By: Ilissa Miller, Editor-in-Chief, Data Center POST
Navigating the various cloud providers and their solutions can be an overwhelming task. Couple that with the growing complexities of business needs — from the right type of collaboration tool sets to managing a distributed workforce — ensuring uptime and more can be an overwhelming task and ultimately very costly as well. Below are cloud usage challenges to consider when choosing a private, public or hybrid cloud solution.
The most challenging aspect of any cloud is identifying the costs associated with moving data in, out and through the cloud. For instance, when you are working with data-heavy projects, there may be usage costs associated with object storage, databases and block storage, which ultimately causes data gravity. As such, data gravity pulls information to a location for computational analysis, potentially causing additional data rates and fees to be applied to the cloud instance you may be on.
Easy In / Not So Easy Out
When it comes to putting your data into the cloud, there are a number of ways you can do this. One is to leverage digital infrastructure to transfer your data into the cloud instance you use. Another is to ‘snowball’ your content into the cloud. The Snowball effect, offered by AWS, provides you with a divide to load your data, ship it to an AWS location for upload, and gives you access to your digital data through their own cloud instance. Unfortunately, the snowball effect does not work the other way around. AWS will not download your data from their servers to a device, ship that device to you and expect it back. This forces a scenario that once you go into the cloud, it will be a challenge to get your data out of the cloud. Being aware of this will ensure you have alternative ways to access, back-up, restore and recover your data.
Data Transfers across Zones
Many cloud providers, like AWS, build their cloud instances in zones across specific regions. In the U.S. as of 2023, AWS offers 16 zones for its services. The good news is that regardless of what zone you’re in, as an AWS user you do not have to pay to transfer data across different zones. The bad news is that if you are transferring data across multiple zones in AWS to hand off that data to an external source or other cloud provider, you will need to pay for those transfer fees.
Regardless of what cloud provider you select, it’s important to consider a multi-cloud architecture to ensure your business data is always on and available. According to an article on CRN that cites a Parametrix Solutions report, cloud downtime can cost users up to $100,000 an hour. Mid-year 2023, outages have been seen across AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, and Google, among others. For businesses that rely on the cloud for all of their IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions, ensuring a variety of cloud providers will help keep your business operational, even during a disruption or outage.
And then there’s security. By mid-year 2023, massive Cyber Attacks occurred on VMware, Dish Networks, the U.S. Marshals Service, T-Mobile, and others. These attacks typically start through storage backup and replication software that can easily be monitored by third-party solutions such as Opti9’s Observr solution, which detects and protects companies from ransomware attacks. By adding an additional layer of AI and ML monitoring, companies can thwart an attack before it even happens. Unfortunately, too many smaller businesses forgo additional cybersecurity solutions due to costs. However, when a company becomes unable to operate, loses its data and/or is forced into a ransomware situation to get their data returned, hindsight becomes 20:20 and cyber security becomes a priority.
For assistance in helping your business optimize its cloud instance, manage a multi-or-hybrid cloud solution, there are a few companies that have your business in mind. Service recommendations are always a great place to start. These companies have various solutions and experts to offer guidance to customers and ensure you have the right solution for today — and are planning for a future solution tomorrow.
Examples of leading enterprise cloud infrastructure partners include:
365 Data Centers – a network-centric colocation provider with 20 strategically located facilities across the U.S. in primarily edge markets. The company is supported by 125 additional network PoPs, 700+ peering partners, services across four cloud regions with managed services and single-contract billing capabilities to simplify vendor management.
Colohouse – a managed data center and cloud infrastructure provider with a focus on eight key edge locations across the U.S. The combination of colocation, cloud, connectivity and managed services offers enterprise customers a variety of solutions for their digital business requirements.
Evocative – a global leader in enterprise-class data center, bare metal, network, cloud and managed services. They offer services in 18 data centers throughout North America, Europe and APAC.
MOD Mission Critical – a Platform-as-a-Service company with global partnerships leveraging its proprietary PaaSPort™ platform that aggregates global capabilities into a single user-interface for design, quote, order and management. Enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses with growing and varied requirements can order a single rack-unit to complete global digital infrastructure deployments from 100’s locations across six continents.
Working with best of breed providers to create a hybrid solution that provides you with the best of the cloud and best of traditional digital infrastructure, such as colocation and bare metal solutions is an optimal way to proceed. When it comes to costs and investing in your infrastructure, identifying the costs to your business should you lose access is a key consideration — on top of the costs associated with your day-to-day use of the cloud instance(s) you select. Overlaying your capabilities with enhanced security monitoring, managed services, and simplifying your bills and invoices through single-vendor solutions is another cost-savings technique that could provide inherent value to your organization. In the end, your digital footprint may also need a physical footprint, staying close to what you do in the ether will offer you greater insights into your costs.
About the Author:
In addition to her role as Managing Editor of Data Center POST, Ilissa Miller is the founder and CEO of iMiller Public Relations, the host of NEDAS Live! A Podcast exploring wireline and wireless convergence, and is a member of the Board for OIX, a Advisor and Ambassador to the Nomad Futurist Foundation and is a trusted industry advisor to 100’s of companies in the global digital infrastructure industry. To learn more, visit: www.imillerpr.com.