Focus on Your Business, Leave Your IT Infrastructure to the Cloud: Round-up - Part 2

Frederik Denkens – Skyscrapers: “Anyone who does their homework thoroughly and starts off with the right attitude can save a lot.”

These past months we drummed up major international names in cloud computing for a series of workshops. The starting point of the sessions: Focus on your business, leave your IT infrastructure to the cloud. After meet & greets with Amazon, Rackspace, IBM and CSC, you could also hear six Belgian cloud specialists speak during our final meeting on 11 February in Brussels. They gave a bunch of valuable tips to take into account for people who want to set up a powerful cloud infrastructure. In a previous post you got a recap of Daniel Bartz’ presentation, and here below you can read what Frederik Denkens had to say.

 

How can you select the best cloud provider to develop, build and manage your applications? There is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’, but Frederik Denkens does have a few tips…

 

  • Before you do business with a cloud service company, it is important to list all your needs and wishes when it comes to security, availability, synchronisation, etc.
  • Look at your own business model: do you follow a classic ‘waterfall’ (with new software versions at specific intervals) or do you strive to continuously roll out new versions of your software? In the case of the latter, a cloud could be a good option.
  • Next step: go through SLAs and research what kind of architecture providers offer: just the building blocks or does the service go further? What are the functionalities, performance, availability, backup, disaster recovery, etc., like?
  • You are not stuck with contracts since the biggest advantage of the cloud is its enormous flexibility.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel: look for solutions that are already successful. For example, don’t build your own messaging service, but use existing and proven technology, which cloud providers often offer ‘as a service’.
  • Maybe out of the box solutions could be something for you, as they can help you get started quickly and cost you less on maintenance.
  • What about legislation? Does your data have to remain within certain country borders? The closer you stay to your client with your infrastructure, the better …
  • Do your homework: compare providers, make sure that you understand their cost model; calculate and recalculate. This is how to save.
  • Look for a good match with your current technology.
  • Make an action plan: start small with a non-critical application and adapt your development process gradually.

 

An important point that Frederik makes is that many companies only order a couple of servers at a known provider such as Amazon, and then think that’s enough. In fact, they just continue to work like they did before, without changing their DevOps or finding out more about the possibilities of IaaS. First and foremost IaaS requires a change of mentality, and the key is finding the right match with the right mindset.

 

 

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