Cloud Applications & Integration

What's the Deal with the Cloud?

We're no longer wondering if you make the move to cloud...it's a veritable must.
Our panel of experts took to the Concord Tech Talks stage on May 2 to share their views on migrating cloud applications, mixing and matching web interfaces, and the next big thing in cloud. Read on for the insights from Florin Ibrani, Eric Carr, and Dave Cyr.

Getting Started with Cloud

Like any new technology, there’s a certain amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt associated with adoption. It’s best for clients to start their cloud journey from a place they feel most comfortable from a compliance perspective, although there’s really no requirement that cannot be met when it comes to cloud security (with the singular exception of a requirement for an air-gapped testing setup).

Clients who previously ignored the prevailing trends are now migrating their mainframe applications to the cloud – the time to spin up infrastructure has been a huge driver. When a business user hears it will be 3 months to approve a server and 2 months to ship, if it’s in stock, and then another who-knows-how-long to get everything up and running, it’s just not fast enough to meet the business need.

We find that cloud beginners tend to start with customer-facing applications first and then move to Big Data programs and analytics next. We’re seeing the pendulum swing away from vended products and push toward the open-source side to eliminate or reduce licensing costs. One word of caution with that approach: the delivery costs of avoiding vended products are not trivial when you compare the total cost of ownership versus the cost of acquiring.

Mixing & Matching Web Interfaces – Do They Play Well?

Multi-cloud as a hybrid solution has made it possible to mix and match cloud service providers. By default, everything is going towards multi-cloud and we are seeing this trend fairly consistently at our clients. It’s challenging to manage the infrastructure, but it becomes easier when you have a standardized approach to the various cloud vendors.

The Cloud Adoption process applies here – once you reach the Transform stage, there are efficiencies to capitalize upon by moving towards fast, reliable, and elastic automated provisioning.

Cloud Adoption Graphic

Cloud Conundrums
The Cloud Adoption process applies here – once you reach the Transform stage, there are efficiencies to capitalize upon by moving towards fast, reliable, and elastic automated provisioning.  

As with any technology, there are always a unique set of challenges and issues. Most commonly, sticker shock is a consistent concern across the board. After receiving the first bill, it can be a bit overwhelming, which is why we recommend setting up billing alerts right away as a safety net. The cloud providers don’t want you to be in for any surprises.

DevOps immediately becomes a huge challenge for clients – especially the fact that organization structures are being forced to move from a layered to a more vertical structure, which is a painful process.

It’s also easy to be lazy with the cloud and skip vulnerability scans or allow multiple unmanaged accounts to go unnoticed. It’s important to rein that in and be vigilant about your cloud setup. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you should never tie your cloud controls to a single individual’s email. You might think we wouldn’t need to say that, but it’s a surprisingly common occurrence.

The Next Big Thing

Going forward, we will see the massive-scale use of containers. In simple terms, containers are lighter weight virtual machines – each container should have one, singularly-focused service. It’s a technology solution that gets rid of the problem where users say, “Well, it works on my machine!”

Beyond containers, we expect to see people asking more questions about their service fabric. How do I deal with loosely and highly-coupled services?

As a parting anecdote, one of the more compelling cloud stories resulted from the sale of WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion. Prior to being sold, a team of roughly 35 developers was supporting some 450 million active monthly users. That’s a true testament to the scalability and flexibility of the cloud – allowing you to focus on core business functions.

Learn How the Cloud Scales an Application!