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Traditionally, enterprises use multiple clouds optimized for different types of workloads. Although having a variety of different assets can pose cloud capacity management challenges and lead to fragmentation, the benefits generally outweigh the drawback. With the next generation cloud, companies can now combine the advantages of single vendors with those of individually-optimized clouds. However, it’s still important to ask the right questions to understand the requirements of your workloads.
Enterprise Cloud Workload Questions
- Is the workload built for web scale?
There is a common reference that describes servers as either pets or cattle. Many modern applications are built for web scale — that is, they run on a distributed server farm, where there’s no single point of failure. If one server dies, it doesn’t matter — you can just add another into the mix. That makes them like a herd of cattle — each individual one is replaceable.
This makes cloud capacity management simple. If you have more traffic you just “scale out” or “scale horizontally” by adding more servers. This is how massive cloud services like AWS and Google work.
Traditional workloads such as the SAP HANA cloud are more like pets. They run on carefully configured servers (or virtualized servers) designed for high uptime and throughput. If your server gets “sick,” you need to nurse it back to health. Cloud capacity management is more complicated, as you need to add resources to the existing server. These applications run better on a managed cloud, where they can be maintained more carefully.
- How important is security?
You need to consider what value the data holds for the company, and what the consequences would be if it were exposed. Does it contain intellectual property, customer financial information or other sensitive data? What regulatory compliance regimes are you subject to?
In the public cloud, security is your responsibility. Your team will be on the hook for tasks like hardening your network, supervising users and detecting and repelling cyber attacks. In a managed cloud, your provider may share or completely take on the responsibility. Some providers also offer next generation firewalls and other managed security services that help protect sensitive data. In most cases, this provides a superior level of security to onsite IT, while controlling costs.
If your data is highly sensitive, it needs to be protected on multiple levels, from physical access to the servers themselves, up through the application layer. Network security architecture practices, such as segmentation can help defend against intrusions, and minimize the consequences of potential security incidents.
In some cases, companies may benefit from physically isolating the servers holding key data from the rest of the network. This requires excellent capacity planning to ensure the physical architecture continues to meet your needs.
- How critical is the cloud workload to your business?
The consequence of downtime or performance degradation depend on the criticality of the cloud. Cheap public cloud vendors can be a good choice for saving money in testing and development, and their scalability makes cloud capacity management a breeze in those applications.
However, these vendors guarantee almost nothing, aside from uptime — your system can slow to a crawl without violating SLAs. That means, they’re not a good choice for mission critical workloads, or applications that bring in revenue. ERP workloads like SAP cloud hosting need high uptime and performance, and are better off in a managed cloud, where careful configuration and maintenance guarantees good performance.
Symmetry’s Next Generation Converged Cloud Platform
Traditionally, companies were forced to use multiple clouds, and multiple platforms within the cloud to address different applications. Cloud capacity management was tricky, and resource utilization was often poor.
With Symmetry’s next generation converged cloud platform, organizations can control costs for traditional workloads, while accommodating the high performance and security needs of enterprise workloads like SAP. Resources can be provisioned at the speed of the public cloud, without sacrificing the stability and dependability of a managed private cloud.
Contact us to learn what the next generation cloud can do for your business.