Multi-Cloud: Why Stop At One Platform?

We deal with a number of major providers, each with its own outstanding features and strengths. A business just has to identify its needs and pick the service that best meets those.

Everyone knows the importance of picking the right tool for the job. Keen woodworkers have a selection of hammers, chisels and saws, golfers carry bags full of clubs, and even the most ardent sports car enthusiasts can see the limitations of a Ferrari when it’s time to take five kids to the beach.

The cloud is the same. We deal with a number of major providers, each with its own outstanding features and strengths. A business just has to identify its needs and pick the service that best meets those.

Except Why Stop At One Cloud Provider?

Let’s say, for the sake of an example, that a substantial portion of your compute needs are predictable, stable and that latency isn’t an overriding issue. You might consider a provider that offers a relatively inflexible service, doesn’t necessarily have data centres located close to your users, but that is highly cost effective. The lack of flexibility isn’t an issue because of the predictability of your requirements while the low cost makes it highly attractive.

However, let us also suppose that you also offer applications where latency is an issue and where it’s also important to be able to scale usage up and down do meet spikes in demand. A second cloud provider, one that has data centres close to your main users and that offers a flexible deal on capacity, is an attractive option even though its charges are higher than the first.

So, does it have to be an either or? Of course not. We live in a world where it’s possible to choose both.

But Which Cloud Provider Excels In Which Areas?

However, as the psychologist Barry Schwartz has argued, choices can complicate matters. You have to understand which cloud provider excels in which areas, the likely impact of their terms and conditions, and you also have to have a breadth of expertise in order to take advantage of multiple platforms, both to develop applications within the different environments and to create the architecture needed so that data can flow easily between platforms where required.

This is very much one of Nordcloud’s roles, to act as an expert facilitator between customer and cloud providers. It’s our job to know how to match a particular offering to a particular requirement. It’s our job to understand the implications of each provider’s terms of business for our customers, and it’s one of our great strengths that we have the resources to supplement our customers’ in-house technical expertise with our own. So, if your team’s proficiencies allow you to manage one provider’s platform but not another, we can help you to clear that hurdle. Our expertise in building a businesses’ Security & Governance models and core infrastructure, as well as delivering data centre migrations and optimised Cloud environments in a consistent way across the major Cloud platforms has allowed us to become one of the most trusted providers.

Benefits Of Microsoft Azure

Though we were already working with a number of excellent cloud providers, we have partnered with Microsoft to offer Azure cloud services to our customers. Azure offers particular advantages that make it an attractive option for businesses looking to locate some or all of their computing needs in the cloud.

For starters, there’s the familiarity of the MS environment, though it should be pointed out that Azure is equally adept at hosting Linux-based applications. Windows is ubiquitous and Microsoft’s range of tools and apps is beyond comprehensive.

Azure has put especially put emphasis on simplicity and speed. If you need to spin up a project quickly, you need to consider Azure. The human resources are easy to come by – most businesses have no shortage of people skilled in Microsoft-related development – and the tools are easy to use.

Azure has also addressed concerns relating to server stability with a comprehensive outage protection plan that mirrors users’ data to secure virtual environments. If the possibility of outages and lost data is a worry, then Azure is a good answer. Microsoft has an impressive data centre network with global coverage and is moving into Southern Europe, Africa and South America ahead of the competition. We’re confident that, as providers expand their infrastructure, Azure users won’t find themselves left behind. The business also offers great means of analysing and mining your data for business intelligence through its managed SQL and NoSQL data services.

Of course, the other cloud services that Nordcloud offers come with their own strengths, but a growing number of businesses, perhaps a majority, are now looking to mix and match with cloud providers to get the best of each to suit their specific needs. It’s a trend we only expect to keep growing.

Blog

Part 1 – GCP Networking Philosophy

When working with cloud architecture, it's important to see the world from different perspectives.

Blog

Part 2 – Two Different Types of GCP Network Designs

When designing your network in GCP, you need to decide if you want to go fully GCP native or use...

Blog

Accelerate resource tagging with PowerShell — Microsoft Azure Tag Report

Once, I prepared this script to quickly tag many resources deployed on the Microsoft Azure platform. There are many ways...

Get in Touch

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








    Cloud Computing News #6: Cloud Governance is key to success in the cloud

    CATEGORIES

    Blog

    This week we focus on cloud governance and cloud competence.

    One third of mid-market companies have no IT governance strategy

    According to a recent report by Deloitte that surveyed 500 executives in the mid-market and private segments, one-third of executives reported having little to no formal IT governance processes in place. Companies cite a lack of resources (26%), cost (21%), and a lack of C-suite understanding of the importance of IT governance (19%) as the top factors preventing them from creating such policies.

    Company leaders are concerned about gaps in IT management oversight and governance that may create new vulnerabilities, the report found. 50% ranked IT governance processes and principles among the top three areas of concern for their business.

    The report gives 6 tips for companies to mitigate IT-related risks.

    Read more in TechRepublic

    Cloud enablement, governance and strategy at Nordcloud

    Our Cloud Enablement Services help your organisation to take advantage of the public cloud. We have a number of cloud advisors at Nordcloud, who are on hand to assist our customers with their journey to the cloud.

