public-cloud-e1614288447834 Five Core Principles to Simplify Public Cloud Management

The Challenge of Managing Public Cloud Platforms

Migration to a cloud-native framework has been at the center of digital transformation for many organizations over the past couple of years, and this trend is on the rise. In particular, Public Cloud offerings are extensively getting adopted since they make applications highly scalable, easily accessible with an internet connection, and secure without the efforts of managing infrastructure. This however remains dependent on a proper migration to the public cloud that ensures a seamless transition, reduced costs, and enhanced operational excellence. 

While there are several benefits of migrating to a public cloud, the migration in itself may also bring a set of challenges related to governance, security, and resource optimization. This is often because, when migrating to a public cloud, organizations use different solutions to host different functions and applications. Such a model may also introduce unseen operational complexities and hidden costs. As a result, it is strongly advised that organizations weigh their options well, and take a pragmatic approach to manage both the transition and operations of their public cloud instance. 

In this article, let us explore the five best practices to make the most of your public cloud platform.

Core Principles to Simplify Public Cloud Management

1. Embracing Automation

Public cloud adoption calls for quick and responsive applications that require repetitive and time-consuming management tasks. This is specifically true with respect to public cloud offerings, where businesses could be using a combination of different compute resources from different vendors. In such scenarios, the cloud management experience becomes much simpler if organizations embrace smart automation to enable, deploy, and update applications autonomously. 

To do so, it is important to adopt DevOps practices that simplify the management of cloud-hosted applications. Besides reducing repetitive workloads, automated processes reduce the human error element in cloud management, making applications highly efficient, reliable, and available. By automating workflow processes, IT staff and resources can be directed toward activities that add business value and improve the overall operational experience.

2. Focus on Security and Governance

Data privacy and security remain a chief concern among cloud service providers, IT developers & operators, application end-users, and business managers. This asks for the need to leverage cloud-centric tools that enforce authorization, validation, and authentication across all users and devices accessing the cloud network. 

To help with this, it is recommended to take advantage of out-of-the-box solutions like Identity and Access Management (IAM) available in Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s AWS. Using these ensures only intended users gain access to specific services of your cloud ecosystem. Other security and governance tools organizations can consider include: 

  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC), 
  • Single Sign-On (SSO), and 
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Additionally, organizations should also put in place security management and enforcement policies to ensure security incidents do not interfere with operations. System and Performance Monitors also act as essential services that help manage assets that interact with the cloud ecosystem. 

3. Use a Consolidated Platform for Visibility and Monitoring

A Public Cloud Ecosystem consists of several interdependent assets, often managed by different vendors. Managed Public Cloud vendors typically offer a single pane of glass– a dashboard that helps to monitor all services and assets running in the cloud framework. This eliminates the need to learn how to navigate the interfaces of all these services, making monitoring and management simple for both operators and developers. 

Using a single pane of glass dashboard also helps you compare prices and performance of services offered by different vendors, allowing greater insights on cost savings and optimization. This also allows you to familiarize yourself with the core concepts of various tools within the cloud platform, eventually helping to manage applications more effectively. Microsoft Azure Monitor, Amazon CloudWatch, and BMC TrueSight are some popular dashboard solutions that help to improve a hosted applications’ observability and management.

4. Plan for Continuous Integration and Development

Cloud Resources are built to scale up and down seamlessly with changes in workload. This makes migrating the massive number of technologies and tools as one of the greatest challenges to public cloud adoption. For the same reason, it is important to start with a Minimum Viable Cloud – the starting point for your migration, and a platform that can be used to continuously improve as you build your ecosystem. This also helps to generate an understanding of the cloud platform’s fundamental concept, while ensuring that there is no service downtime. Once a benchmark is defined, an automated workflow should be set up to continuously improve the application and infrastructure by matching changes in consumption patterns and computing technology. 

5. Optimize Resource Costs and Consumption

A major part of public cloud management involves eliminating wastage, identifying & eliminating mismanaged resources, and right-sizing compute constructs. Public cloud providers like AWS and Azure charge clients for allocated resources, whether these are in use or not. Unsurprisingly, organizations typically amass charges through unattached and unused resources. 

