Cloud Maneuvers: How Moving to the Cloud Impacts Your Network
Everyone has their head in the clouds these days — and rightfully so, considering all the advantages and benefits to be found there. But is your organization ready to make the big move? Here’s a list of resources that will help guide you on everything from what to consider when planning to the likely impact moving to the cloud has on your network and how you manage it.
1. Preparing for Cloud Computing’s Impact on the Network
TechTarget noted three vital issues you should consider: source data dimension, data updates, backups and distribution of access. Essentially, you’ll need to consider how data will get to cloud applications, where it will be stored, how and when to do backups and whether to connect the cloud resource to the company network. You’ll also have to debate the risks and rewards such integration entails.
2. Impacting the On-Premises Data Center
The cloud will impact both the data center and your network. While the on-premises data center will likely shrink in importance, the network becomes increasingly more important not only in terms of connectivity, but also as the best means to manage and secure cloud-based resources. Therefore, outages become much more serious. “Networks (both internal and external) have been and are going to remain a factor of crucial importance for companies,” TechRepublic noted. “Physical network connections and the hardware they run through will likely continue to reside in the data center … [with] more network hardware coming onto the scene, as well as fail-safes like multiple ISP connections.”
3. Planning for Bandwidth Impact
“If you’re moving terabytes or petabytes of data [to the cloud], remember that will take time. Probably on the order of days,” Madison Logic’s Mark Herschberg told Enterprise CIO Forum. Plan workarounds, or contingency and business continuity plans, for the duration of the migration.
4. Overcoming Obstacles to Cloud Computing
Security is a top concern when using the cloud. Be careful that you secure sensitive data as you would protect servers in the on-premises data center, but don’t go overboard with additional data security options for less sensitive data; that’s a surefire way to kill your budget unnecessarily.
An IBM report noted that moving to the cloud will raise questions about uptime and data access. Is your network prepared to meet the new demand from mobile or remote users? Do you anticipate any network bottlenecks with regard to cloud applications? Leaders must examine how these concerns will impact cloud use.
5. Developing a Cloud-First Policy
Move to a cloud-first policy for new projects. This will help with your overall migration to the cloud and also enable you to monitor and manage the effects on your network from the start. In your cloud-first policy, be sure to answer key questions first. One IBM report identified such important questions as:
- “Can the needed functionality largely be met by a SaaS application or a pre-integrated solution from a cloud provider’s catalog?”
- “Can a Web-based application be developed, tested and deployed directly from the cloud?”
Answer these questions to determine the strength of your network in the new cloud environment.
Too many enterprises make the move to the cloud without a clear plan for migration. That’s a formula for disaster. Skipping any of the above steps when moving to the cloud could wreak havoc on your network — and subsequently your whole operation.