The Hostway Blog

You've Built Your Cloud Environment – Now What?

According to a recent report from Research and Markets, the global cloud infrastructure market will be worth $109 billion by the end of this year. This sector is on track to nearly double, reaching $206.93 billion by 2020.

A considerable number of organizations already have cloud infrastructures in place – but cloud is not a one-and-done technology. Enterprises can constantly adjust and improve their off-premises environments in order to make the most of these resources.

"The global cloud infrastructure market will be worth $109 billion by the end of 2015."

So, once a cloud environment is established, how does a business best utilize this asset? How can the company improve upon its investment? Let's take a look at a few potential next steps for after the cloud environment has been built:

1) Data migration: A range of strategies
Migrating data to the online platform must be executed in an organized way. Data Center Knowledge contributor and Bluelock solutions architect Jake Robinson noted that there are several data migration strategies, including those involving:

  • The migration of data only
  • Machine replication
  • Physical-to-Virtual migration
  • Migration for disaster recovery

Decision-makers should pinpoint the overall purpose of the cloud environment and then select their migration strategy accordingly.

2) Boost security
Find ways to improve the security of your existing cloud environment. Data Center Knowledge contributor Bill Kleyman pointed out that the cost of a data breach is rising every year, making cloud security imperative. These areas are key elements of cloud security:

  • Guaranteeing that critical data is protected: Before migrating sensitive data to the cloud, encrypt that information and store the key in a safe location. In this way, the company can protect and decrypt its data as necessary.
  • Monitoring data access: Kleyman recommended logging and monitoring usage of data stored in the cloud. This provides more granular control of access management.
  • Locking down applications: It's also critical to ensure all databases, applications and portals in the cloud are properly secured."You can have the best underlying server, hypervisor and even data center architecture; but if your applications have holes in them, you'll have other problems as well," Kleyman wrote.
Encrypting sensitive data before migration and monitoring access can help boost cloud security.
Encrypting sensitive data before migration and monitoring access can help boost cloud security.

3) Enhance cloud performance
Once data has been migrated and protected, the enterprise can look into ways to enhance the performance of its cloud platform.

One helpful strategy is to ensure redundancy within the network accessing the cloud. A network made up of multiple links is less prone to downtime, since if one fails, users can leverage the other remaining links to connect with mission-critical cloud assets.

Cloud Computing Intelligence contributor Russel Ridgley also suggested looking into performance metrics included in the service-level agreement. While some SLAs may contain more generic language, other providers are sure to include more specific requirements as far as the customer's cloud performance and availability.

"If a vendor is willing to provide a customized SLA, you can have a higher level of assurance that the provisions covered within the document can be fulfilled," Ridgely wrote. "Availability and uptime are two of the most important aspects that should be covered by an SLA and again, there should be specific requirements built into the agreement that cover them."

To find out more about cloud options, contact Hostway today.