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5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Cloud Architecture
Contributed by Kurt Richter, co-founder of Lightstream

Tips for Your Cloud Architecture Design

These days, it seems like companies are migrating to the cloud. The cloud offers some amazing benefits to companies by creating a way for data and applications to be shared and accessed remotely. However, it's helpful to evaluate the needs of your company prior to making such a large transition. As with most things in life, it's important to make a plan before getting started with your migration.

1. Is the Cloud Right for You?

The cloud is an excellent option for all companies but may be a better fit for immediate migration if you own a small business or startup. This is because a smaller company inevitably has less information to be moved over.

The same can be true of a large company also, however, if you have employees who work remotely or in many different offices who all need access to the same files and applications. Using the cloud cuts down on the need to send files and information via email or other methods, since frequently sending large attachments will ultimately bog down your server and leave it running slower.

2. Identify Your Needs

Prior to cloud architecture and planning, it's essential to identify your needs.

On behalf of your business/team's needs, ask these questions:

  • Do you have databases that each employee needs access to in real time?
  • Are there applications that need to be shared with different office locations?

Identifying your needs will allow you to gain a better understanding of the type of cloud architecture you'll need.

3. Think About Security

The cloud is available in three different security settings: public, private, and hybrid. Each brings its own pros and cons to the table, making the type you choose completely dependent upon your specific company needs.

Public clouds are typically managed and maintained by the domain owner, which means you lose control over how tight security is, although they are more affordable. A private cloud gives you more control over security, however, you are completely responsible for maintaining security and managing performance. Hybrid clouds are oftentimes a good fit for companies looking for the best of both worlds.

4. Evaluate the Cost

Smaller companies tend to find cloud migration easier and more cost effective since, with such a small operation, it's unlikely much funding has been invested into hardware and processing centers. In a larger company setting, it may be more cost effective to only migrate some applications and information to the cloud, or consider making the migration slowly over time as your current office hardware goes out of date. Whether an immediate migration is best for you or not, migrating even just a portion of your company data to the cloud will ultimately be the most cost-effective option over time. 

5. Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Once you've evaluated your needs, it's time to develop a plan for migration. Taking into account the above information, you'll be able to paint a pretty clear picture of your needs. Make a plan to account for any problems that may come up as you migrate information to the cloud, and be realistic in your timeframe, making sure your employees have constant access to the information they need during this time of transition.

A Professional is Your Best Resource

If you find yourself in need of help with cloud architecture and planning, it's important to reach out to an experienced professional. A company well-versed in both cloud design and cloud migration services can help you develop and carry out a plan to ensure an easier transition for your company.

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About the Author

Kurt Richter is a co-founder of Lightstream and has been in the technology industry since high school, when he began his own networking and consulting business. Kurt's areas of expertise include infrastructure architecture for both enterprise and service provider levels, internetwork design, security, network operations, data engineering and troubleshooting, as well as business technology development and consulting.

Published Thursday, October 13, 2016 7:08 AM by David Marshall
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