Getting started with cloud often causes challenges and risks. SoftwareONE can help you adjust and plan your cloud strategy. In this series of posts, we’ll cover the different aspects of a strategic approach to cloud:
In this third part – Manage – we will help organizations who have already moved to the cloud but are in need of support to manage their AWS and/or Azure environment.
Maintaining the Power of Cloud
In our previous posts we guided you through how to get started in the cloud and how to move your first workloads and applications there. Now that you’ve actually started deploying your IT services in the cloud, you will need to manage the environment. However, cloud management adds more complexity to your task list. With cloud, there is a massive change in how you use, procure and consume IT services. Cloud helps to speed up business, shorten time-to-market and better scale costs. The flexible and agile infrastructure of the cloud allows you to utilize an architecture that is dispersed, covers multiple geographies, has ‘soft edges’, is difficult to contain, runs on multiple cloud platforms, and is supplied by different vendors. Therefore, your cloud management strategy needs to consider all of the components of the environment and who is responsible for each.
Cloud service providers will ensure security for the infrastructure used, but organizations must remember that many providers will rely upon the shared responsibility model when it comes to securing data stored in the cloud. This shared model can help relieve the customers' operational burden as their cloud provider operates, manages and controls the components from the host operating system and virtualization layer down to the physical security of the facilities in which the service operates.
In the cloud-enabled approach, customers can leverage cloud-based security capabilities for increased effectiveness and use cloud intelligence to improve their threat detection and response time. By shifting responsibilities to the cloud provider, organizations get more security coverage allowing them to reallocate security resources and budget to other business priorities. However, organizations will have to augment the security measures provided with additional controls. This is what we call “Shared Responsibility” or understanding the difference between “Security IN the cloud” vs. “Security OF the cloud” and the different roles coming out of this.
Visibility & Transparency are Key
When moving to the cloud, traditional roles start to transition into a more flexible model - suddenly more people outside of the IT department are responsible for different areas. You can’t control what you can’t see, so the challenge is to eliminate blind spots and to make sure you gain visibility and transparency into:
Performance: Simply put – follow your cloud users. Pay attention to how your co-workers are using apps and systems. Consumption is the best indicator for you to see and understand which processes are driving business productivity and what additional resources might be needed to help people become faster, more productive and thus, boost business success. You’ll also be able to easily spot services / tools that are no longer needed which will help you cut costs.
Costs: With cloud and many more users in place, you should develop a flexible and agile process to easily adjust your services to your “real” demand and usage and to be prepared for a new buying cycle in case additional services are required. Having more de-centralized budgets in place increases the risk of shadow IT – how will you cope with your co-workers buying licenses or software on their own?
Security: After evaluating what kind of security policies and layers are mandatory and putting them into action, it’s all about keeping your security guards at work continuously. At this stage it is important for you to maintain your ability to monitor your environment so you better understand the visibility of networks, applications, containers, databases and the underlying fabric.
One main driver for moving to the cloud is the potential to save on costs. Public clouds such as AWS or Azure include a variety of tools and services that help you better bundle your costs and only spend on services you really need. However, vendors like Amazon and Microsoft are offering more complex bundles so it might be difficult for you to understand what kind of payment model and service subscription best fits your business needs and budget. SoftwareONE can help you navigate through the jungle of offerings with expert insights on fundamental cost optimization principles such as:
Right Sizing – Provision and size each service correctly for every workload
Automated Provisioning – Grow/Shrink, on/off resources based on demand or defined schedules
Purchasing Options – Avoid wasted spend by choosing the correct purchasing option for your use case
Governance and Control – Structure your accounts and tag everything
Track and Monitor Cost – Use metrics to monitor and report on costs
Cutting Through Complexity with SoftwareONE
At the end of the day, understanding the cloud environment you build will help you realize the most benefit while maintaining a lean, flexible and scalable environment. As a trusted advisor (Azure Expert MSP & AWS Advanced Consulting Partner), SoftwareONE can help you to maintain your desired cloud environment and even improve your cloud spend and consumption to be more productive:
Control your cloud spend management with single pane of glass
Manage your cloud environment end-to-end
Review and improve your cloud-based architectures with a well-architected framework for AWS
Identify and implement cost saving potentials with the Cost Optimization Framework for Azure/AWS
Learn more about AWS/Azure consumption methods
Plan your application modernization / business transformation