Originally published in Jun 2018, at Onica.com/blogpost
What is cloud computing in simple terms?
Cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet cloud instead of on your computer’s hard drive for faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. As cloud adoption continues to permeate businesses, cloud computing is becoming the norm for many. But while cloud computing has many advantages over traditional IT computing, the nature of the cloud creates new challenges.
To learn what’s changed and master cloud computing, consider the following principles that help drive cloud computing success:
In the old days, if you needed a network cable plugged in, you would have to go to the data center to plug in the cable. Later, when you needed to reconfigure the network, you had to go to the data center again. The cloud-equivalent of this? Clicking buttons in the AWS console. In this way, cloud computing services are changing our level of efficiency.
With the power of the cloud, you can now codify your network design in code/configuration. And with both humans and machines able to reason over this code, you can ensure consistent and reliable deployments, by using the same automation while you promote infrastructure between development, staging, and production environments. (Want to learn more about serverless computing? Check out our video blog post.)
Cloud adoption works best as an application-focused program. Unlike the physical world, where large capital investments require centralized planning, the cloud enables you to procure infrastructure on-demand, on an application-by-application basis. This ability lets you make decisions in the context of what is best for each application, fine-tuned over time and scaled responsibly. In this way, cloud computing is changing our ability to allocate funds more effectively. Want to learn more about cloud adoption? Check out our video blog post.
Applications, both home-grown and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), should take their place in cloud environments through a well-defined, staged pipeline. These pipelines should start from the source and include all build, test, and deployment steps. Promotion between environments happens automatically, sometimes with human-approval steps, and reliably. Want to learn more about creating a CI/CD pipeline? Download our white paper.
Ideal cloud environments are stateless and immutable—allowing the rebuilding of the production environment without harming existing environments and with nearly zero downtime. In practice, there are always some stateful components. However, in a well-architected cloud environment, you can clearly identify, segregate, and make these components resilient. The remainder of the environment embraces the ephemeral nature of the cloud and updates the deploy as net-new infrastructure rather than in-place modifications. Are you well-architected in the cloud? Check out our blog post.
Many enterprise customers plan major projects around each deployment. Often happening once per month or once per quarter, these deployments take long and detailed planning, sometimes taking entire weekends for the event. One of the primary goals of cloud adoption is to enable rapid deployments. To make this possible, cloud environment designs should frequently deploy, with automated, reliable, and tested roll-back plans. Over time, as teams gain confidence in the deployment automation, expect the frequency of deployments to increase and features, changes, and enhancements to update more quickly, benefiting the business. Learn more in our blog post about leveraging DevOps tools in AWS®.
The goal of centralized IT organizations should be to enable application teams to be self-sufficient. While IT teams deploy baseline infrastructure, security policy, compliance tools, and automation standards, application teams should own the full lifecycle of their application. From development to production, application teams are free to innovate, test, and deploy. Learn more in our blog post about AWS security tools and best practices.
Are your current cloud operations teams following these principles? See how CloudOpsPilot can help you adhere to these six principles and achieve operational excellence on AWS.
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