Five Reasons Engineers Should Be Excited About the Cloud
September 26, 2016
As Mid-Sized companies are considering a cloud-first strategy, it's clear to see the many reasons why this is beneficial from a business perspective (see our blog post Why Mid-Market Companies Are Migrating to the Cloud). However, from a technical perspective, we often get questions and concerns from IT leaders and engineers that cover all ends of the spectrum – anything from “is the cloud stable enough” to “what am I going to do with my time if I move to the cloud?” To answer some of these questions, here are five reasons why our engineers should be excited about moving to a cloud-first strategy:
- The Cloud is a Datacenter – Strip away all the layers and, from a networking and server perspective, expanding to the cloud can be the same as expanding to a datacenter. The cloud service is providing you bandwidth, power and cooling with the same SLA and benefits of a traditional datacenter. The difference is there is the added benefit of the cloud service providing your hardware and storage to save you the capital expense. From there, you can control the OS, storage, networking, etc. just like you have been used to doing with a co-lo.
- Hands On or Hands Off, Your Choice – Cloud services are available with all levels of management. If you have a complex application that you want to manage and maintain on a server, just convert it to a VM in a cloud service and management continues just as before. On the flip side, if you have an application that you want to setup and forget – put the application into a Platform-as-a-Service model and the cloud service can do all the maintenance for you (OS patching, version updates, etc).
- Expand or Shrink Quickly and Easily – Have you ever been asked to build out a “test” environment that ended up requiring a lot more hardware and equipment than expected? Have you ever decommissioned a test environment or an old application and found yourself left with a lot of expensive hardware that you probably didn’t need? With the cloud, this is no longer a problem. All systems are charged based on usage, so you can easily spin up that test environment without having to over-purchase hardware. That old application you no longer need, simply turn it off and immediately see a savings on your monthly cloud costs.
- Automatic Hardware / Feature Improvements – Standard datacenter environments require regular hardware refreshes and hypervisor upgrades to keep them current. These changes often involve getting approval for capital expenditures, significant time and effort building out the environment, and often long nights and weekends migrating the systems to avoid downtime and user impact. With cloud solutions, all of this work is taken care of by the provider. You remain responsible for the OS upgrades on your servers, but the OS templates are automatically created for you and the underlying hardware is constantly refreshed and improved.
- Work Life Balance – As an IT leader, how often are you getting alerts on nights and weekends because a drive has failed in a SAN or because a host lost power? How much personal time are you spending on common maintenance tasks just to keep your systems running? With a cloud provider, you can offload much of that headache. Cloud solutions build in the redundancy and monitoring necessary to catch most of these issues before you even notice, letting you have your nights and weekends back.