You’ve decided to bet on the cloud–you want a stress-free and cost-effective experience that allows you to safely store all your data. But once you’ve made this decision, you’re faced with another: how can you optimize your cloud performance to maximize efficiency and spend as little as possible? Luckily for you, there are quite a few ways. But before we dive right in, let’s review what the cloud is, its claim to fame, and why it’s such a popular choice among practically all companies in need of data solutions.
What is the Cloud?
No, it’s not that fluffy thing in the sky! The cloud refers to servers that are hosted over the internet and serve as an effective and efficient storage solution for many companies. Why? Because it’s not a physical storage building with limitations such as:
Geographical concerns: if your server is located in a warehouse in North America but your public is trying to reach your site from Asia, they might have trouble or suffer from slow processing speeds.
Outage risks: if all your information is in one place and there’s a data outage or worse, a fire, your server will be offline until power is restored. When you choose cloud solutions, you benefit from a decentralized service that ensures you’re always online.
Security concerns: it’s easier to hack physical servers, especially when they’re all in the same place. Because there is no one location for the servers when you choose the cloud, your data is more protected and no longer dependent on backups or specific users.
The three c’s of cloud computing
To better understand the cloud and why it’s so valued, we can break it down into three categories: cost, convenience, and control.
Cost: physical data storage options can be quite expensive and require you to commit to a certain amount of space for a specific period of time. The cloud, on the other hand, has a pay as you go option, meaning you can select exactly what you need and adjust it over time. There are also lots of free options offered by popular providers like Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure.
Convenience: most of today’s technologies exist with one purpose in mind: to make our lives easier. And the cloud is no exception; it comes with lots of pre-configured options to ensure you don’t have to waste time setting up your own infrastructure and you can choose the geographical zones in which you want to offer your services.
Control: the amount of control you have over your data is totally up to you and you can choose pre-determined plans that work for you or choose to create your own. You can also choose the exact amount of space you need and time you’ll need it for, permitting you to have complete control over your plan.
The benefits of cloud computing
Choosing to use the cloud for your company is a big decision and you should consider all options before you make the jump. But if you choose to do so, you can expect to enjoy:
Better performance: gone are your concerns about downtime–as they’re simply located on the internet, they’re available wherever you choose and as storage options are spread out, there is no risk of outages.
Higher sustainability: energy consumption by companies is one of the main ways in which the world is negatively affecting the environment, but get this: companies that move to the cloud can reduce their energy consumption by up to 90%! Removing physical and energy-sucking machines from warehouses is the more sustainable choice.
Wider accessibility: both employees and customers will benefit from access to your site from basically anywhere, no longer requiring you to be nearby for things to work smoothly.
Immediate business insights: as your information is stored on the internet, it’s accessible from anywhere and you can run reports and analyze your data practically anytime, allowing you to fully understand what you’re doing and how you can improve your cloud presence.
Lower costs: as we mentioned above, cloud computing providers offer affordable and customizable prices, but you’ll also save money as you’ll no longer have to support your own server, generators, routers, and everything you needed beforehand.
And we’re not the only ones who trust in the cloud! Lots of industries use the cloud to maximize their services:
Healthcare companies use the cloud to securely store patient information and share data between providers.
Streaming services use content delivery networks and cloud providers like AWS to ensure that everyone in the world can access their content whenever they want to.
Hotel and accommodation sites use the cloud to store massive amounts of information they have, such as available rooms, services, messages between guests and hosts, and customer preferences.
Now that you know why choosing the cloud is such a fantastic option, let’s dive further into optimizing your cloud performance and our tips and tricks to making the most of your cloud usage.
Optimizing Cloud Performance
You already chose to use the cloud and have migrated all your data over to your provider–you’re done, right? Sadly, no, you still have responsibilities to ensure everything is working properly. Just like with anything, you’ll have to check for any issues, analyze what’s working for you, and make changes as needed.
Two of the most common reasons people choose the cloud are cost and efficiency. Physical storage is extremely expensive and has a lot of drawbacks (we mentioned those above!). As these are the two main reasons companies choose to use the cloud, we’re going to focus on optimizing cloud cost performance and cloud efficiency performance.
Optimizing cloud cost performance
Know where your money is going
We know cloud providers offer customizable options, allowing you to choose exactly what you need. But it’s important to set a clear budget for how much you’re willing to pay for this service and once you’ve already been with a provider for a while, review your pricing and billing information to highlight any areas that are unnecessary. For example, you might see that something you originally thought you’d use is not actually needed and you’ll save more money by cutting it from your plan.
Take advantage of reserved instances (RIs)
Many cloud providers offer large discounts if you pre-pay for your service–-some offer up to 75% off the total price! But to properly take advantage of this, you must review your history and make an accurate estimate of how much storage you truly need. Otherwise, you might end up overpaying anyway.
Decide whether single or multi-cloud deployment is best
If you go for multi-cloud deployment, you can lower overall costs and pick from more options, but it is a bit more expensive. If you choose a single vendor, you might be able to create a specific deal that works best for your company, but have limited options. Ensuring you choose the right option is key to solving money long-term; evaluate your situation to see what you truly need.
Optimizing cloud efficiency performance
Take advantage of automation tools
Efficiency is typically equated with doing things faster, but it also includes doing things correctly and faster so that the task doesn’t need to be repeated and fixed in the future. Lots of actions on the cloud can be automated, like configuration management and deployment, which can save you time by doing it right the first time.
Use the DevOps methodology
We’re big fans of the DevOps methodology at Ironhack and that’s because it works and when implemented on the cloud, can help save time and improve agility. Continuous development and delivery are crucial aspects of the DevOps process and can easily be used on the cloud.
Assess risks beforehand
A security risk can seriously affect your business and even force you to go offline for a period of time if your data has been breached. To avoid this, make sure you have security measures in plan and have a plan of action in case the worst occurs. And if something does happen, make sure the team has a clear understanding of how it occurred and preventative measures to avoid repetition.
Ready to optimize your cloud cost performance? Check out these helpful tools:
AWS’ Cost Explorer helps you predict costs and suggest discounts and deals that can help you save money.
Cloudability is a great tool that tracks and analyzes spending across the cloud, helping you see where your money is going.
CloudChekr works across various cloud providers and provides a helpful overview of how you’re using the provider.
The cloud is a truly incredible resource that’s helped lots of companies find better and more cost-effective storage solutions. But it’s not perfect and you’ll need to stay on top of it to ensure you’re getting the most from it–just like with anything else!
At Ironhack, we know the importance of staying on the forefront of new technologies and innovations and pride ourselves on preparing the next generation of techies to enter the workforce with the knowledge they need to both land that first job and keep learning. So if you’re interested in joining us, we’d be happy to have you!
Check out our available bootcamps here and let yourself be swept away into the world of tech.