Cloud optimization focuses on increasing business efficiencies by identifying the right resources in the right places – but how can your firm take advantage of that?
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The importance of cloud optimization
It’s all about performance.
For all the complexities, cloud optimization is about performing better, faster, championing consistency, security, and compliance, maintaining availability, keeping your advantage in a competitive industry by streamlining processes, and delivering rapid-response, user-centric experiences.
When your cloud architecture isn’t optimized, these operational areas are impacted – something few businesses can afford.
They’re unable to manage storage use, reconfigure smarter processes, or any number of optimization techniques that could benefit a business—because of this, gaining early internal buy-in from key stakeholders and senior management is critical to any successful optimization.
Where to focus optimization of your cloud architecture
There are three main areas where you’ll want to focus on optimization.
Cost – Eyes are always on the bottom line, and inefficient processes and resource management can be expensive. Ask: Are there more affordable ways to operate? Are valuable resources being wasted?
Scalability – The power of the cloud means more businesses are empowered to grow, such as through enhanced or extended service. Ask: Does your architecture help or hinder your growth strategy? Can you scale up and down depending on your current needs?
Security – With the constant threat of cyber-attack – impacting user confidence, your reputation and leading to massive fines for data breaches – security is a top priority for all modern businesses. Ask: Is your data secure? Does your storage meet global compliance standards?
Before you undertake any optimization, ensure strategic alignment between business objectives and what you want to achieve.
Tips for cloud optimization
Cloud cost optimization
First, look at your current expenditure. Consider whether it’s possible (or desirable) to pause certain activities. Perhaps it might be better to use a third-party vendor, or alternatively, bring resources in-house. Before acting, study the operational impact of any relevant regulations and legal requirements. Finally, you need to know what sort of capacity you need. Don’t guess this.
You want to avoid paying too much for more resources than you need or discovering you don’t have enough resources for a successful launch.
Using resources effectively is critical to optimizing your costs. Unused, unattached, unallocated resources are where costs are unnecessarily stacking up. The quickest way to optimize is to identify these resources and remove them so that you won’t be unnecessarily charged for them.
Likewise, check to see if you’re running idle, CPU-sapping resources that are a waste of a costly computing instance. Where possible, try to consolidate these resources into fewer instances and deallocate resources when you don’t need them.
Use heat maps
A heat map is a tool that lets you see how demand ebbs and flows. This makes it ideal for locating peak times (and off-peak times) to allocate resources better. For greater efficiencies and lower costs, consider introducing automation tools that can schedule these processes automatically. For example, you might want to save money by switching off particular servers when usage falls.
Scalability cloud optimization
Before you can optimize for scale, your team needs to know what those growth plans are. Decide early on whether you’re looking to scale vertically or horizontally. Vertical scaling (scaling up and down) means adding additional power to your cloud server. This would include increasing storage, CPU, or RAM. Horizontal scaling (scaling in or out) sees you add more servers to distribute workloads better.
In most cases, a business will benefit more from vertical scaling, but it will depend on your circumstances. With your strategic analysis in place, you can begin to look at your cloud architecture’s relative strengths and weaknesses. What’s stopping you grow?
Cloud scalability lets you increase or decrease resources based on demand. This can lead to a conflict between optimizing for cost and optimizing for scale. Prepare to make tough choices between saving money and the ability to take on more work—Ready yourselves for this. Where possible, plan, and make sure you know which takes priority in a conflict. Ultimately, you hope both choices will lead to strong growth, albeit in different ways. There’s no right or wrong answer – your circumstances dictate your IT needs.
Security cloud optimization
Secure your system
Operational resilience is the buzz-phrase; A business’s ability to bounce back with limited disruption to operations in the event of a cyber-attack or outage. Companies today need to be properly equipped to weather the cyber-storm without data breaches or severe digital damage.
Ensure your cloud architecture is optimized to protect you 24/7/365. Take stock of your current IT infrastructure. Identify areas that may be susceptible to attack or downtime and patch existing vulnerabilities.
Maintain your system
Two of the biggest threats to your firm’s security are poor network processes and misconfigurations. It might be apps not working due to a security policy removed by mistake. Or an incorrect line of code stopping access to servers. Worse, solving these problems can sometimes leave you even more vulnerable, such as leaving ports open. Put in place regular check-ups and maintenance. Time-consuming actions like this can be easily automated with the right tools. Don’t neglect the effectiveness of your disaster recovery process, just in case the worst happens.
Take time optimizing your cloud architecture – with attention concentrated on cost, security, and scalability. Proper cloud optimization in these areas is critical to the success of any modern company. By effectively using your resources, you can increase performance that keeps you at the top of your industry and your users’ first choice. And through consistent data capture and integration, senior management can make smarter decisions that drive your business forward.