When a company begins to outgrow its IT infrastructure, leadership faces many new challenges.
The IT budget planning becomes a nightmare, vendor communications intensify, and network security threats come into the focus. This is the time to make fundamental shifts and consider migrating some or all workloads to the cloud.
Although the majority of today’s organizations already use the cloud in some form, many still do not have a clear vision of how to integrate it deeper into their processes.
Introduction To Cloud Computing Architecture
Businesses today are making a move to cloud computing architecture for a good reason.
The cloud platform ensures data availability, improves collaboration and allows for resource scaling.
Also, a flexible work environment is a huge selling point when attracting new talent. Cloud-based systems empower this flexibility by enabling secure and constant access to critical files from any location or device. They allow for simple file and information sharing, as well as improved communication.
Global cloud data storage infrastructure also helps businesses increase their reach, accelerate time-to-market, and offer its products worldwide. It alleviates the costs of on-site data storage, improves redundancy, and minimizes overhead.
Let’s look at the recommended best practices for building a cloud-based architecture appropriate for your business.
Conduct an Assessment
It is time to move forward and join the rest of the world. A cloud-based infrastructure enables implementations of future-facing technologies and services. First, you need to assess your needs.
Start by determining what you need to move forward, and what you already have in place. That way, you will alleviate pain points during and after migration. You need to spend time figuring out what skills you need and whether you have them in-house. Consider what workloads need to be migrated and how.
If new roles are needed to maintain cloud computing services, you will need to address that too. Evaluating and addressing these questions will better prepare your company for a successful migration.
Explore Cloud Computing Providers and Services
Migrating your business to the cloud first requires selecting a provider.
Making a selection seems like a simple step, but there are plenty of things to keep in mind here. There are varying types of cloud-based delivery models, providers, and services, all of which address specific business needs.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS is a model of delivering application platforms and databases via the Internet. Saas services are referred to as web-based applications, software on-demand, or hosted software.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). PaaS provides a remote environment through which developers can build services and applications. These applications are hosted online and accessed through a browser.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). IaaS is a model that lets you outsource your data center. It does not require you to purchase hardware equipment, and it allows you to pay based on consumption. In that sense, it is similar to a utility.
Services and environments based in the cloud are the future of business. Any company looking to expand should plan to adopt it now or be left behind.
Having a solid understanding of the services available when selecting a cloud provider will help you make a better choice. It will also make migrating your business to the cloud a much better experience.
Start Building A Cloud Architecture
Depending on your needs, cloud architectures may include different components. Storage, network, bandwidth, and backups are usually some of the basics you get. With some providers, you can go beyond that.
Cloud providers now offer you a variety of managed services. You do not need to limit yourself by choosing pre-configured solutions. Work with your provider to build a custom architecture that includes what you need.
From a responsibility standpoint, there are several items to address. You need to find the best ways to oversee traffic control and security mechanisms. You also need to establish systems management protocols for computers networked for communication.
Here, it is essential to understand the primary cloud instances.
A public cloud provides remote infrastructure via the internet. It offers the most significant cost-efficiency, but it comes with higher security risks.
Public clouds make the most sense when you need to develop and test application code, collaborate on projects, or you need incremental capacity. Be sure to address security concerns in advance. Otherwise, they may turn into expensive issues in the future.
A private cloud has many benefits. It provides services and infrastructure on dedicated cloud network architecture. The allure of private computing is the complete control over security and your system. However, you are responsible for maintaining all hardware and infrastructure. That will more than likely cut into your cost savings.
Private clouds are ideal when security is of the utmost importance and when you have a large IT team at hands. The information stored in private clouds is entirely under your control. They are also the best choice if your company must adhere to stringent data and security regulations.
A hybrid cloud is defined as combination of both public and private resources. Its anatomy allows you to keep each piece of your business running in the environment which best suits each need. The drawback is the challenge of managing different platforms.
You will want to use a hybrid cloud if your business is using SaaS applications, but you want to have the comfort of advanced security. A hybrid solution is also ideal if you handle sensitive information. A public cloud allows you to interact with customers while a private cloud keeps its data storage separated and private
Develop a Risk Mitigation Strategy
No matter which cloud provider you select, migration challenges always bring a certain degree of risk. To mitigate risk, work with your provider to determine the most appropriate path to move forward.
Security will be a concern for infrastructure, whether in the cloud or on-premise. Set appropriate policies and provide the necessary security tools. Protect your entire business regardless of where your data is stored.
You also need to train employees on best practices and procedures. That way, you can develop a security culture that will make it harder for external parties to access your data.
Also, you may want to consider making the following steps for better security.
Increase Security with a Single Sign-on an Enterprise Password Management Solution
If your business requires the use of multiple cloud computing accounts, a single sign-on solution might be a good idea. Single sign-on simplifies account management for both IT admins and employees.
Your solutions architect and your IT administrators will be grateful for single sign-on. There will be less to maintain when users enter and leave the organization. Individual users will only need to remember one username and password, which makes life easier for them. From a security management standpoint, single sign-on significantly reduces potential vulnerabilities.
Verify Cloud Security through Third Parties
For smaller companies, having a third party validate and audit cloud security is a must.
If your organization does not have a large IT department, assistance from an outside vendor is an ideal option.
Before choosing your service provider, you may also want to ensure it meets your expectations and relevant industry standards. Some of these are SOC 1, SOC 2 compliance, HIPAA, etc.
Implementing end-to-end encryption will cut down on the chances of a breach.
Most cloud solutions encrypt data during transfer but do not store them in this encrypted form. End-to-end encryption means both data encryption in transit and encryption at rest. For the highest level of security, look for solutions that provide this option.
Perform In-House Updates Regularly
Regular software updates are vital to maintaining a healthy IT system. Ensure that you are not running antiquated operating systems or using old browser versions. This type of behavior could put your organization at risk even with third-party audits.
Research Available Cloud Solutions
From a risk mitigation perspective, it is imperative that you do your due diligence and research cloud service providers thoroughly. No matter what type of services you offer, examine and inspect each vendor and its history with cloud security.
Check service provider’s references, discover its known security weaknesses, and develop a migration plan for moving your workloads. Make sure your partnership includes a contract for proactive security plans from their end.
Ready, Set, Deploy Your Cloud Computing Architecture Strategies
You have chosen the best deployment models and types of service for your business. You have put proper risk mitigation steps into place. Now, it is time to move.
The cloud offers many significant benefits, but your IT department needs to understand all the relevant procedures before deploying.