Organisations today should be building cloud-first networks and scaling cloud services.
A truly cloud-first approach to networking is where each network component anywhere in the business (in the next office or another country) are all designed to enable easy, centralised management.
But why is cloud-first technology so important? Put simply, it is an enabler for:
- Simplified network management for a lower TCO (Total Cost Ownership)
- Smarter, intuitive network management without needing highly specialised skills
- Easier integration with API access
- Faster, more productive experience for end users
How fast is cloud-first adoption?
Despite the importance of cloud-first networks, 93% of organisations are still relying on centrally managed networks (involving on-premise or co-located servers). They scale ineffectively for remote applications and users which creates a productivity bottleneck.
75% of businesses experience remote office or network interruptions several times a year or more frequently, costing thousands in lost productivity.
The challenges of scaling cloud services and the importance of cloud has been well-documented in the recent research report, Remote Office Networks Pose Business and Reliability Risk A Survey of IT Professionals, (Dimensional Research in collaboration with Infoblox).
To make it clear what we mean by scaling cloud services or implementing a cloud-first network let's take Acme Property Services, or APS, as an example. APS have an application, a database, shared to all users which records assets in each of the properties. Whilst this application is co-located in a data centre on a cluster of servers, it is still stored in a single location.
There may be a solution to improve the applications end user performance by scaling to the cloud using Azure or AWS. This type of strategy, thinking and analysis is scaling cloud services and taking a cloud-first approach.
This centralised approach has a security impact too because it rarely scales to each endpoint and leaves the organisation as a whole more vulnerable to a breach.
Enabling network security is the No.1 challenge organisations face when implementing and maintaining a highly distributed network with several remote offices.
Cloud-first Next Steps – Avalanche or Snowball Strategy?
The next step in evaluating Cloud-First for your organisation is to audit your existing environment or update your existing audit. This audit must include all of your existing applications, used by each department and a network topology.
With an audit it is often easy to identify which part of the IT infrastructure (application or network) is causing the greatest bottleneck. A focus on scaling these parts of the network or application, where the bottleneck is the greatest is called the avalanche strategy. If the focus is on the easiest element to scale to the cloud first – no matter how large the bottleneck is – would be the snowball strategy.
Whichever the approach, we can help identify your cloud requirements to improve productivity and become a cloud-first organisation.