Cloud development offers your business the flexibility, efficiency, and strategic value you need to retain competitive advantages and innovate the way you do business. But how does it work? According to InfoWorld, cloud development usually includes integrated development environments, application lifecycle management components (such as test and quality management, source code and configuration management, continuous delivery tools), and application security testing components.
One of the biggest reasons companies are turning to cloud development involves the lower costs associated with operating within a cloud. According to Azure, cloud computing eradicates the expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site datacenters. Further, due to the way the cloud functions, cloud computing services include the ability to scale elastically, delivering the right amount of IT resources from the correct geographic location.
The Performance Benefits of the Cloud
Users are also turning to the cloud due to performance. Azure notes that the biggest cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centers, which offers several benefits over a single corporate data center, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale. In an age of technology, however, security issues are a rising concern. Azure reports that many cloud providers offer policies, technologies, and controls that strengthen security posture overall, helping protect your data, apps and infrastructure from potential threats.
Most crucially, speed is one of the main reasons that the cloud has become a go-to technology for many companies. Azure notes that most cloud computing services are provided self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.
Hacking Productivity with the Cloud
Productivity is also a major factor when it comes to the cloud. Cloud computing allows IT teams to focus on tasks that don’t involve hardware setup, software patching, and other IT management chores. Finally, clouds have proven time and again to be reliable. Azure points out that cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
While traditional deployment relies on familiar programming environments like Microsoft.Net or Oracle’s Java Platform Enterprise Edition, developers in the cloud have become familiar with operating systems like Google Cloud, Office 365’s access to cloud platforms, Amazon Web Service (AWS), Microsoft’s Azure (the Microsoft cloud), Salesforce.com’s Force.com, Apache’s CloudStack and Openstack. While additional training might be required to become accustomed to these platforms, the end result is well worth it.
You might not realize it, but cloud computing is more prevalent in your day-to-day life than you think. If you store, back up and recover data, you’re likely using some type of cloud computing. You can also stream audio and video, test and run applications, analyze data, deliver software on demand – known as software as a service (SaaS) – and embed intelligence.
Types of Cloud Computing Architecture
According to Microsoft Azure, there are three different types of cloud environments: public clouds, private clouds, or hybrid clouds. Monitoring tools can be utilized to provide full transparency into these types of technologies. Public clouds are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and offer access to once-expensive services like machine learning. These entities deliver their computing resources over the internet and all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. These services can be accessed and managed using your web browser.
The private cloud denotes cloud computing resources used exclusively by a single business or organization. These can be physically located on the company’s on-site datacenter. Simply put, a private cloud maintains all services and infrastructure on a private network.
Finally, Microsoft Azure reports that the hybrid cloud combines the public and private cloud so technology can be shared between them, which gives your business greater flexibility, more deployment options, and better optimization for your current infrastructure, security and compliance.
Categories of Cloud Services
Microsoft Azure denotes that the cloud also features several types of services known as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and SaaS. Infrastructure as a service occurs when you rent infrastructure such as servers and virtual machines, storage, networks, and operating systems. These are utilized on a pay-as-you-go basis from a cloud provider.
Platform as a service are best utilized for an on-demand environment and for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. It is designed for developers to easily and quickly create mobile and web apps without worrying about the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network, and databases needed for development.
Finally, software as a service is designed to deliver software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. Cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure, and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Utilizing a web browser on their phone, tablet, or PC, users connect to the app over the internet.
Challenges Within the Cloud
While adopting the cloud comes with many benefits, it also comes with its challenges. According to TechBeacon, cloud programming tools are different from traditional systems, performance can slow in novel ways, and integration work takes on a new layer of complexity.
TechBeacon advises that applications have to be architected so sufficient wide area network resources are available along each step of the journey. Further, developers need to extend their focus beyond their own applications to examine all connected components. While the cloud enables businesses to extend their systems and share data and processes, developers have to realize the risks of opening up these systems to other systems and understand the complications of connecting to other applications on the cloud.
Further, integration challenges can present themselves due to the fact that clouds only increases integration complexity. Finally, consider cloud service fees, which might result in your bill rising every time your leased resources are used.
The Importance of Cloud Collaboration
You shouldn’t be expected to implement the cloud all on your own – you need outside support. Finding a partner, however, depends on your market’s demands. For example, small businesses have different demands than an enterprise organization, so your needs might differ from others in your industry.
When finding a partner, remember that their focus should be driven toward your success. Consultation is key in most successful partnerships and their attention should be directed toward what the transformation project of the customer looks like. Further, the partner should be contributing their own intellectual property once an implementation is completed by bringing in their own systems, working closely with their chosen platform to replicate best practices in the marketplace. Cross-cloud implementation, consequently, is crucial to be well-versed in your chosen platform’s entire stack, not just part of it. Finally, partners should be combing through the marketplace to find solutions for end-to-end business transformation. This will allow partners to deliver on customer requirements and make the journeys with clients easier.
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