Since its appearance in 2006, Cloud computing has been one of the most talked about subjects in IT. Just about everyone is now aware that adopting the Cloud can offer advantages such as cost savings and flexibility. However, the Cloud comes in many different forms and frankly, can be confusing to learn about. Perhaps you can’t yet clearly picture the value the Cloud can bring to your organization. Maybe you are wary of getting started because you don’t want to make any mistakes.
As you consider your needs and evaluate different offerings, talking directly with Cloud platform vendors may leave you wondering which options (and there are so many) will best suit your business. Cloud technology is also evolving quickly. Will the plan you choose still be suitable one or two years down the road? Will the vendor keep up to date with industry developments?
Ideally, these kinds of questions are best addressed with someone who is deeply familiar with the technology. An experienced Cloud expert who can look at your business processes, identify the ones that are suitable for migration and guide your IT department in the transition to the Cloud. Someone who also stays abreast of industry developments and recommends new features when appropriate. This is our line of work.
A Few Tips to Simplify your Cloud Adoption
To help cut through the clutter and simplify your Cloud adoption process, here are a few things to consider. I’ll start by narrowing down the subject. Let me briefly explain the three types of Cloud Services you’ve probably heard about the most: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
- SaaS is Software as a Service (like Gmail or Dropbox). Just about everyone at the individual or corporate level is using some form of SaaS and it has simply become omnipresent. SaaS tools are extremely useful but they aren’t designed to adjust to or evolve with the specifics of your business.
- PaaS is Platform as a Service. It is an application development platform that companies can use to build and run their own applications on. Oracle offers a lot of PaaS services, like Autonomous Database, Big Data, Analytics Cloud, Blockchain Platform and more. PaaS offers the freedom to customize your applications, instead of using someone else’s like in SaaS.
- IaaS is Infrastructure as a Service. Imagine copying and pasting your entire data center to someplace else that has servers, hard drives, networking, and storage. That place is IaaS. IaaS providers take care of making sure all of these resources are optimal at all times. You use whatever applications and application development platforms you need on this hardware that you are “renting out”.
Here is an excellent article that more thoroughly explains the differences between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
The Cloud: Technology Your IT Services are Already Familiar With
From a technological standpoint, the Cloud resembles what is already being used and managed in your data center today, and that your IT team understands well: Technology such as servers, storage, load balancers and more. You could say that the Cloud is just a physical displacement of these technologies to somewhere else. For instance, if you rent a Linux Cloud server, it is just a Linux server that isn’t in your data center but happens to be physically located in Oracle’s Cloud data center. This simple change of mindset can actually be one of the most difficult barriers to overcome in cloud migration.
The Big Bang Approach
Another barrier to Cloud adoption is that a lot of companies see the move to the cloud basically as that big copy-paste of their data center; that it must be done in an all-at-once “big bang” fashion. They hesitate because this seems too complex and too dangerous, or because it would be just too much new technology to learn at once.
In fact, there are much more suitable ways to begin the move to the cloud. There’s no pressing need to eliminate the data center. See it this way: You can simply start by taking advantage of new resources that happen to be outside your data center. The Cloud can be, in the beginning anyway, a tool used to answer very specific, small scale business needs. Simply put, start out small.
Starting Out Small
For example, instead of creating secure backups of information in the data center, create them on the Oracle Cloud. This answers the need for backups that are both highly secure and offsite. It so happens that offsite backups are often the first use a company will have for the Cloud.
Another easy step towards the Cloud is Disaster Recovery. This means having installations that provide business continuity even if the data center is damaged for some reason. So, instead of building a separate data center in another location as a Disaster Recovery back up, the Cloud can be leveraged to save on costs.
If your company is comfortable with those, it can go a step further: Software development, test and QA environments can be moved to the Cloud. This can gradually increase your team’s comfort level with the technology. At a certain point, they can consider migrating their production environment to the Cloud as well.
Deploying non-production environments (such as dev, test, and QA) on the cloud represents real cost savings. For example, test environments that are only used during testing and closed the remainder of the time cost virtually nothing. What you don’t use you don’t pay for, save for a very small amount needed to reserve the resources. In this “pay as you go” arrangement, you aren’t having to invest in physical servers, the building they are housed in, etc. Moreover, companies normally “rotate” (read: buy new) servers every 5 to 7 years. On the Cloud, this is the provider’s responsibility.
Who’s Cloud Should I Use?
We recommend the Oracle Cloud, but not just because we primarily service Oracle Database-using clients.
It is widely recognized that Oracle got into the Cloud game somewhat late. Amazon now has huge market share and Microsoft Azure is also ahead of Oracle. However, Oracle is fighting back with very aggressive pricing and better performance. Oracle’s most recent version of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) has been available for about a year and a half now. With OCI, Oracle has been constantly demonstrating it’s technical superiority (Speed, Performance, Security), to its competitors. Also, because its Cloud technology is evolving very quickly, Oracle puts out new functionality just about every month. Oracle Cloud continues to be at the cutting edge of Cloud technology and it’s something that all users will continue to profit from.
Worries about the technical challenges of migration, as well as putting private and strategic information on the Cloud, has kept companies from reaping its benefits. We believe businesses can be more comfortable with the idea of adopting the Cloud if they start small and picture their Cloud product as an extension of their local environment.
Insum has helped customers migrate to the Cloud in both IaaS and Paas configurations. We’ve executed small and large-scale Cloud migration and custom application development projects all over the world. We focus on providing our customers with technologically and administratively seamless Cloud migrations, on time and on budget. We have Oracle OCI certified experts on staff. Learn about how we can help you migrate your business to the Cloud, your way: Download our Cloud Brochure!