It surprises me every time I see it. A customer will welcome me on-site to a clean front office. They’ll take me around, showing me pristine computers in working order around the campus, and then we’ll get to “it”. By “it” here I’m referring to the dreaded server closet, usually stuck behind janitorial supplies or in a locked room that hasn’t been dusted in years. This amount of neglect is just a break/fix call waiting to happen. Although those kinds of calls have kept me gainfully employed for a number of years, there are still several reasons why my first recommendation to any SMB is to migrate from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud. Here’s why.
Cloud Resources are Easier to Maintain
It goes without saying that when you don’t own the hardware, you don’t have to take care of the hardware. Maintenance of IT infrastructure is not only time consuming, but expensive! When we migrate to the cloud, we don’t have to worry about hardware anymore. Sure, there are still software issues that may crop up from time to time, but by using the modern best practices of “Infrastructure as Code” and “Immutability” we’re able to provide the most dependable, reliable, and secure environments for your business data. This style of infrastructure management consumes significantly fewer resources and much less time than traditional IT environments.
“Infrastructure as Code” is a relatively recent management style for information technology and is most commonly used in the cloud. It works by allowing us to write our configurations for each client environment as a series of files and scripts. By combining our scripts with a “Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery Pipeline”, we’re able to re-use a large portion of our code, meaning each one of our clients only requires minor customizations in order for our code to work for them as well.
Immutability is a new server management style that means we recreate an environment any time we want to make a change. In the past, the most common way to manage cloud infrastructure was to touch each component by hand and make any configuration changes that way. With immutability, any time we make a change to our infrastructure we modify our code, “tear down” the old environment, then rebuild it from scratch. This helps us prevent what’s called “Configuration Drift” which are the minor undocumented changes older servers and services suffer from and cause major security concerns.
Cloud Computing is more Scalable and Powerful
Along the same vein of cloud resources being easier to maintain, cloud resources are also much more scalable and can respond to business needs much more quickly than on-premesis infrastructure. Just think about it – if I needed to double my compute power at home, I’d have to go out and buy twice as many computers, plug them in, install the appropriate operating systems, configure them, and then get them online. In the cloud, all I have to do is say how much I want, when, and where. As a registered Amazon Web Services (AWS) partner, Amazon is able to take care of resource provisioning and we can focus on delivering a scalable business solution to you.
As mentioned above, we’re a registered AWS partner. This means we have access to AWS resources and can build out entire environments for our clients. By combining our “Infrastructure as Code” methodology with AWS, we’re able to replicate and scale new solutions to all of our clients with ease. With AWS and team handling the hardware provisioning, we can focus on monitoring and securing your business critical applications. Using different AWS Resources like auto scaling groups, lambda’s, and more, we can even have the resources automatically provisioned based on the amount they’re being utilized. This means that you’ll have performance to scale to millions of users when you need it, but you’ll also have the cost savings of running minimal hardware when you don’t.
I hope I’ve been able to help you see that moving to the cloud is a great option for most small businesses. By taking advantage of the cloud’s uptime and reliability, you’ll see an improvement in performance while simultaneously experiencing a reduction in cost. Interested in hearing more about how your business could scale to the cloud? Contact us today for a free consultation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.