    Read more about our services here or contact us here.

    Fastest route to cloud adoption is to form a Cloud Competence Center

    Fastest route to cloud adoption – reducing the time it takes you to get your products to market and future proofing your public cloud usage – is to form a Cloud Competence Centre.

    For companies to fully realise the benefits the cloud has to offer, and free up valuable developer time, a Cloud Competence Centre is the ideal way to efficiently leverage public cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google.

    Nordcloud’s team of expert cloud architects will ensure that your development & operations teams are seamlessly operating as one, providing support for cloud platform development & support for project on-boarding, by focusing on five key areas: Cloud Customer On-boarding, Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Developments, Cloud Enviroment Developments, and Architecture and DevOps Support.

    Read more in our blog post

    Set up a Cloud Competence Center to address Cloud Governance needs

    Strong governance policies are key to cloud success.

    The cloud provides a wide set of tools to extract many of the things that required a lot of work in the past. This includes managed databases, managed load balancers, virtual networking etc. At the same time, the Cloud Platform itself has to be managed in some way and certain questions need to be asked. How do we design our AWS Account or Azure Subscription structure? How do we provide and monitor access to these environments? How is networking managed? Should we have a baseline for security components across the environments?

    Managing a cloud platform requires ownership, typically seen in a Cloud Owner and a Cloud Steering Group. It also requires a centralised function to onboard cloud customers, do cloud platform development and maintain best practices for cloud deployments.

    Setting up a Cloud Competence Centre addresses exactly these needs. When you provide the teams a service that speeds up their work and makes their journey to the cloud easier, there will be less Shadow IT and more consistent, secure and automated environments across all business units.

    Read more in our recent blog post

    Blog

    Starter for 10: Meet Jonna Iljin, Nordcloud’s Head of Design

    When people start working with Nordcloud, they generally comment on 2 things. First, how friendly and knowledgeable everyone is. Second,...

    Blog

    Building better SaaS products with UX Writing (Part 3)

    UX writers are not omniscient, and it’s best for them to resist the temptation to work in isolation, just as...

    Blog

    Building better SaaS products with UX Writing (Part 2)

    The main purpose of UX writing is to ensure that the people who use any software have a positive experience.

    Get in Touch

    Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








      How to set up a Cloud Competence Centre

      CATEGORIES

      Blog

      To be able to talk about the Cloud Competence Centre model, a bit of background is needed. There’s usually a set of typical phases in a company’s Cloud Journey. You might start off with a few teams experimenting with cloud platforms for new application development, and, with the experiences gained from these projects, you can start planning how to move existing workloads to the cloud. As time goes by you realise that you’re running many different types of production workloads in the cloud with dependencies on each other and on-premise environments.

      It’s quite typical at this point to realise that all these environments should be managed with a proper Governance Model. The cloud provides a wide set of tools to extract many of the things that required a lot of work in the past. This includes managed databases, managed load balancers, virtual networking etc. At the same time, the Cloud Platform itself has to be managed in some way and certain questions need to be asked. How do we design our AWS Account or Azure Subscription structure? How do we provide and monitor access to these environments? How is networking managed? Should we have a baseline for security components across the environments?

      Managing a cloud platform requires ownership, typically seen in a Cloud Owner and a Cloud Steering Group. It also requires a centralised function to onboard cloud customers, do cloud platform development and maintain best practices for cloud deployments. Setting up a Cloud Competence Centre addresses exactly these needs.

      What does a Cloud Competence Centre do?

      A Cloud Competence Centre is a support function to increase developer productivity and maintain a consistent and secure cloud platform. The two key processes are Cloud Platform Development and Cloud Customer On-boardingCloud Platform development consists of setting up a Landing Zone and maintaining it. There’s requirement coming from development teams, Cloud Steering Group and the Cloud Competence Centre itself for shared services, security components, best practice architectures and template solutions. All of these are implemented and maintained by the Cloud Competence Centre.

      Cloud Customer On-boarding is the process of introducing a development team to the Cloud Platform and making sure they follow best practices for architecture, security, and cost management. The Cloud Competence Centre also sets up any required accounts, networking and access for the team to quickly get started with the actual development.

      What are the typical challenges in setting up a Cloud Competence Centre?

      • There’s limited understanding on public cloud platforms and how to leverage them in the organisation
      • As cloud is a new concept, it’s hard to figure out who owns it in the organisation
      • The new function requires a budget to operate which can be hard to get
      • Some development teams feel they can manage the platform themselves without the support of a Cloud Competence Centre
      • A lot of projects are already running in the cloud without a proper governance model

      How can you mitigate these challenges?

      • Create a Cloud Governance Model early on in the Cloud Journey
      • Make sure all stakeholders understand the importance of managing the cloud platform and supporting development teams
      • Train the people on the benefits and new concepts of public cloud platforms
      • Get support from a skilled partner to set up the Cloud Competence Centre working together with your own team

      The key thing to keep in mind when setting up a Cloud Competence Centre is that it has to provide value to its customers (the development teams). The Cloud Competence Centre has to be very skilled in the selected cloud platform and also be able to communicate and document how to leverage the cloud. When you provide the teams a service that speeds up their work and makes their journey to the cloud easier, there will be less Shadow IT and more consistent, secure and automated environments across all business units.

