What is the Cloud?
In its most basic form the cloud is just a bunch of computers/servers connected to the internet.
How will it help my Business?
Most business running a server will need to pay for the maintenance of the server along with the running cost (electricity etc). If you are running a server in the 'cloud' this can help reduce the cost as you will only pay for what you use.
On average, most businesses refresh their hardware every three years, this ensures they get optimum performance out of their servers and in turn get optimal performance in business processes.
If you are using a server in the cloud you do not need to worry about the 'three-yearly' outlay of cost as you will have optimum servers provisioned which can be updated on the go.
What are my options for the cloud?
There are many cloud providers in the market today, however some of the bigger players that you will hear often are:
AWS - Amazons cloud offering, the letters stand for Amazon Web Services. The service was launched in 2006 so it has had a lot of time to mature and was one of the first players in this market. Amazon have 16 data-centres all over the world which are known as regions.
Azure - Microsoft's cloud offering, this was launched in 2010 so has not been around as long as AWS. Azure have by far the most ‘regions’ as they have the most data-centres around the world. They have around 30 regions, although this number is growing yearly.
GCP - This is Googles cloud offering, the letters stand for Google Cloud Platform. Google are the newest players in the market having launched the service in 2012. GCP have around 10 regions to date but are rapidly increasing in numbers.
Here is a diagram of all the locations for AWS, Azure and GCP. This maybe a little dated now.
Region – This is used by the big three companies to define where in the world the physical data-center your machine is on is located in.
Zone – Each region can have multiple zones or datacentres within one region. This pin-points exactly which data centre in any given region is being used.
Is the Could safe?
Many people still believe that cloud security is still a major concern. In reality, the cloud providers have fantastic security AZURE, AWS and GLP all have the best security audit passes.
There are however a few things each business can do to ensure security:
1. Make sure your implementation is secure.
2. Limit Public Ports.
3. Take advantage of VPN connectivity and ACLs.
4. Ensure your guest machines are encrypted.
How Popular is the Cloud?
In a poll recently done on one of SIOS' webinars we found that majority of people (that attended the webinar) in 2017 have between 0-25% of servers running in the cloud.
Although this seems like there has been a relatively low uptake of cloud, most businesses will select a few systems within the business to migrate into the cloud.
Can the Cloud go down?
There are outages in the cloud! In March 2017, there was an outage with AWS in the east region where some of the lower end storage went down. This type of storage is mainly used to host websites etc.
Again, in March 2017 there was an outage with Azure and GCP. Would your business survive an outage?
High Availability & Disaster Recovery in the Cloud?
It is still very important to use HA/DR plans for cloud servers. We would highly recommend making sure you are spreading loads across different regions and maybe even across different providers.
To reduce the type of outage described above there are options available, such as SIOS DataKeeper. SIOS DataKeepr allows you to create SANLess clusters across different regions/zones and occasionally different providers.
For more information on DataKeeper please contact our offices on 0121 569 2503.