2015 witnessed the true arrival of Cloud Computing with businesses across industries and operational budgets adopting the cloud in its different formats—Public, Private and Hybrid. However, this does not mean that it was entirely a smooth journey. Yes, from cloud migration to deployment and managing it, some challenges surfaced. Most were promptly addressed by expert cloud architects with Microsoft Cloud emerging as the most undemanding and ROI-friendly option. In this discussion, we will talk about some cloud IT challenges that are more than likely to prevail in 2016. While certain technical issues will always be resolved on-the-go, we would like to address the more common and more absorbing challenges that can hurt productivity. This includes:
1. Planning Cloud Capacity for Better Resource Utilization
Project teams and managers feel apprehensive about the cloud when there are long-term surges in data accessibility, processing and warehousing requirements. Ideally, your cloud network should be prepared for such scenarios—these cannot be termed as unanticipated challenges. This is where a smart Cloud Solutions Provider can really help. When you have seasoned cloud experts setting up your cloud infrastructure, forecasting data demands is not to be ignored. Issues like more data collaboration between different cloud networks in a hybrid ecosystem too should be pre-planned. Any unplanned capacity spike should not lead to high-impact downtimes. Pre-defining data thresholds and creating back-up for raising the benchmarks is the perfect solution to avoid damages in the long term. Your CSP should guide you towards smart alert and introspective mechanisms that can drive maximum capacity utilization.
2. Opting for CapEx over OpEx – Expect this to Trend Heavily in 2016
Cloud Computing eases migrating from CapEx to OpEX, reducing the overall costs too. You should consider smarter external cloud computing tools, including configurators. CapEx to OpEx conversion can be automated in a per-workload manner. The emphasis should be on preventing chaos related to internal accounting. 2015 helped businesses realize converting to the OpEx model on a private cloud can prove challenging as project-specific CapEx accounting is involved in this. Emerging business solutions ensure this IT transformation is easier, more transparent, especially in terms of providing context to service-based billing.
3. Managing Workloads When Queues are Piling-up
Despite the emergence of proactive cloud management resources, there is a lot of noise about confusion prevailing when workloads multiply overnight or prioritization becomes the key to save business critical projects. Ideally, your cloud solutions provider should take care of such issues without bothering the on-premise team. Solutions lie in more data virtualization with an emphasis on making VMs more perceptive. Prioritizing workloads is integral to cloud trends likely to emerge in 2016. Managing workloads should not always ride on scalability. For small spikes in workflows, like seasonal consumer demands, scalability costs can be kept in check if your cloud is smart enough to prioritize.
4. Go Heavy with Automation in the Cloud
Cloud computing is dynamic, more fluid in 2016 as cloud architects are continuously getting more exposed APIs and automation is becoming invasive. Traditional IT enterprise approach that uses human resources as the middleware are getting increasingly redundant. As a business, try to invest minimally in employee-based middleware and trust cloud-enabled automations. From accelerating faster-to-market processes and internal workflows, cloud-based automation is the unrivalled trend for 2016. Emphasize on self-service cloud models for easier provisioning. Automated functionality means efficiently dissecting and managing workloads. If you are worried about the initial cost of automation, be assured that the long-term benefits and serious savings in the longer term will comprehensively offset the upfront costs.
5. Premeditate and Create Exhaustive SLAs
Conventionally, SLAs have been looked upon as a one-time effort with most organizations not digging deep into the subject. This is because traditional IT setups were largely static. The cloud IT system presents a different scenario. Before you initiate your Cloud Ecosystem, make sure that very specific SLAs (service-level agreement) are put in place. Leveraged to your advantage, we would recommend even defining OLAs (operational-level agreements) rather comprehensively. The reason is easy to understand—SLAs and OLAs create limitations when you want more agility and scalability. Whether this is your first cloud experience or you are migrating from one cloud to another, your Service Level Agreement should define every aspect of infrastructural demands, data ownership standards, security measures, processing capabilities, room for scalability, and present a roadmap for change. This is critical since the cloud ecosystem is still evolving. It has room for presenting many unexpected challenges—disruptive and congenial. This is also your best chance to ensure there are no costing shockers for addressing any architectural gaps.
6. Avoid Data Latency using Better Integration & Interoperation
Your data’s performance is likely to suffer if you don't have a strategy when migrating to the cloud. You don't want latency that impairs overall efficiency in workflows. This is where you need perceptive cloud architects. Hybrid and public clouds demand more-than-sufficient bandwidth. Integration is the key here and you need a constant pool of sufficiently exposed APIs.
7. Flexibility is Passé, Insist on Dexterity
For some reason, “flexibility” on the cloud is somewhat abstract to most CEOs and CIOs. Perhaps, the lack of industry standards is to blame. 2016 is most likely to witness widespread demand for dynamic clouds where virtual stacks help the IT infrastructure being truly flexible. Put-in some protocols to ensure the mechanism at play does not compromise on security when opening new channels for collaborating or computing data.
8. Monitor Proactively
2015 witnessed a lot being said about data security on the cloud. However, many decision-makers still feel unsure. The reason lies in some cloud vendors creating troubleshooting that is not equipped with sufficient predictive analysis. Create more room for perceptive troubleshooting. Consider ‘purpose-built’ monitoring that might be more relevant for your cloud infrastructure. You might want to integrate disparate points in a public cloud to ensure data latency is pre-eliminated.
9. Make your Cloud more Aware
Cloud architects chase two objectives when designing cloud networks—automating apps and making cloud applications more aware. This essentially means the cloud setup should be responsive. For instance, there should be no limitations to quickly removing or adding web fronts. Insist on automating provisioning of applications and more relevant error codes.
The above mentioned challenges might be faced by a company trying to migrate to the cloud for the first time or might even arise before corporations who are already on the cloud. However, an expert cloud partner who specializes in cloud computing services and consulting can contribute significantly in sharing your burden and overcoming these challenges with ease.