Benefits and Trends Around Cloud Adoption and Distributed Infrastructures

It’s no secret that many organizations are leveraging the power of the cloud to help them create more agility and a better business structure. In fact, just earlier this year, Netflix completed its entire move into the cloud. Having shut down its last in-house data center, Netflix finalized the move by transitioning its final back-office services to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud.

And, these trends aren’t slowing down. According to the new Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a 19.4 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) — almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth – from nearly $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019. The new spending guide expands on IDC’s previous public cloud services forecasts by offering greater detail on industry and geographic spending levels.

“Over the past several years, the software industry has been shifting to a cloud-first (SaaS) development and deployment model. By 2018, most software vendors will have fully shifted to a SaaS/PaaS code base,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President & Chief Analyst at IDC. “This means that many enterprise software customers, as they reach their next major software upgrade decisions, will be offered SaaS as the preferred option. Put together, new solutions born on the cloud and traditional solutions migrating to the cloud will steadily pull more customers and their data to the cloud.”

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According to IDC’s press release, from a company size perspective, large and very large companies will be the primary driver of worldwide public cloud services with spending of more than $80 billion in 2019. However, small and medium businesses (SMBs) will remain a significant contributor to overall spending with more than 40 percent of the worldwide total throughout the forecast period coming from companies with fewer than 500 employees.

With all of this in mind – let’s start here: Distributed data centers and cloud service providers are not altogether new technologies – however, their widespread adoption over the past few years has certainly been noticed. As opposed to a single, centralized data center managing all known workloads, administrators are now utilizing WAN and cloud technologies to evolve beyond single points of operation.

As technology progresses, so does the data center. Currently, server, switching and storage resources have become less expensive and more attainable by more organizations. This has led to a distributed environment revolution. Organizations are taking advantage of this type environment by decentralizing their infrastructure to allow their data to be more agile and redundant.

Cloud-based data centers are an example of a distributed environment where a single organization can have multiple points of live data. Furthermore, one of the most dominant forms of cloud is still the hybrid architecture. Findings from a recent Gartner report say that 2016 will be the defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

So – what are the benefits behind adopting this type of environment? Well, there are actually a few:

  • IT administrators are able to create hot DR sites and replicate their vital data over a dedicated WAN link.
  • Extra resources are just a few mouse-clicks away with the marriage of virtualization and cloud technologies. Engineers can spin up new VMs as needed to handle additional user loads.
  • Large, bulky environments can be consolidated into smaller, more efficient datacenters where a single point of failure becomes a problem of the past.

Still, with distributed environments, there are challenges that must be addressed. Since every environment is truly unique, each infrastructure may have their own set of design questions to answer.

  • Remember, when looking into a distributed environment, WAN link considerations must be made. In these situations, evaluate the type of load that’s going to be pushed down the pipe. Prior to deploying any production systems, relevant workload stress testing must occur to fully grasp the type of bandwidth requirements needed.
  • Security will also be a challenge. In a distributed environment, access to the data and workloads must be carefully managed and monitored. Proper security best practices should always be applied to a given workload.
  • Finally, resource management can sometimes be a difficult task to monitor as well. With distributed environments, an organization may potentially have several datacenter points. Each datacenter will have its own set of resources. Having a solid monitoring system will ensure that these resources are properly used and allocated as needed.

Maybe you’re not the size of a Netflix – yet. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t begin to leverage the power of the cloud. There are so many great servers to explore that almost every business across any vertical can find some type of benefit. When working with cloud, always take the time to plan out your deployments. Creating the right type of contracts and proper SLAs will help ensure that you maintain costs and keep the cloud environment aligned with the business.

Source: TheWHIR