Cloud-First Strategy to Cloud-Native Landscape
The past decade has seen a huge revolution in the IT Technology landscape, many organizations embarked on a Cloud-first strategy from predominantly heavy on On-prem IT Infrastructure.
“There was a time when every household, town, farm or village had its own water well. Today, shared public utilities give us access to clean water by simply turning on the tap; cloud computing works in a similar fashion. Just like water from the tap in your kitchen, cloud computing services can be turned on or off quickly as needed. Like at the water company, there is a team of dedicated professionals making sure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isn’t on, not only are you saving water, but you aren’t paying for resources you don’t currently need.” –Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO, United States Government, 2010.
As a “herd behavior” many organizations jumped into a frenzy of Cloud adoption, without assessing their core needs of IT Systems based on their core businesses. The early frenzy soon turned into chaos as the yearly spending on hosting their business-critical applications in the cloud was punching holes in their wallet (IT Budget).
They realized, it was a hasty decision to embrace the cloud without proper due diligence. The cloud migration they did was just lift and shift, in technical terms, the monolithic/legacy application architecture was retained and hosted in the cloud, which is IAAS(Infrastructure as a service) model. This model is obviously going to cost more, it is going to shift your CAPEX to OPEX(even costlier, if you calculate TCO and ROI). At least in CAPEX, the IT Infrastructure figures in your book of accounts and is considered the Organization's asset until it gets decommissioned.
Critical pointers to consider before formulating Cloud Strategy
- Analyze your IT Infrastructure & Application budget (CAPEX & OPEX)
- Create an Application Landscape with all interdependencies covered. (App to App integration and External parties integrations)
- Assess the type of data, volume of data being accumulated, and how business-critical data is backed-up.
- Align to Core Business Vision and their future road map.
- Take stock of the IT Department team size and internal IT Capabilities of the organization.
- Check the regulatory constraints in your organization’s line of business. (Eg: GMP for Manufacturing & Pharma, Central Bank norms for Banks., etc.)
- Consider the Data Privacy laws of regions your Organization does business.
- Application OEM dependencies on Cloud Compatibility. (Re-architecting or re-developing the Application in a cloud-native way)
- Stakeholders(Business and Finance teams) alignment on Cloud Transformation from On-prem.
- Cost transfer feasibility, within BUs based on utilization of Cloud services. Also, be mindful of the hidden cost of moving to the Cloud as listed below:
a. Data transfer to the cloud(Inbound) is free and vice versa is chargeable. So be mindful while you are pulling the data from the cloud(Outbound). Pls, refer to the tariff on the CSP website.
b. Choose Reserved instances and Spot Instances for Prod & Dev/UAT environments. Always watch out for discounts announced on CSP platforms.
c. Do right sizing and enable Auto-scaling only during peak utilization periods.
d. There are many cloud cost optimization tools available in the market. Use it to consistently monitor resource utilization and optimize the cost.
Once your cloud or cloud-first strategy has been approved within your organization, go for low-hanging fruits. To get an initial buy-off from important stakeholders it’s imperative to show quick wins. Look for applications which less critical, and easy to move in PAAS or SAAS model. Ensure these are light in data and don’t possess any critical data (Company’s IP or strategy).
The second phase is critical, we are into the mid-layer of the pyramid where we encounter data-heavy and operationally busy applications. Below are the steps we need to take before going for the migration of monolithic applications to the Cloud-native way.
- Setup DevOps practice in your organization (including revamping your developer teams with relative skills).
- Implement CI/CD Pipeline(covering both process and Automation).
- Toolsets to be procured or subscribed. The decision to buy a toolset is very critical to the success of automation in Application deployments.
- Implement SRE practice to ensure the Applications or solutions developed through a Cloud-native way are robust and reliable to consumers/customers.
- Move on to the DevSecOps model, to ingrain security practice in each and every step from the Build to Deployment phases of the Application.
- Comply with 12-factor application app principles.
- Bring PMO(Agile methodology) using JIRA kind of tool, integrate with Jenkins kind of CI/CD automation software.
Periodic Table of DevOps
Updated September 10, 2021. The Periodic Table of DevOps Tools is the industry's go-to resource for identifying…
The above periodic table gives a 360-degree view of tools you can choose when implementing DevOps practice in your organization.
Benefits of Cloud Native Landscape for your Application development
- Cloud economics or OPEX for Cloud hosting will be optimized. We can reduce around 50% cost when compared to IAAS’s way of just migrating the existing monolithic applications. Also, a Single Pane of Glass for a multi-cloud using organization will give a clear indication of available and utilized resources.
- If you are developing applications in a Cloud-neutral way, you can be a Cloud service provider-agnostic and leverage the latest features being introduced on regular basis.
- DevOps Practice, CI/CD Pipeline, and Cloud-native app development will give agility and optimal use of IT human resources.(eg: Netflix)
If you follow the above suggestions while transforming your organization from traditional On-prem infra with Monolithic applications to Cloud with cloud-native applications, chances are there that the journey will be pleasant and enterprising.