Feb 24 2021

4 Strategies for Proper Scaling in the Cloud

Putting your existing infrastructure in the cloud is a good idea, but by no means is it the endpoint for many businesses.

It can be a great evolution for a business to bring resources that were once hosted on a local server to the cloud, but don’t forget about scaling.

Transferring the information offsite is simply a starting point for cloud adoption, said Mark Nunnikhoven, vice president of cloud research for Trend Micro, during a recent roundtable.

“That’s a great first step. But it is only that first step, and you need to keep moving and maturing and journeying along that path to evolve that architecture,” he said. “Because I can guarantee you, whatever you built on-premises isn't taking advantage of any of the power that's in the cloud.”

Read on for a few considerations for building your cloud infrastructure with scale in mind.

1. Adapt Your Existing Infrastructure to the Contours of the Cloud

Nunnikhoven recommends that businesses, once in the cloud, get to the point where their infrastructure can automatically scale up or down based on the organization’s needs, as they no longer will feel the constraints they might have had with an onsite installation. The result is an infrastructure that adapts to business needs.

“So if you're selling something and, you know, you hit like a Black Friday sale, and you see that nice big boom in sales, your infrastructure is going to scale with it,” he said. “But just as important, it's going to scale down.”

He recommends treating the organization’s approach to cloud management as evolving over time and full of possibilities for lowering operational overhead and offering better customer service.

2. Make Sure Your Applications Are Well Suited for Your Cloud’s Needs

Jeff Falcon, cybersecurity practice lead for CDW, said that it’s important for businesses to ensure that their applications and workload needs make sense for the cloud. He notes that some workloads may not fit in the cloud — or may be used in the wrong application context.

“We’d like to make sure that we're measuring risk and analyzing the capabilities, and then really kind of taking the approach to make sure that the right applications and right workloads are landing in the right clouds for the particular organization,” he said. “That makes the initial first set of steps into the cloud much more enjoyable, measurable and a little bit more predictable as well.”

Watch experts from Trend Micro and CDW explore life in the cloud.

3. Stay the Course with Your Cloud Strategy

There is a lot of pressure to innovate in many organizations, but for many businesses, the goal is simply to ensure that everything is working reasonably.

Aaron Ansari, vice president of Cloud One — Conformity at Trend Micro, said it’s not necessary for many organizations to be on the cutting edge with their cloud adoptions. Instead, they should consider what works for their business.

“Waiting, understanding, having a good adoption of the technology and the services that the company needs to implement from a business perspective is where you want to go,” Ansari said. “It's very rare that your customers, be they businesses or consumers, are of the need to have such a cutting edge or disruptive adoption.” 

Falcon agreed, noting that there is a temptation created by what’s happening in the space with innovative startups that may tempt businesses to accelerate change for fear of missing out.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: How to keep your data secure with cloud storage encryption.

“But if you jump in too fast and try to play that cat-and-mouse game of keeping up with innovation at the velocity that it is, this is where we start to see things really start to spiral out of control,” he said.

4. Understand What the Innovators Are Doing

The trends may not be right for you, Nunnikhoven said, but it’s still useful to understand those innovators so you can figure out what might make sense for your organization, even if doing what they’re doing wouldn’t otherwise make business sense.

After all, there’s a reason why those startups and forward-thinkers are seen as innovative.

“It's important to keep somewhat abreast of what's going on,” he said. “The reason you need to keep some of the rest of it is because a lot of the time, they're going to roll out one or two features that will save your team an insane amount of time.”

Insiders can watch the full roundtable discussion on cloud risks and security here.

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