With cloud computing becoming the mainstream for businesses’ IT solutions, many are turning their attentions to how they can ensure their cloud’s performance is maximised to its full potential. After migrating to the cloud, end users understandably want to know how to optimise their Return On Investment (ROI).
Every business will have its own definition for cloud optimisation, depending on their cloud usage and how many resources they run in the cloud, most likely focusing on performance, security and cost. Understanding this will help identify the cracks in your cloud system.
However, understanding your business’s cloud efficiency can be a complex task, especially if your cloud environment is dense and spread out across multiple departments. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the ways in which you can ensure your cloud environment is running optimally.
Think of this as the preliminary stage, yet possibly the most important. To completely optimise cloud performance, it has to be online! Efficiency is key, as any downtime will likely bring business productivity to a halt, so focus on providers with at least a 99% Service Level Agreement (SLA). High availability is also dependent on what infrastructure is in place, so investigate their supporting data centres – are they housed at tier 3 locations? Do they maintain presences at multiple locations? Do they ensure no single points of failure? etc.
Another key quality to look for in identifying a cloud partner is their focus on customer relationships and on-going support. Your cloud provider needs to understand your business if they’re going to successfully and comprehensively monitor your environment. Also, the steps below may require more frequent contact with your provider, so you will want to ensure that you can build a good relationship with their team and that they have responsive, expert and helpful customer support around the clock.
Finally, opt for a cloud partner that provides a pricing model that suits your business, whether that is a fully pay as you go model, a recurring monthly fee or somewhere in between. Some hosting providers are more flexible that others in terms of their payment models, so ensuring that you know your payment preference and working with your provider to achieve this is crucial.
It can be very easy to simply pick up everything in an on-premise infrastructure and transplant it directly into the cloud. While this is a good way to give an existing setup all of the benefits of a cloud platform, it stops your savvy IT team from capitalising on the opportunity to take a good look at the way things are currently operating and if they can be improved.
Software updates that previously would have been too much work, or other updates to the system that would’ve required a rebuild of the server or application data and have therefore been indefinitely postponed… now is the time to introduce them! When moving to the cloud, plan to implement the new version on the stable new platform that is ready to keep it safe. Even something as simple as segregating the network to achieve a greater level of security can be planned for as the servers are moved. Your hosting provider should be able to advise on any updates or application rebuilds in conjunction with the cloud environment they are offering and work with you on a full migration plan.
With the preliminary advice out of the way, we can get into the on-going practices to ensure your cloud gains, and most importantly maintains, a state of efficiency. With cloud suites becoming increasingly extensive with new products and resources, likely across multiple departments and locations, it’s easy for cracks to appear and poor integration or performance to go unmonitored. To optimise your cloud, you need complete visibility of its performance; what do you use, how much do you use it, who uses it and how do its resources work with one other? Using cloud analytics tools should help examine this and in turn identify room for improvement.
With insight into your entire environment, cloud analytics make it easier to locate inefficiencies, overspending, and poor performance. Areas that may require attention include rightsizing resources that are underutilised and terminating ‘zombie’ resources that are no longer needed.
Cloud analytics tools may require a level of skill that most organisations lack internally, and therefore choosing a cloud partner that can correctly monitor cloud performance against an in-depth understanding of your businesses requirements is imperative.
So, following the previous step, your cloud environment is up and running efficiently. Inevitably though, to ensure the standards don’t slip, it’s important to implement a new cloud governance strategy to monitor how the cloud is utilised going forward, in-line with the insights from cloud analysis.
Governance should clearly outline and keep track of cloud spending, cloud performance and cloud security. Regularly monitoring cloud activity against a strict governance strategy in-line with your business’s requirements should ensure your cloud stays optimised in the long run.
At Secura we’re 100% committed to our customer support, in fact we think it’s what sets us apart from our competition. We work closely with every one of our customers to really understand their specific business requirements, and tailor our hosting solutions to meet their needs.
“When a client is going through the sales process at Secura, we will tailor our quotes and proposals so it is bespoke to the requirements of their business. Every IT team big or small has a way that they like to do things, and here at Secura we will try to fit designs to that style, while also leveraging the benefits that the cloud and even our support team can bring.”
Chris Magee, Pre-Sales Engineer.
We hope this blog post has been helpful and you have an idea of how to run your cloud more efficiently. As always, if you have any questions regarding this blog post or any of Secura’s services, please feel free to get in touch!
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Matthew is Secura's content specialist, producing gripping, emotionally complex, edge of your seat, cloud hosting articles and videos.
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