Having managed few data centres myself, I am aware of the troubles we went through when there are power outages, AC failures, when perfectly fine DR scenarios don’t work, when actual disaster hits and so on. IT professionals should love the cloud services.
Then again, you need to have the expertise in general cloud technologies and specific services like AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and GCP (Google Cloud Platform).
I am an AWS fan so you will see lot of references and terms to AWS resources. However, almost all servers are available with most of the top 5 cloud service providers like AWS, Azure, GCP, IBM and Alibaba.
What is Cloud Computing?
You just have to google above, and you will get tons of references and I am not going to define cloud here. However, the following caught my eye.
What questions come to your mind when thinking about cloud?
Is it secure?
It is difficult to say, all cloud service providers are very secure but major players like AWS, Azure and GCP have maintained very high standards.
Following are some of the compliance accreditations of top three cloud service providers in the world AWS, MS Azure and GCP.
Having looked at these certifications from major bodies like ISO, SOC etc, these companies have given lot of weight for cloud security.
Only a handful of companies will think of getting such accreditations for their own data center and this is due to many factors like, cost and lack of expertise to implement and manage.
ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 2017, ISO 27018, CSA, PCI DSS level 1, SOC1, SOC2, SOC3…
ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 2017, ISO 27018, ISO 22301, ISO 20000-1, CSA, PCI DSS level 1, SOC1, SOC2, SOC3…
ISO/IEC 27001, ISO/IEC 27017, ISO/IEC 27018, ISO/IEC 27701, SOC1, SOC2, SOC3, PCI DSS, CSA STAR, CyberGRX … https://cloud.google.com/security/compliance/offerings#/regions=Global
Having the above accreditations does not mean that cloud services aren’t susceptible to attacks by hackers or groups with malicious intent. They are, and this happens on a regular basis. However, due to the various levels of protection they have, attacks fail.
The following are some of the sample cases.
Is it expensive?
This all depends on the workload you are running and your business model. TCO comparison is a methodology used to calculate and compare costs of running the same workload in the cloud against on-premises.
Basic TCO calculators provided by service providers typically focus on actual costs of procurement, management, maintenance and decommissioning of hardware resources over their useful life (which is typically a 3 or 5 year period). Given the plethora of different hardware configurations available today, it sometimes becomes difficult to know the actual costs and come up with an accurate TCO model that represents the true cost of running your application.
I am hearing from customers that it can be challenging for them to do the right apples-to-apples comparisons between on-premise infrastructure and an infrastructure that is offered as a service. In practice, it is not as simple as just measuring potential hardware expense alongside utility pricing for compute and storage resources. We have noticed that customers struggle to compare the two models especially when they are trying to compare the TCO of a web application scenario that includes compute, storage, network access, load balancing and all the complements of the architecture.
Due to this difficulty in comparison, all top-level cloud service providers have come up with a TCO model that allow you to calculate cost of services in the cloud using exact scenario you are planning to have your workloads running. You can get the benefit of features such as auto scaling, spot instances, capacity reservations to reduce your cost of services in the cloud. Put it this way,
- You have no capital costs.
- You get very high security.
- You can spin up new resources like virtual servers in minutes.
- Go global with services like cloud front.
- No need to spend on data centre related costs like power, cooling, administration costs.
And the list can go on.
The following statistics give you a good indication what is happening around the work. It shows that the demand for the cloud services are increasing.
What happens to my data?
Usually what is in the cloud is your responsibility. Security practices like encryption of data at rest (stored in disks) and data in transit (data sent via emails and between other end points), AV and malware protection and activating a network protection are customer responsibility.
Cloud service providers with the help of third-party service provider have introduced great number of features to enhance cloud capabilities.
In my view you need to make sure that your data is safe and protected, and you should take action without leaving it for others to look after them. This is true whether you have your data in the cloud or on-premises data centre.
It is very easy to activate DR and BCP features like geo-redundancy backups using inbuilt functionalities of cloud services. If you are using AWS S3 for your data, you can activate replication services to store a copy in another location within minutes.
Having that balance in anything you do is important; it could be your working life or personal life.
So, I would say look at a hybrid solution where some services are running in the cloud and some on-premises to start with. You may realise that some services can’t go to cloud at all, so you keep them on-premises.
So, my personal view is you should start your journey to cloud now. This does not mean you should move all your services to cloud in one go but you should start.