Ensure That Your Current Cloud Solution Will Stand the Test of Time
It might not feel like it, but it’s still early in the lifecycle of cloud adoption. This means certain cloud vendors and technologies will fall by the wayside as adoption takes on critical mass. How, then, do you future-proof your cloud solution to make sure you don’t make a decision that you’ll regret later?
Here are three ideas to consider.
Careful Use of Higher-Order Services
When public cloud services began, their offerings were limited to the three basics: compute, network, and storage. As time wore on, they all began to create higher-order services like load balancing, databases, and message queues.
Ultimately, those are all about selling more compute, network, and storage under the hood of those interfaces. However, they make it easier for the application developer to narrow the focus of original engineering to the business problem at hand instead of managing a load balancer, database, or message queue. The catch-22 of application architectures in the cloud era is that using higher-order services accelerates development substantially but increases the possibility of lock-in.
Carefully relying on services that have standard interfaces—like SQL, whose query language is the same across implementations—makes their use more portable and reduces the lock-in concern. There will be times where the time-to-market gains will be too good to pass up, but when using these higher-order services, have a remediation plan for getting out if you need to.
Loosely Coupled Data Chunks
A recent IDC study found that 73 percent of surveyed cloud adopters have a hybrid strategy, meaning different applications running on different clouds based on what fits best where. Not only is it a great future-proofing strategy to have diversified investments across multiple cloud vendors, but it implies that data should no longer be thought of as a behemoth that sits in a single place.
Instead, data is more loosely coupled into chunks that can be spread around to multiple clouds, allowing the applications that need it to deduce access latency. A nice side effect of this is that it reduces the data gravity issue. If you need to move data from one cloud to another, the chunks are smaller and more easily migrated.
Cloud Management Platforms
Cloud management platforms (CMPs) are a new class of product that can take a lot of the management overhead away from a hybrid cloud strategy. This makes it easier to deploy applications across multiple clouds by providing a single pane of glass from which to view them all. Such tools typically also provide application migration assistance, benchmarking, governance, and other features that make it easier to diversify cloud investment.
As cloud adoption reaches the masses, most companies are utilizing a hybrid cloud strategy that spreads their bets across multiple vendors so that their investment is future-proofed. Careful use of higher-order services from those cloud vendors, spreading data out to multiple places and in smaller pieces, and relying on the latest tooling in the form of CMPs can go a long way toward protecting that investment.