How The Right Cloud Computing Architecture Can Benefit Your Business
There’s no question that investing in cloud computing for your business comes with many perks like flexibility, storage, efficient sharing, and easier accessibility. However, for companies ready to make the move, the bigger question lies in which cloud computing architecture is the right choice.
What is cloud computing architecture?
A good place for businesses to start is to get insight into the fundamentals of cloud computing architecture. While cloud computing refers to the delivery of resources such as applications, servers, databases and software through the internet, cloud computing architecture is the build of the infrastructure that connects within a cloud. It is ultimately the way in which technology components are combined to build a cloud, and gives companies the ability to build, design and ultimately manage applications through the cloud platform.
The makings of a successful cloud architecture include a front-end platform that customers and mobile devices use to access the cloud, at least one back-end platform for storage and servers, a cloud-based delivery method, and a network that connects all of them together.
While the frontend architecture is focused on user-facing elements including web applications, user interfaces, overall design and the client infrastructure, the backend architecture is centered around managing all the programs that run the apps on the frontend. In simpler terms, the backend is quite literally the backbone as it encompasses data storage and management, softwares, and most importantly, security — and that’s where selecting the right architecture can make a significant difference.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
A successfully-built cloud architecture will aid in business development, provide a competitive edge, and allow them to adapt quickly to market demands. Some key benefits include:
- Flexibility: You can shift between services and infrastructure whenever you need to, and even upgrade services as you go along. The ability to deploy services in a matter of minutes allows you to experiment, test new ideas and more.
- Scalability: You can scale your business according to ever-changing demand, quite quickly by tapping into resources almost instantaneously. Additionally, you can scale these resources up or down to either increase or shrink your capacity as demand changes.
- Cost Efficiency: Not only can you cut costs by eliminating on-premise servers, physical data centers and other physical resources, but you can utilize technology services with a pay-as-you-go model from cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- Automation: Many cloud computing providers offer automation that eliminates manual work and human error, improves security, the backup process, and allows for better control over the infrastructure.
How valuable are cloud computing providers to your business?
While some businesses instantly see the value in third-party cloud providers, others stick to the same design principles when building clouds as they would have used with on-premise data centers. Unfortunately, this attempt at streamlining the process ends up creating more work and costing businesses more time and resources.
One example of this is a project we took over for a client of ours. While this particular project was cloud-based, it lacked decentralized stacking of cloud components. Instead of creating a tiered approach of setting up a database, application layer and frontend, everything was configured onto one server instance. Our solution? Transform and decouple in accordance with Best-Practice Design Principles and redesigned the application with AWS RDS, EC2, S3 in mind.
In this case, utilizing a cloud provider helped establish longevity, efficiency and seamless integration.
How do you identify the right cloud provider?
There’s no shortage of reputable vendors offering an array of cloud services which can make the selection process slightly overwhelming for some businesses. Major players like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are seemingly popular choices, but the list goes on to include smaller providers that cater to specific niches.
To find a suitable cloud computing service provider that meets your needs, consider the following criteria:
- Security: Different providers may offer different security measures and mechanisms, with some features coming included while others are offered at additional costs.
- Cloud Compliance: Depending on your compliance standards as an organization, some providers may be better equipped to help you achieve optimal compliance with your apps and data.
- Architecture: Considering your existing infrastructure, one vendor may be easier in the sense of integration and consolidation than another, particularly if you have already invested heavily in a specific platform.
- Manageability: How much time, effort and resources you will need to manage a cloud platform will have a hand in selecting the right cloud provider. Perhaps your existing team may be more comfortable and familiar with one platform over another.
- Service and Support Levels: What level of support and service do you need? Whether you are comfortable with support through a chat service or you prefer to have a dedicated contact, identifying the level and type of support you expect is an important factor. This also includes availability, response time and capacity.
- Pricing: Take into consideration various pricing models like pay-as-you-go, hourly and reserved pricing, in addition to costs associated with hiring the right team to help with management.
To help get you started, consider working with a cloud architect who is well versed in what it takes to build the right architecture. From identifying your unique business needs to possessing the design skills required, taking your business to the next level with cloud computing is one that can only be successfully accomplished with a reputable and skillful team.
Ready to take the next step? Let us know and we will help you get the ball rolling.