In a study carried out by ScienceLogic in 2017, only 3% of companies indicated that they do not expect to have a cloud-based infrastructure in the next few years. This is not surprising, taking into consideration that the offer of cloud service is becoming more attractive and companies increasingly recognise the potential of the cloud: Digitalisation, simplification, cost savings, flexibility, productivity – the list of advantages is long.
More Cloud Services, more Complexity in the Cloud
Many cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, are already very matured, hence their services are more intensively used. With such a great variety of possible uses and services of the cloud, it is easy to lose track: thanks to container technologies, practices of continuous delivery and the concept of Infrastructure-as-Code enable the use of cloud platforms in more and more scenarios. Many companies even use the so-called multi-cloud, i.e. a combination of various services and providers. By combining various services, the entire potential of the cloud unfolds for many companies, exceeding local options.
In addition, the number of SaaS applications available in the market place grows daily, and hence also the requirement to connect all these different solutions with each other. There is also stricter regulatory requirements, such as the recently introduced European General Data Protection Regulation, which for example stipulates documentation for the use of personal data.
In view of this increased complexity in the cloud, it is particularly a lack of specialist knowledge regarding cloud deployment, heterogenous app environments, progressive hybrid IT infrastructures, as well as insufficient monitoring and cost control of a company’s IT can become risky. The management of the continuously developing cloud also demands a little bit of foresight, as requirements to the IT infrastructure can change quickly and IT services are available more flexible. Some experts even predict a ‘complexity crisis‘ of the cloud, if more and more components and users are added to the used cloud structure. Irrespective, if one is to believe the pessimistic future prospects of the data cloud or not – with growing complexity, effective cloud management has to be ensured.
Manage private, public and hybrid Cloud
Those who rely on a private cloud, usually also use management tools to administer it. In general, all tools include features for the configuration of the virtual network or provisioning via self-service. In order to keep management overheads as low as possible, the tool should also cover areas such as problem diagnostic, multi-platform support, resource monitoring as well as performance tracking. Additionally, many public cloud users move applications and interaction logistics to the client, which minimises computer capacity in the back-end system.
As a rule, the use of public cloud services is particularly uncomplicated, as the entire cloud infrastructe, i.e. hardware, software, as well as supporting resources, are all administered by the provider. Users simply access leased services via the internet. However, prospective public cloud users need to be aware that a 1:1 migration of many legacy apps into the cloud using a public cloud provider possibly cannot be realised. This may require a complete restructuring of the company‘s software environment.
Therefore, hybrid cloud services are the ideal solution for many companies as it combines the advantages of public and private cloud. While hybrid cloud structures are just as secure as public cloud services, their provisioning is usually much simpler. Using this option means that sensitive data in particular can remain on in-house servers and other services run in the public cloud, minimising managment overheads – irrespective of how strongly own cloud usage grows in future.
In view of the growing number of cloud services and their users, there is an increasing complexity in the cloud. In order to maintain an overview of resources and costs and to keep management overheads low, the most suitable are advanced management tools or hybrid cloud services.