Managed Cloud Operations vs. In-house Infrastructure

- 5th Nov 2014


After spending few countable years in Managed Cloud Operations, I feel responsible to share my thoughts on hosting. The focus of this article is to find out whether you have chosen the right environment to deploy your product or service. In other words, do you know what factors are to be considered before you opt for the space where you will run your software?

If you are the company that does not need to run hosted application after building, this article may not be for you. However, if you are responsible for managing high scale infrastructure to deliver four 9’s SLAs (promised to your end customers) then you would have answered the following questions at some point of time:

Are you ready for the most important day(s) of your business?

Do you know more than 60% of your traffic comes on certain important days of your service offering? This means that your infrastructure usage is going to vary from time to time for the same end user service. A flat approach to procure basic infrastructure elements (servers/storage/bandwidth/etc.) is therefore not a good idea. Having elastic infrastructure is crucial. Scaling up or scaling down based on need of the business influences other elements of your operations such as cost, performance, SLA, etc. Next generation services demand flexibility in infrastructure availability.

Do you provide the right environment for your developers with efficiency?

Productivity of your developers increases significantly if (the so called) “setup issues” are managed well. How often had you seen the need to have versions of production replica available for the developers? An unexpected issue in the production environment reduces by a large margin if developer environments are similar/closer to the production environment. But, can you afford that? Do you see a need for on demand setups for different types of environments?

Do you prefer using products or products as SaaS?

If you have used products developed by somebody else as extensions of your product then you would have spent time in evaluating it for functionality, performance, deployment, scaling, fail safe, etc. But imagine not worrying about these and using the product as a service. Look out for such services from your own infrastructure provider. It will be seamless to integrate, easy to deploy and high on reliability.

Are you leaking dollars for your R&D efforts?

Re-inventing the wheel” is a common mistake that many of us make (in the software industry). “Optimization” is a word that is never ending for us infrastructure folks. If you are running after innovation and optimization for your infrastructure and backend services, then you are not looking at the new world where everything is available as a service. In industry terms these are IaaS & BaaS. You may be ready for a onetime expense on innovation; however you may not have realized that it slowly turns into a huge investment to maintain for production use cases. Leveraging readymade services is an intelligent move.

Are you the only one who is protecting your application?

I might sound repetitive but isn’t it better to join hands with skilled/seasoned folks who know how to fight the devil? Why go alone? A security threat is always an unknown beast and needs support at all levels to mitigate a major disaster. If you have to worry about environment and your applications when it comes security you must know that it is a tough & huge task requiring resources.

Infrastructure hosting is not only becoming simpler, but wiser and efficient if you choose the right option.

I would highly recommend “Adopt Cloud”. If you are not a believer of this, then please wait for my next blog for more data points. They are based on my real experiences while powering services for some of the world’s leading sports, media and retail brands.

July Systems is redefining how businesses go-to-market with mobile. We provide Managed Cloud Operation services combined with Uptime commitment, Scaling & Event Handling driven through SLA.

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About the Author: Rama is Sr. Director, Operations at July Systems and is associated with July for the past 11 years. He is July’s cloud guru and responsible for managed operations that powers some of the biggest brands in sports, media and retail industries. His Mantra in his words is “Highly scalable solutions with superior uptime and reliable response time should be achieved with the lowest cost”.