Bryan Soltis, Technical Evangelist, Kentico Software
Oh sure! You’ve heard it many times. “Solve all your troubles by deploying your entire business to the cloud!”
There has been no shortage of press on the benefits of leveraging the cloud for organizations, and with good reason. The cloud is a revolutionary shift in how businesses operate and offer their services - by providing (nearly) limitless resources to anyone. This new era of commoditized computing is reshaping how products are developed and delivered and allowing business to expand their global presence.
But what happens when deploying to the cloud doesn’t go so smoothly? Whenever a new technology or system is unveiled, there are certainly more than a few people that don’t have the greatest of experiences and the cloud is no exception. When deploying to the cloud, many failures tend to fall into three distinct categories: bad configurations, bad development, and wasteful spending. Nearly every dismal deployment can be narrowed down to one of these categories and make for a very bad day for a company.
When things go bad, it’s usually because companies have deployed to the cloud incorrectly. Whether it’s due to a lack of familiarity with their options or a misunderstanding of how certain features work, a bad configuration can derail even the best developed systems. Because of this, many applications are hindered before they are ever deployed and robbed of the very benefits the cloud was supposed to provide.
Some common issues include overpowering or under-powering their systems, and failing to plan and implement the right resources to accomplish their business goals. Another big issue is the improper use of cloud resources. CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) are designed to disseminate content around the globe so it loads faster for everyone. However, not every bit of content is a good fit. Frequently-modified files may be updated by a company, but users may not see the changes for days later if the CDN isn’t configured properly. These scenarios can result in bad user experience, which isn’t good for any business’ bottom line.
Over the years, I’ve deduced that one of the biggest causes of bad deployments is a lack of knowledge and understanding. Developers may not be familiar with what the cloud is (and isn’t), which can lead to failed deployments and implementations. Often, developers will ‘resort to what they know’ during a project, foregoing implementing many of the time-saving capabilities the cloud can offer. This can result in project delays, wasted efforts, and a bad cloud solution. By not taking the time to learn the environment, companies can waste hundreds of hours of development working around a problem the cloud was specifically designed to improve.
In addition, a lot of companies do not consider the changes developing for the cloud will bring. Many cloud deployments require specific environments or systems, which can disrupt the normal development process. Introducing new testing and performance metrics into a project lifecycle may run over costs and budgets, neither of which led to a successful cloud deployment.
Even with an infrastructure designed specifically to SAVE money, deploying to the cloud incorrectly can empty a bank account in a hurry. One of the beauties of the cloud is you only pay for what you use. While this is a great concept for those looking to control their spending, it can lead to disaster for those companies that don’t keep track of things.
With the cloud, you can spin up resources on a whim and deploy applications quickly. The danger comes later when companies find themselves with scores of servers, databases and files they’ve forgotten about. These zombie resources can quickly eat away at the bottom line and destroy any of the cost savings the cloud has to offer. Bad housekeeping can quickly lead to huge costs as a business exploits the ‘easy-create, easy-to-deploy’ capabilities of the cloud.
“This new era of commoditized computing is reshaping how products are developed and delivered and allowing business to expand their global presence”
And the Solution is?
With so many dismal examples, how can a company make sure their cloud experience is a profitable one? It all starts with learning the tool. Understanding what it has to offer and how it functions is critical for using it properly. Ensuring your developers have a solid understanding of how cloud-based resources impact your existing systems is essential to having a good experience. Lastly, keep track of your stuff! Developing a regular schedule to review your cloud utilization and systems will ensure you aren’t running up costs with unnecessary systems and resources. The cloud is a world-changing technology with the capabilities to transform nearly every industry. It can improve the way companies think about and use technology by allowing them to focus on their core business, rather than hardware and systems. With the proper research and planning, nearly every business can benefit from this new architecture and succeed.
Headquartered in Czech Republic, Kentico Software is a company that provides affordable and easy to use integrated marketing solutions. Operating since 2004, Kentico is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with 1,100 digital agency partners, which powers more than 18,000 websites in 90 countries.