As confidence in cloud technology grows, the distrust from organisations is fading, but there are still a number of issues to address before companies confidently run mission-critical applications in a public cloud environment.
“While private or hybrid cloud environments often present the most palatable cloud option for mission-critical apps due to the level of control IT teams can maintain over infrastructure, public cloud has a lot to offer,” said Stuart Mills, regional director at CenturyLink ANZ. “The flexibility of public cloud, for example, gives companies the ability to freely scale as business needs change.
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“Questions of security and reliability around public cloud deployments of mission-critical applications are well-founded. The potential for service outages still exists, although the risk is diminishing. Security and compliance issues are also reasonable concerns, even though they can be alleviated with the right approach and a bit of forethought.”
Four considerations will help companies successfully run mission-critical applications in a public cloud:
Security is rightly one of the top concerns for businesses running mission-critical apps in a public cloud environment. It is essential that the organisation’s public cloud provider is provisioned with proper security policies to meet specific compliance requirements.
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Regulatory compliance is a core element in information management. If companies are found to be non-compliant, they can be subject to hefty fines, not to mention the data breach risks. Cloud providers need to have the right controls in place to ensure mission-critical information is managed properly.
In some public cloud scenarios, the burden of availability is placed on the customer, meaning the company may need to redesign applications to be resilient on the cloud platform. To avoid this responsibility, the public cloud provider’s platform should ensure high availability with tools such as automated replication and monitoring.
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When an application is moved to a cloud environment, it often requires manual network configuration changes, which can introduce errors. A public cloud platform that gives IT teams the ability to configure their network topology as they would in their own data centre can alleviate this burden.