In order to secure a healthy bottom line, every business needs to minimize its spending while maximizing its earnings. A dollar saved is a dollar earned, you know. Cloud computing as a service is the shortest way to cost-efficiency for a variety of reasons. We list these below to help you make an informed decision.
First of all, why cloud computing is such a huge thing? There is quite a bunch of reasons, from the reduction of OPEX to scalability, security and high-availability of cloud resources. However, the point we are after is — in order to put an instrument to good use, you need to know how it works and how to apply it best. This goes for the cloud, too, as due to its ease of scalability, a misconfiguration can lead to huge invoices, so the margin for error is pretty small.
The situation is worsened by a chorus of “experts” who praise the cloud services for their simplicity and power that can bring immense benefits to your business. These “experts” fail to mention, however, that the cloud is akin to an electronic microscope — an extremely powerful tool that can be useless for hammering the nails in — and will cost you a fortune if you do try to use it incorrectly.
Thus said, you need to gain a decent understanding of the specifics of cloud architecture and inner workings BEFORE you create your cloud account. Yes, all cloud platforms provide a free trial of their services with some limited credit — but these $300 can melt away faster than you can say “Duh!” Therefore, you need to gain access to some decent cloud infrastructure design and management expertise to ensure your project runs smoothly.
There are four main approaches to doing so:
- Charging headlong yourself. Every cloud platform provides a detailed FAQ section with step-by-step guides on using its products and services. If you can spare the time and effort — by all means, feel free to read this goldmine of knowledge. You will require a decent hands-on Linux administration experience to understand what cloud components you need to use for your project, and through trial and error, you will be able to figure out the dependencies between them.
- Hiring a ready expert in-house. If a business cannot afford wasting time and money on obtaining cloud management expertise, hiring such a talent in-house becomes an obvious choice. The downsides of this approach, however, are multiple. First of all, finding an unemployed top-notch DevOps specialist is unrealistic. The market demand is much higher than their numbers, and all really good DevOps engineers already have quite well-paying jobs, not to mention dozens of offers from competitors. You can settle for a less experienced candidate or even work with a freelancer, yes — but the risks of this approach are just as high as with diving headlong into cloud computing yourself without any previous experience.
- Subscribe to cloud support from AWS, Google Cloud, DIgitalOcean, Azure, Oracle and other cloud platforms. This is where most of the talented DevOps engineers work (unless they are employed by market leaders like Samsung, Boeing or Philipps or General Electric, etc.) Thus said, your requests will be handled by top-notch talents with ample experience in configuring the services and tools of your selected platform. The problem of this approach, though, is that these engineers handle thousands of tickets every shift, an while 4 hours TTR is under SLA, it is clearly not good for your business.
- Hire cloud computing as a service from an IT outsourcing company. This way you get all the benefits of the former three approaches without any downsides. You get instant access to a goldmine of relevant skills and ready solutions for the most common challenges your project might face. You work with skilled professionals, who form a cohesive team. They report on the project progress daily, so you keep the hand on the pulse without spending too much time and effort. They start working on your project immediately, not in 4 hours — and they cost much less than a full-time employee of the same skill level in the US or EU.
The only challenge with this approach is finding a team that can actually deliver on its promises. To do this, we recommend googling for the expertise and skills you need, making a list of companies positioned on the first Google pages for these results, looking for independent rankings and customer reviews of these teams, etc.
After you shortlist several good candidates, make technical calls with them — you will be able to tell a good team at once, as they can grasp the gist of your project at once and might suggest ready solutions from the start. Thus said, using cloud computing as a service from a reliable IT outsourcing company is the best way to get your project up and running in the cloud!