The cloud has redefined the way businesses operate online. It’s a cost efficient solution which eliminates the need to build or expand your own data centers. However, online IT systems are built over a series of different components, such as private, hybrid or public clouds, on-premises hardware and colocation data centers. Keeping everything under control and making sure all the components work flawlessly can sometimes be a herculean task. Because of that, more and more organisations are migrating most of their systems to the cloud.
The increased adoption of cloud solutions is mainly due to the reduced costs and high flexibility they offer. Leveraging those benefits means a continuous monitoring of lots of parameters which often requires a certain level of expertise. Optimal cloud performance means your content will ultimately move across providers, platforms and databases without encountering any bottlenecks as well as perform well on any device and OS. With all the best solutions in place there’s always room for improvement.
Pick The Right Provider
One of the key success factors of any internet endeavor is delivering high quality content in the shortest amount of time possible. However, there is no single solution, provider or vendor that can manage that for all users, all the time. It is highly recommended to get advised on the matter and getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of the cloud players. It then gets much easier to detect and implement the best possible vendors and their solutions based on the specific requirements of your company and business model. Cloud providers do their best to offer state of the art hardware and the best possible levels of compatibility. However, Determining IOPS storage requirements, picking instances, choosing storage and virtual cores can be a daunting process when there’s a lack of expertise. In order to get the best bang for your bucks there are some safe-bet guidelines to follow.
Cloud Optimization Guidelines
Here are some easy actionable tips that cloud consumers should follow in order to optimize their cloud investments:
- Cloud Features and Capabilities: Cloud providers are constantly deploying new features and applications. Making best use of the additional features can have a great impact on your performance and costs. For example, managed database services like AWS RDS can greatly improve app performance and free up valuable time for your IT department.
- Sizing Instances: Determine the initial requirements for your virtual server instance from a public or private cloud network. Start with the basic needs, and you can always adjust them on demand.
- Rethinking Architecture: What worked best for a company for the last ten years doesn’t necessary mean it’s still the best solution. A cloudified infrastructure offers new models of building online systems. A simple switch from usual data transfers to a CDN can greatly improve performance and efficiency.
- Auto Scaling: This basic cloud feature sits at the core of the cloud flexibility benefit. Correctly defining the minimum and maximum sized instance pools along with fundamental scaling metrics can have a great impact on your performance and overall costs.
- Managing Instances: Set metrics and rules to terminate unused instance capacity. A dynamic approach to managing instances can have a positive effect on your cloud invoice.
- Consolidated View: A distributed cloud system can support cost allocation and chargebacks. However, keeping track of all the cloud accounts can be difficult. Make sure to have a consolidated and transparent overview of all accounts
- Leveraging SLA: Providers are obliged to deliver you a certain level of service regardless of what your setup is. You can use the SLA at your advantage by trying cheaper computing resources, with spot instances or simply by deploying in other, cheaper regions.
- Using Reserved Capacity: Cloud providers allow reservation of capacities such as computing, databases or CDNs for a certain amount of time (usually 1-3 years) at significantly lower rates. Proper planning and accurate estimations can be of great use when committing to reserved capacities and result in significant savings.
- Cheaper Storage: Hard drives are expensive. Moving data from its physical residence to cloud storages greatly reduces overall costs. However, you should keep in mind your backup and data storage policies.
- Disabling Tagged Instances: This is particularly useful for developers and test workloads. By automatically disabling tagged instances at the end of the day and keeping them off until users’ activity turns them on, a lot of operational hours can be saved.
- Optimization and Management Tools: Tools are essential when looking for greater transparency. They are also crucial when looking to be able to make fast and reliable data-driven decisions. In order to have more control over your cloud environment, make sure they are in place right from the beginning.
Optimizing cloud solutions can’t be done by simply switching vendors or tweaking SLAs. There’s much more to it, and real optimization only comes through detailed analytics and consistent measuring against other cloud setups and CDNs. Optimizing across every aspect of your Internet presence starts with identifying and eliminating inefficient areas before they become lost-opportunity costs. And once cloud optimization is done right, it’s easy to spot. Your users will notice that your apps are faster, pages load quickly and video streams never get interrupted. On the other hand, your IT department will see that performance isn’t being affected by traffic spikes while operations proceed even during outages. And with lower bandwidth bills and better returns on cloud expenditures, your CEO will be pleased too. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into cloud optimization feel free to reach out to our experts here at GlobalDots. We can help you get the best out of your cloud.