It is, therefore, important to ensure you reserve (and eventually pay) only for the resources you use. Besides picking the right size of computing instances, it is also important to observe trends in resource usage using tools such as a Heatmap. These resources can then be provisioned accordingly to support peak performance of the hosted application. 

Investing in Reserve and Spot instances also helps reduce expenses on computing resources offered by public cloud vendors. For complex setups, another way is to use a Multi-cloud architecture that helps avoid vendor lock-in while keeping budgets flexible.


Closing Thoughts

Above are some of the key principles that allow an organization to get the most out of a public cloud platform. While use cases for organizations may differ, the goal is always to achieve fast, reliable, and responsive applications with limited risk, at a reduced cost. It is recommended, however, to pair these practices with the right tools, processes, and people for a successful implementation of a cloud-native setup.  


data-migration-SQL 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

As we move into 2021, migrating data to the cloud has been the norm for the last few years. We would even go as far to say that it’s becoming an essential part of any thriving business model, especially as COVID forced the world to shift online. With the pandemic came budget cuts, less resources to put toward technical training, and decreased business agility. These pain points can all be lessened by undergoing cloud migration. What does it take to migrate to the cloud using Azure SQL? Keep reading to learn what the process entails, who should use it, and how you will benefit.

What Does Migrating to the Cloud with Azure SQL Look Like?

Migrating to the cloud, regardless of what path you take to get there is a great idea. But using Azure SQL ensures you the cloud database options to fit your needs. Maintaining your systems with ease, Azure helps you seamlessly migrate to the cloud. Another aspect to note, expanded on in more detail later, is that SQL has the option to provide both a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). And if you’re already using SQL, Azure SQL is built on the same Server technology that you are already familiar with, meaning there’s no need to relearn SQL skills when making the transition.

Who Does This Apply To?

dat-amigration-benefits 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

This service is perfect for anyone who needs to migrate their SQL workload and modernize their applications. It keeps applications updated without the tiresome upkeep that can be so grueling.

The 5 Big Benefits:

benefits-of-migrating-to-the-cloud 5 Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud using the Azure SQL Database

1. Competitive Pricing

Using SQL managed instance, you can gain up to a 238% return on investment. This means you spend a fraction of the money that your competition does and boost performance at the same time. Want to know how much you could gain? Try out the Azure Hybrid Benefit calculator to view simulations of monthly and annual savings using the SQL server.

2. License Free Development and QA Environments 

Visual Studio users with subscriptions pay only for compute charges and can save up to 55% on dev and QA workloads. This allows for greater flexibility for customers who have dev teams. 

3. Modernizes Apps and Keeps You Up to Date

Azure services allows for the highest service level agreement (SLA) and an industry new SLA on RPO and RTO. Azure provides a wide range of choices depending on your needs. For more details on how to leverage this benefit, click here.

4. Consolidates Dozens of Data Centres Into One Place

Utilising Azure Managed Services is one of the best ways to maintain all your data centres in one accessible location. Instead of monitoring your workload across dozens of different interfaces, use just one portal to keep tabs on all your SQL databases, pools, instances and more. 

5. Provides both IaaS and PaaS

As previously mentioned, Azure SQL has three different options, providing both IaaS and PaaS, making it incredibly versatile. The first is Azure SQL Database, a PaaS, and it builds up-to-date cloud applications on the newest SQL server. The second is Azure SQL Managed Instance, another PaaS. Modernizing and migrating your SQL applications to the newest server version, it does so with minimal code changes meaning no patching or maintenance is required. And finally, the SQL Server on Azure VMs is an IaaS that rehosts SQL apps to the new server while also rehosting sunset applications. One of the biggest benefits with the SQL Server on Azure VMs is full SSRS, SSIS, and SSAS support. 



If you want to take advantage of the benefits of migrating data to the cloud and all the profits that come along with it, contact us at: