had to swiftly adapt to increased customer demand and/or employee remote access. Cloud computing allows for processing power to be quickly scaled up by linking to horizontal servers.
Anywhere working access:
Significant increases in cloud adoption have been linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and the work from anywhere movement. Cloud computing, augmented using SD-WAN and zero trust security principles, provides a way to expand the corporate network out into home offices and beyond.
Data Analytics-as-a-Service (DAaaS):
DAaaS uses the cloud delivery model to analyze corporate data to provide actionable insights.
Major cloud providers work to mitigate cloud security vulnerabilities on behalf of their tenants. They follow the latest recommendations by the likes of OWASP in making sure their cloud infrastructure is protected.
What questions you should ask yourself when building a cloud migration strategy
Some questions to ask when starting the cloud migration process journey:
What type of cloud operating model do you need? Public, private, or hybrid?
What cloud service provider is the best fit for your long-term goals?
What kind of cloud service model(s) will you be using?
What data security measures are used to protect your data?
Where will your data be stored, and in what jurisdiction is the data stored; who can access the data?
Who owns the data? This may be important for compliance with regulations and hyper-sensitive data.
What are the backup and disaster recovery options in the new cloud environment?
What are the ongoing costs and charges? Does this charging model work for your ongoing needs? There are various cloud cost calculators to help estimate for budgeting purposes.
What happens to your data and other resources if you cancel a contract? This is especially important when evaluating third-party vendors.
What are the compliance implications of moving to the cloud?
Do you have the internal resources needed for migrating existing data from your legacy infrastructure or do you need migration services?