While most of the organizations keep playing on the public cloud stage, some things remain at the backstage that customers may find deceptive (but experts say it’s the way it is). The majority of the organizations on the public cloud are unaware of such practices. In other words, these practices are the little secrets that your cloud provider never wants you to know.
The cloud provider giants are acquainted with all the architecture tricks that keep flowing cash in their pockets. This article will help you reveal all of those tricks which get lost in the background noise.
“With the rapid increase in the adoption of the public cloud; organizations are now moving from ‘cloud-first’ to ‘cloud-only’.”
Moving to public cloud has proven to be instrumental for many enterprises by reducing costs and achieving core business competence. Despite the general hype, there can be cons of moving to the cloud that you are not aware of or not able to see through the marketing fluff.
Typically, cloud providers must offer five essential characteristics: On-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity or expansion, and measured service. To provide all these characteristics, cloud providers have to deal with certain complexities that may hinder the widespread use of their services.
It’s a fact that cloud vendors would never come out and draw a clear visible line, so we have decided to settle the mist around it which be helpful to you in order to use the cloud in a better way.
1) The complex pricing model
The adoption of cloud technology at a small scale and even for short-term projects can be seen as an expensive affair. Saving cost is possibly the most significant benefit of cloud computing. But how many times have you figured out the exact cost for provisioning resources under a particular service? Not many times, isn’t it? Even if you could have figured out, the bill at the end of every month presents a different story.
On-demand (or pay-as-you-go) cloud services help you practice flexibility and in the process, spend less money. However, the total bill could end up being higher than what you expected.
If you are not sure of what services will work best for you, it’s always recommended to experiment with several services. You can use make use of online cost calculators by cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
Best practices to save more on the cloud:
- Don’t go all-in while provisioning the resources, i.e., don’t over-provision, instead leverage auto-scaling services.
- Practice scalability, i.e., scale DOWN as well as UP.
- Pay upfront if you have already figured out minimum usage.
- Shut down the instances during non-working hours.
- Put an alerting system in place to track every penny spend on the cloud.
2) “No downtime” is unrealistic
The biggest sin of cloud technology is downtime. Period. But it is often covered up with the tag of “99.99 % availability” (the availability % is claimed service wise). Cloud technology is internet-based, leading to unfortunate service downtimes that can occur for any reason.
Are you ready to face the consequences of an outage or downtime?
In 2017, an outage on Amazon Web Services cost publicly traded companies up to $150 million. Another disheartening fact is, no organization is immune to service downtime, particularly when critical business operations are running in the cloud.
Best practices to prevent downtime risks:
- Always keep two things in mind before using any service, i.e., high availability and disaster recovery. You can leverage the multi-availability zones provided by your cloud vendors.
- To achieve business continuity and minimum downtime, consider multi-region deployments with automated failover.
- Layout and implement a DR plan aligned with your business objectives that can ensure the lowest possible recovery time.
- Implement dedicated connectivity such as AWS Direct Connect, Azure ExpressRoute, or Google Cloud’s Dedicated Interconnect or Partner Interconnect. The mentioned services offer a dedicated network connection between you and the cloud service point. This helps reduce exposure to the risk of business interruptions from the public internet.
3) Cloud does not have foolproof security
There is no doubt that cloud service providers implement the best security standards and industry certifications, but still storing confidential data and handling critical operations on faraway devices always opens up risks. When the conversation involves data, one must address security and privacy.
The Code Space is still afresh in mind of most of the security personnel. The hacking of Code Space’s AWS EC2 console back in 2014 presented a ‘you-can’t-ignore-it’ part of the cloud. The unauthorized access led to the majority of data deletion and the eventual shutdown of the company.
The dependency on remote cloud-based infrastructure means adding more risk factors by outsourcing almost everything.
Best practices for handling or preventing security risks:
- Jot down and comprehend every detail of the shared responsibility model of your cloud vendor.
- Take security measures at every level of your deployment.
- Govern the access to your resources and services with an organization’s defined security protocols.
- Ensure that your teams have the required skillset up to date with existing security standards. In-house expertise is the best way to tackle security issues in the cloud.
- Take the risk-assessment approach to secure assets in the cloud.
- Mandate multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all accounts accessing sensitive information in your cloud infrastructure.
These are the three of the six secrets that majority of cloud users are unaware of and these remain unseen due to the complexities around the public cloud. There are three more secrets that cloud providers never wants you to know. So?
Too much to digest? Wait for our next edition which reveals three more important secrets that can be very critical for your public cloud.
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