There are a lot of opinions to be had about what goes into a solidly-architected cloud. But with so many considerations around reliability, performance and security, too many options can get overwhelming. So, I thought I’d ask one of our resident cloud experts, Derek DeHaan, and get his thoughts on the matter…
How would you define a well-architected cloud?
A well-architected cloud optimizes workload performance, reduces overall cost to operate and provides the best user experience possible. This can ultimately be achieved through the correct workload placement (public, private, etc.) and the continued perseverance to achieve cloud optimization through the use of a cloud management platform.
What are the elements that go into a well-architected cloud?
The elements of a well-architected cloud include:
- automation to optimize cost by only running workloads when they are needed;
- resiliency at all levels of the architecture—specifically including the infrastructure and application layers;
- a cloud management platform to view and optimize consumption and thereby reduce expense/cost;
- governance and security measures to ensure a rock solid perimeter; and
- access/authentication methods to protect the data.
What's the best way to achieve a well-architected cloud?
Engaging a service provider or partner who has experience and expertise in providing a well-architected cloud has many benefits...
- First, they are able to hone in on and define existing application dependencies. They will also perform a thorough inventory of your current infrastructure in order to establish a baseline.
- Next, they will help analyze where your workloads should go, based on the workload’s characteristics.
- Then, as you embark on your cloud strategy, they will help migrate your workloads to the best possible platform and can also help manage your cloud.
- Finally, through optimization and fine-tuning, they will help you put the final touches on a well-executed cloud architecture.
What should IT never do when constructing a cloud architecture?
- Never assume all workloads are the same.
- Never forget the business criticality of the application. This drives workload placement and architecture redundancy decisions - and also directly affects cost.
- Never assume the cost will always be lower in the cloud.
- Never forget about the network connectivity component of the architecture. User experience is driven by latency to each workload/application.
What are the cloud architecture pitfalls that IT might fall into?
A few common pitfalls, when it comes to cloud architecture include:
- It is always thought to be cheaper to do it in house.
- Start down a path and never complete the project due to lack of understanding the end state.
- No testing ahead of production migration.
Derek DeHaan leads the Hosting Architecture team at OneNeck IT Solutions. He has more than 15 years of experience in IT architecture, data center design and strategy, and data center migration services. Derek has also spent significant time in the software development space while working to develop a thermal and capacity management software platform. His career spans a variety of technical and leadership positions, and includes providing guidance, recommendations and strategic visions for many of the Fortune 500 companies based in the Twin Cities area. Derek has multiple certifications and specializations across a breadth of hardware, software and business application areas.