When business decision makers discuss moving to the cloud, it’s important they see the migration in the proper light. The technology facilitates numerous business processes, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for software management altogether. According to Nick Kephart, product marketing manager for cloud management provider RightScale, this is especially important to keep in mind when planning cloud-powered applications.
“Managing applications involves much more than simply getting them launched,” Kephart wrote in a Wired article. “A typical application has a lot of life events: updating code, patching security vulnerabilities, capacity management, performance optimization, backups, failover. There are many tools to help with each of these tasks.”
Taking the processes and technologies required to manage applications is an important element to optimizing cloud deployments within budgetary constraints. Interoperability is likely to become a primary challenge for successful cloud deployments in coming years, particularly as companies use a number of cloud vendors, explore custom application development and keep some operations in house. For this reason, Kephart said, comprehensive cloud management tools such as auto-scaling and disaster recovery will become more important for helping companies simplify their cloud environments.
Keeping costs under control is a necessary element to any technology initiative, but it is especially important for making the best use of the cloud. As TechTarget contributor Jeff Cogswell noted, software costs can quickly escalate whether programs are built in the cloud or in-house. The important thing to remember is that there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer, so companies must carefully compare the available options. For example, building a custom application internally may save on a cloud subscription fee, but it can also mean more in-house resources and time spent in the development phase.