In just a few years, the cloud has become a mission critical component of just about every IT infrastructure. Moving processes and IT operations to the cloud makes processes simpler and reduces costs. It also makes the organization nimbler, better able to respond quickly to new challenges.
But getting the most out of the cloud requires an approach that optimizes the resources so they respond to constantly changing demand. Optimizing cloud resources takes a systematic approach.
Know demand load
In order to optimize your resources, you need to understand the demand for them. How many users will access the cloud infrastructure at one time? It could be a small team, a department, or the whole enterprise. You will use this to establish a resource baseline for memory, storage, processing and WAN resources.
Anticipate future growth
A critical part of planning IT resources is anticipating future use. You will need to work closely with all the sectors of the organization as well as business partners and learn their plans for growth. Depending on the projections, you may want to begin adding extra resources for wide-area network (WAN) or servers in anticipation of any sudden spikes in demand load.
Plan for WAN
WAN resources have to be able to deliver data quickly among the elements of a cloud. A branch cloud datacenter, for example, serving secondary but still mission-critical cloud systems with a limited number of users, will require moderate bandwidth with low latency. On the other hand, a large data center, with thousands of users connecting at one time, will require very large bandwidth with very low latency.
No matter how large or small the data center is, or the size of the organization, administrators have to be ready to handle unanticipated spikes in demand, which can lead to cascading challenges to delivery of data, applications and processing ability.
The right tools
Automation tools are necessary for adapting to rising and falling demand on cloud resources. Cloud administrators use automatic tools to monitor demand, control application use, scale processes automatically and provide useable results to administrators and managers.
More changes coming
Cloud computing is evolving rapidly. New technologies in storage, connection, WAN and other components are coming all the time that will dramatically increase capacity and reduce latency. While this sounds great on the surface, these rapid developments will pose challenges for administrators. A cloud computing partner needs to be able to adapt rapidly to new tools, capabilities and emerging demands.
Look for a cloud partner that evaluates your current demand, takes time to understand your current as well as anticipated future needs, and those of your business partners.