Cloud optimization is much more than simply moving all your workloads to the cloud. It’s also important to realize the process doesn’t happen just once. What many businesses don’t consider is that optimizing the cloud for themselves is an ongoing process. As the business climate changes, so must the virtual environment. The initial planning stage won’t carry forth a set of policies that will matter much if they stay static.

Therefore, the optimization process must be managed and reshaped along the way. Many processes take place in the cloud at once. We won’t go one by one, but rather provide a guideline for how to keep abreast of the needs of each as your cloud implementation matures. To optimize the cloud for your company, here are a few concepts to keep in mind.

Assessment: Different departments use the cloud in different ways. Control is a hard concept to grasp, but visibility can help determine your current position, identify key goals, and learn what it will take to get there. By thoroughly assessing the needs of the company, you can determine major factors such as capacity, administrator access, and how resources are scaled up and down to satisfy budgetary requirements.

One way to assess your cloud is to track resources, data backup, and activity through dashboards. This can help decide what optimization measures to pursue and identify a baseline to track your efforts against.

Long-Term Planning: It can be tempting to make instant tweaks to the system. First, look at whether that change will have a short- or long-term impact. Positive effects in terms of cost and meeting business goals over several months or years should be realized. With a big picture plan, you can decide what departments receive priority based on their importance, and revise cloud programs as your business needs evolve.

Find the Best Strategy: There is no single cloud strategy that works for everybody. The size and scope of your cloud operation depends on your company. Some workloads may best be kept on premises. Many organizations are setting up hybrid clouds, but the exact configuration needs to be worked out through collaboration between various departments.

Manage the Risks: One of the greatest risks with the cloud is unencrypted data. Sensitive information must be identified before it is moved, so that the appropriate measures can be taken. Also look at process variables. Make sure that permissions are properly handled and that password policies are in place and followed. To mitigate the risks, there must be a system to uncover them to prevent unauthorized access and malicious activity through system-wide policies, controls, and monitoring solutions.

Maintain a Balanced Infrastructure: Collecting data, reporting on it, and identifying trends are important to assessing infrastructure. Are assets being over-utilized or underperforming? Complete evaluations will let you know so performance can be optimized based on the current workload and environment.

Process automation doesn’t come without effort. First, you need to define how the business should be run, and then align your business policies accordingly. Automated triggers can then be highly beneficial. That’s especially so when the system can react based on drops in utilization or operating costs reach a certain threshold.

Data analytics are not something you can ignore. Investing in effective analytical systems is part of the game, and something you’ll have to budget for. In addition to governance, policy making and enforcement, planning, and strategizing, there is another piece to the puzzle. Managed service providers – they don’t just offer static products. They can help fine-tune a cloud service that meets your needs, address concerns from reliability to pricing, not to mention deliver the results for your company that they have become reputable for.

By addressing business requirements on many fronts, and working in collaboration with personnel, departments, and service providers, you can effectively optimize the cloud for your company.

 

by: Rick Delgado