Why Should My Company Move To The Cloud?
At the end of the day, businesses exist for the sole purpose of providing goods or services to a specific target market. Efficiencies have been gained through the use of technology, but this has been subject to the law of diminishing returns. Hardware and software are subject to depreciation and being superseded by newer versions. Additionally, the onus for maintaining these resources ultimately falls in the hands of a corporate IT group or similar part of the organization. As a result, two key metrics are derived - Capital Expenditure and Operational Expenditure. As a lot of early technology that was pressed into service during the rapid growth of the Internet now approaches the end of its usable life, the decisions surrounding the continuity of these services can be daunting.
Moving resources out to a Cloud-based solution provides a way to ensure that systems are redundant, horizontally scalable, and always up to date. Operational expenses are typically on par with running one’s own machines in a co-located or dedicated data center, while capital expenditures are markedly reduced as the resources are operated on a different financial model. By shifting the onus for maintenance, updates, and enhancements to the Cloud-based provider, the overall capital expenditure is reduced markedly, and operational costs are appropriated in a more efficient manner. This also frees up the human capital on your team, allowing engineers to focus less on maintenance and more on innovation.
Everything As A Service
Traditional IT has a focus on equipment and processes that are internally managed, funded, and maintained by an organization. The past few years have seen the rise and eventual convergence of services that typically fell under the auspices of a company’s IT department move to the public Internet. This has allowed for the pooling of common resources, and greater economies of scale for the service providers.
Software As A Service, or SaaS, begins with the 30+ year old model where an organization buys a number of enterprise application seat licenses and installs a client on each machine in the company. These licenses often came bundled with hefty support contracts, increasing the cost of the product. SaaS replaces the model and moves it offsite where it is managed by the application creators. This removes a lot of the friction as a result. Instead of buying physical piece of software that has to be deployed, migrated, maintained and sunsetted, more and more organizations are leveraging SaaS to lower costs, mitigate risk and improve efficiency. This is achieved by paying a flat rate for a given time quanta, usually a month, per user on the platform. As a result of the greater economies of scale that are intrinsic to the SaaS model, the per seat cost can be significantly less than the combined CapEx and OpEx costs of a dedicated solution.
In a similar fashion, the notion of Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS) and Platform As A Service (PaaS) have come into vogue as well. Core systems that underpin an organization’s combined SaaS footprint and online presence can be outsourced to firms that specialize in a given technology or protocol. Efficiencies are gained from these firms spreading the cost out across many different customers. Risk is mitigated by powerful Service Level Agreements (SLAs) provided by the firms rendering the service, platform, or technology. These SLA agreements serve to hold the vendor true to their word that their product or service will always be available, and operate within a certain window of expected performance. The cost benefits are significant, and only get better when more physical or logical capacity is ordered as the costs are incremental based on usage instead of all of the capital expenditure associated with traditional scaling tactics.
Beyond The Basic Cloud Presence: Putting Your Users + Customers Closer To You
The Internet has driven even the smallest businesses into global ones simply by virtue of being online, and the Cloud allows a full optimization of this experience. Today, the perceived legitimacy of a business transacting online is not measured in whether or not a given resource is available at all, but rather how quickly it is presented to the end user. Achieving the lowest latency and highest availability should be the goal of any company doing business online, and by deploying multiple instances of a service in geographically diverse areas, the risk of latency is significantly reduced. By reducing latency, a company has everything good to gain - customer retention, reduced support issues, and trust in the brand.
Leveraging the global reach of a Cloud vendor taps into one of the intrinsic tenets of Cloud computing itself. The traditional capital expenditure associated with deploying one’s own infrastructure in a geographically diverse schema is all but eliminated with a Cloud strategy as the infrastructure and resources are already in place. it’s just a matter of turning it on and putting it to work.
Putting It All To Work: Leveraging NS1’s Intelligent DNS To Make The Cloud Work For You
Power is nothing without control, and on the Internet a single protocol can be attributed for the lion’s share of control: the Domain Name System (DNS). What was once a simple protocol for mapping easily remembered names like google.com to an IP address, has been transformed into an intelligent, data-driven control plane for dedicated and Cloud-based resources alike.
NS1 brings a fresh perspective to this venerable protocol through a purpose-built and fortified nameserver software that is globally distributed, highly available, and able to make sense of metrics in real time. This allows your engineering teams and IT teams, who were once burdened by keeping legacy systems up and running, to assign key metrics about how all your internal and external services are running in real time, and have the NS1 platform send your users and customers to the services that are running at peak optimization.
For a deeper dive on these ideas and some best practices for getting the job done, check out our White Paper on the subject, entitled "Migrating To The Cloud? What You Should Consider". As always, our team is happy to talk shop around making the Cloud work for you, so don't hesitate to reach out.