What exactly is the Cloud? The Cloud refers to software and services that run on the internet instead of locally on your computer. The Cloud allows you to access your information on any device with an internet connection with remote servers handling most of the storage and computing.
The term was coined decades ago in Houston when a group of technology executives began discussing the future of the Internet business and began calling it Cloud computing.
Although it has been named the Cloud, your information is stored in an actual place. Benefits of migrating to the Cloud include improved flexibility, increased storage and reduced costs.
Experts seem to agree that Cloud computing will ultimately transform today’s computing landscape.
These Cloud computing services enable an enterprise to expand its infrastructure, add capacity on demand, or outsource the whole infrastructure, resulting in a wider choice of computing resources.
There is an array of available Cloud computing services, but most fall into one of the following categories which include:
- Software as a Service (SaaS): This type of Cloud computing delivers applications through your internet browser. One of the most popular SaaS applications for business is Microsoft’s Office 365. These types of applications offer extensive configuration options as well as development environments that enable customers to code their own modifications and additions. Many businesses leverage SaaS to run websites, complete computing and conduct big data analysis.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS is an instant computing infrastructure that can be quickly scaled. A pay per use model, IaaS offers a full array of services offered by all major public cloud providers which is staggering: highly scalable databases, virtual private networks, big data analytics, developer tools, machine learning and application monitoring.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Provides services and workflows that specifically target developers who can use shared tools and processes to accelerate the development, resting and deployment of applications.
- Function as a Service (FaaS): This allows developers to upload blocks of code and set them to be triggered by a specific event such as submitting a form or uploading a file. These applications consume no IaaS resources until after an event occurs so pay per use fees are reduced.
- Private Cloud: This uses technologies used to run IaaS public Clouds that and be operated and deployed into customer’s data center. It decreases the amount of manual provisioning and management. It allows organizations to store protected data and maintain the ability to leverage resources from the public cloud while increasing flexibility.
- Hybrid Cloud: The hybrid cloud is the integration of a private Cloud with a public Cloud. It creates environments in which applications can move easily between private and public Clouds.
- Public Application Programming Interfaces (APIs): Public APIs offer developers application functionality that can be assessed programmatically. It also enables customers to access data or application functionality. A public Cloud and private infrastructure within this model communicate over an encrypted connection.
- Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS): This platform enables users to implement data mapping, transformations and workflows. It is used for building and deploying integrations within the cloud and between the cloud and an enterprise. iPaaS is scalable and has the ability to meet the increased data volume from mobile and other environments with minimum disruption.
- Identity as a Service (IDaaS): This platform manages user identity and authenticates users and enables access to both resources and applications. The key capabilities required to make enterprise solutions possible are single sign-on, multi factor authentication, access security, directory and provisioning. The increased security allows companies to reduce the possibility of a data breach.
Most enterprises have complex IT environments that include a mix of on-premise, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS Applications.
Strategizing Your Cloud Migration
To achieve scalability, cost-efficiency and higher application performance, many organizations choose to migrate to the Cloud. Although there are many benefits to embarking on this initiative, migration can be a complex process however, the team at VALiNTRY.
The 6 most common application migration strategies are referred to as the 6 R’s. These include:
- Rehosting: Many applications are rehosted when an organization has a large legacy migration scenario and needs to scale quickly
- Replatforming: There is no need to change the core architecture of an application, an organization must only make a few optimizations
- Repurchasing: This occurs when an organization is moving to a different product
- Refactoring: A company is rethinking how an application is architected and developed
- Retire: Turn off any part of an IT portfolio that is no longer useful
- Retain: If some applications don’t need to be migrated or one was recently upgraded, you can revisit it at a later time
Choosing a Cloud Provider
From startups to industry leaders, there are hundreds of options to choose from when deciding which Cloud provider to use. It’s important to have mapped out your company objectives to ensure that a provider understands your business and how to help your organization achieve its goals by migrating to the Cloud. Business objectives can include:
- Scaling Applications
- Boosting Productivity
- Facilitating Collaboration
- Going Global
- Protecting Data
- Empowering Innovation
- Managing Infrastructure
- Backing Up Reliably
Learn the business advantages that can be gained like higher customer retention, not just technical gains.
Cost and security also need to be considered when choosing a provider. The location of a Cloud provider’s data centers can be imperative. For example, if an application is very sensitive, it should be at a location near users to ensure the best user experience possible. When a provider hosts data also depending security and compliance regulations can vary based on location.
The Cloud provider should also have a formal management structure, established risk management policies, and a process for assessing third-party service providers and vendors.
An organization’s principles are also important. At VALiNTRY, our team lives our core values. From honesty to integrity and transparency, a Cloud provider should be completely forthcoming with any and all information your organization would like to know. Trust is imperative.
The Benefits of Using Microsoft as Your Cloud Provider
A provider that VALiNTRY recommends using is Microsoft. A technology giant, Microsoft is a trusted, global and hybrid provider.
90% of Fortune 500 companies trust the Microsoft Cloud.
Microsoft has data centers in over 30 regions across the world to help provide an optimized user experience for your customers. It also is a complete Cloud solution, enabling businesses to leverage existing IT investments and globally scaled public cloud offerings.
Microsoft Azure is a collection of constantly growing integrated Cloud services that enables developers and IT professionals to build, deploy and manage applications globally. It provides a consistent portal experience while leveraging highly integrated cloud services.
Microsoft Azure also allows your organization to build and deploy anywhere with your choice of applications, frameworks and tools that you choose.
Migrating to the Cloud with a Microsoft Partner
VALiNTRY is a Microsoft Partner and our affiliation allows us to blend our unique portfolio of client counseling expertise with Microsoft’s array of advanced creative and support products and services.
As a Microsoft Partner, our team is able to help clients gain access to exclusive offerings, reduce costs and generate a consistent revenue stream. It also ensures that we receive the latest technical training and get insight into product usage. From initial concepts and designs to launch and maintenance, our team will ensure your business operations run as smoothly as possibly by enhancing your existing applications.