      If you would like more information on how Nordcloud can help you set up your business’s Cloud Competence Centre, visit our services page, or contact us here.

      Blog

      Starter for 10: Meet Jonna Iljin, Nordcloud’s Head of Design

      When people start working with Nordcloud, they generally comment on 2 things. First, how friendly and knowledgeable everyone is. Second,...

      Blog

      Building better SaaS products with UX Writing (Part 3)

      UX writers are not omniscient, and it’s best for them to resist the temptation to work in isolation, just as...

      Blog

      Building better SaaS products with UX Writing (Part 2)

      The main purpose of UX writing is to ensure that the people who use any software have a positive experience.

      Get in Touch

      Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








        Multi-Cloud: Why stop at one platform?

        CATEGORIES

        Blog

        Everyone knows the importance of picking the right tool for the job. Keen woodworkers have a selection of hammers, chisels and saws, golfers carry bags full of clubs, and even the most ardent sports car enthusiasts can see the limitations of a Ferrari when it’s time to take five kids to the beach.

        The cloud is the same. We deal with a number of major providers, each with its own outstanding features and strengths. A business just has to identify its needs and pick the service that best meets those.

        Except why stop at one cloud provider?

        Let’s say, for the sake of an example, that a substantial portion of your compute needs are predictable, stable and that latency isn’t an overriding issue. You might consider a provider that offers a relatively inflexible service, doesn’t necessarily have data centres located close to your users, but that is highly cost effective. The lack of flexibility isn’t an issue because of the predictability of your requirements while the low cost makes it highly attractive.

        However, let us also suppose that you also offer applications where latency is an issue and where it’s also important to be able to scale usage up and down do meet spikes in demand. A second cloud provider, one that has data centres close to your main users and that offers a flexible deal on capacity, is an attractive option even though its charges are higher than the first.

        So, does it have to be an either or? Of course not. We live in a world where it’s possible to choose both.

        But which cloud provider excels in which areas?

        However, as the psychologist Barry Schwartz has argued, choices can complicate matters. You have to understand which cloud provider excels in which areas, the likely impact of their terms and conditions, and you also have to have a breadth of expertise in order to take advantage of multiple platforms, both to develop applications within the different environments and to create the architecture needed so that data can flow easily between platforms where required.

        This is very much one of Nordcloud’s roles, to act as an expert facilitator between customer and cloud providers. It’s our job to know how to match a particular offering to a particular requirement. It’s our job to understand the implications of each provider’s terms of business for our customers, and it’s one of our great strengths that we have the resources to supplement our customers’ in-house technical expertise with our own. So, if your team’s proficiencies allow you to manage one provider’s platform but not another, we can help you to clear that hurdle. Our expertise in building a businesses’ Security & Governance models and core infrastructure, as well as delivering data centre migrations and optimised Cloud environments in a consistent way across the major Cloud platforms has allowed us to become one of the most trusted providers.

        Benefits of Microsoft Azure

        Though we were already working with a number of excellent cloud providers, we have partnered with Microsoft to offer Azure cloud services to our customers. Azure offers particular advantages that make it an attractive option for businesses looking to locate some or all of their computing needs in the cloud.

        For starters, there’s the familiarity of the MS environment, though it should be pointed out that Azure is equally adept at hosting Linux-based applications. Windows is ubiquitous and Microsoft’s range of tools and apps is beyond comprehensive.

        Azure has put especially put emphasis on simplicity and speed. If you need to spin up a project quickly, you need to consider Azure. The human resources are easy to come by – most businesses have no shortage of people skilled in Microsoft-related development – and the tools are easy to use.

        Azure has also addressed concerns relating to server stability with a comprehensive outage protection plan that mirrors users’ data to secure virtual environments. If the possibility of outages and lost data is a worry, then Azure is a good answer. Microsoft has an impressive data centre network with global coverage and is moving into Southern Europe, Africa and South America ahead of the competition. We’re confident that, as providers expand their infrastructure, Azure users won’t find themselves left behind. The business also offers great means of analysing and mining your data for business intelligence through its managed SQL and NoSQL data services.

        Of course, the other cloud services that Nordcloud offers come with their own strengths, but a growing number of businesses, perhaps a majority, are now looking to mix and match with cloud providers to get the best of each to suit their specific needs. It’s a trend we only expect to keep growing.

        Blog

        Starter for 10: Meet Jonna Iljin, Nordcloud’s Head of Design

        When people start working with Nordcloud, they generally comment on 2 things. First, how friendly and knowledgeable everyone is. Second,...

        Blog

        Building better SaaS products with UX Writing (Part 3)

        UX writers are not omniscient, and it’s best for them to resist the temptation to work in isolation, just as...

        Blog

        Building better SaaS products with UX Writing (Part 2)

        The main purpose of UX writing is to ensure that the people who use any software have a positive experience.

        Get in Touch

        Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.