So many clouds - 7 things to consider when choosing your IaaS provider

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Information about So many clouds - 7 things to consider when choosing your IaaS provider

Published on March 3, 2014

Author: sirris_be



So many clouds
7 things to consider when choosing your
IaaS provider

So many clouds 7 things to consider when choosing your IaaS provider Sirris IaaS breakfast 2014/02/11 By Frederik Denkens @skyscrapers @fdenkens

We ... ● help companies figure out cloud for their web applications (choosing the right cloud, architecture, etc) ● design, build and manage platforms in the cloud ● are your DevOps partner that integrates with your team

Small disclaimer ... ● ● ● ● We are an AWS Consulting Partner But are not married to them We work with various suppliers (Linode, AWS, …) It all depends on customer requirements

<irony> How to choose </irony>

Based on … first impressions?

Based on … first impressions? ● Like you would choose wine, based on a pretty label? ● Based on the presenters we saw the last few months? ● The seemingly safe choice?

The safe choice?

The safe choice? ● The saying used to be: “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” ● Maybe today it should be: “nobody ever got fired for buying Amazon Web Services” ● All the cool kids are doing it, why not us?

Or maybe not?

Or maybe not? ● It seems this Belgian start-up didn’t have a good business case for AWS. (though I’m not sure if going for a private cloud was the best choice for them) ● Many other examples of people learning that there is much to be considered.

Oooh, it has lot’s of shiny knobs and lights!

Oooh, it has lot’s of shiny knobs and lights! ● Don’t let the techie in you decide. ● Technology shouldn’t be your first guiding principle. ● Rather it is a result of the coming exercise.

So … how to choose?

So … how to choose? ● It’s a holistic decision, taking ALL business angels into account. ● Considering both today and tomorrow ● In other words, it’s a business decision! ● Impossible to give you a one size fits all, but let me give you some things to think about.

Make an inventory

Make an inventory ● Inventorise your workloads ● See what they need in terms of scalability, flexibility, availability, security, async/sync, etc ➔ Allows you to do an initial matching to the offering of each provider ➔ Required homework for the next steps

Your software delivery process

Your software delivery process ● Waterfall vs Full Continuous Deployment ● The further you go, the more Infrastructure as code becomes interesting ● But also poses more automation challenges ➔ Will allow you to know how important the IaaSproviders’ automation possibilities (API’s, etc) are to you.

How is your software architected?

How is your software architected? ● Does it depend on underlying layers (infra/os/storage) to handle challenges around scalability, availability and security? ➔ Go with an IaaS provider who also solves these issues for you and gives you a strong SLA. (Probably at a higher cost, more complexity and less flexibility.)

How is your software architected? ● or at the other of the spectrum: is it a true cloud design? (designed for failure, loosely coupled, built for scale, …) ➔ Go with an IaaS provider who provides you all the necessary blocks to control your own destiny (Probably at a lower cost, less complexity and more flexibility.)

How much wheels (are you inventing?)

How much wheels (are you inventing?) ● Seek out workloads in your application that can be considered ‘commodities’ (messaging, queuing, etc) ● Don’t reinvent the wheel ● Potential benefits: no maintenance, faster time-tomarket, better built, higher QoS ● (Risk of lock-in: business decision, not emotional) ➔ Consider the richness of services each IaaS provider offers (and how far they move up in the PaaS stack)

Compliance and regulation

Compliance and regulation ● We have a customer (bank in NL), they say: “no US owned company” because of Patriot Act vs personal data handling/privacy liability ● Think about compliancy on data location ● What standards do your customers care about (HIPAA, ISO 27001, PCI, etc)? ➔ Might be a reason to go for an EU or regional company ➔ Consider their certifications

Where are your customers?

Where are your customers? ● Latency is still a reality ● Can have a major impact on the usability of your product/service ● IaaS is great, gives you access to the world ● But make sure your provider has locations close to where your customers are. ➔ Check out your providers coverage and network

Cost model and control

Cost model and control ● It’s a complex topic, a presentation by itself ● AWS (highly variable, flexible) vs ‘classic’ outsourced, typical model (fixed, inflexible) ● But don’t worry … it’s manageable and predictable by continuous measurement and evaluation ● If you do it right, you can save a lot of money ➔ In any case: it’s very important that you understand the cost structure of the chosen provider and link it to your own cost-model.

Where to next?

To the cloud! (Mandatory cloud image)

It’s a voyage

It’s a voyage ● Know where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow > make a roadmap ● Include: development process, application architecture, what IaaS/cloud benefits will you take up first, business requirements, etc ● Start with an application that's well suited to cloud ● Or get your feet wet with non-critical stuff like your test-environments ● Go step-by-step as enabled by true IaaS

It’s a mindset

It’s a mindset ● Enjoying benefits of IaaS to the maximum requires a cultural/mental shift ● Start educating/forming yourself and your team ● Build/evolve your processes and way of working with what you learn ● Get inspired by looking into DevOps / Infrastructure as code / Continuous delivery / Cloud centric design / lean principles / etc

Make a choice

And evolve

And evolve ● Unlike the choice of blue/red pill, with IaaS you can and will have to evolve all the time ● Everything evolves the whole time: the world, your market, your business, your knowledge, etc ● Reevalute regularly ● Maybe even go multi-provider? Perfectly possible today. ● Fear of lock-in: these days the worst kind of lock-in is contractual lock-in.

The main benefit of IaaS, agility

The main benefit of IaaS, agility ● Main benefit of IaaS is the agility. It is what enables the cost benefits, scalability benefits, etc ● If your organisation cannot match that agility, it can become a nightmare (and then you start reading the posts “why we went back to our own hardware” …) ● and vice versa: make sure your provider has the same level of agility as you have.

Thank you. Contact us if you want help in making the right choice. @skyscrapers @fdenkens

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