How the Cloud makes managed services more manageable

Nate Nelson, November 29, 2022

As individuals, 71% of us backup our devices to the cloud. Businesses have started doing the same thing with their data and servers. In fact, 50% of all the business data in the world is stored in the cloud according to Exploding Topics’ list of 30 Amazing Cloud Computing Stats

From cost to flexibility, there are major advantages to operating your business using a cloud-based infrastructure. Having over 20 years of experience in IT infrastructure, I have overseen many companies’ transition from on-prem to cloud servers and have seen some common situations arise. Three of those are outlined below. Maybe you’ve faced similar issues or others all your own. For each, I’ll share how a cloud-based infrastructure made a painful situation much less painful.

Big Product Launch

A client has a big product launch in less than 24 hours and the expected traffic will exceed the capability of their servers. They need to avoid a site crash.

Even with the most careful planning, in IT we have all come to realise that we are not perfect. Sometimes something as critical as server-readiness is forgotten when the business is focused on something else.

For this client, we had very little time to implement a horizontal scaling solution. Horizontal scaling is simply building out additional servers to handle the larger traffic load. Other options could be increasing the size of the server for example but with a cloud-based infrastructure, creating additional servers is more logical. There is no hardware to buy. Those new servers can be easily removed when they are not needed. The cost increase is temporary and there is no downtime when adding servers rather than making changes to an existing server. 

This same solution outside of a cloud-based infrastructure could have potentially taken months when considering hardware needs and copying data. Plus, the investment is made in hardware that isn’t needed long-term.

Massive Publishing Job

A client using AEM needs to publish 2800 pages at one time to publishers that are geographically dispersed. They want to be able to test the pages before they are available to the public and have them show up all at once when they are exposed. 

Once again, we used horizontal scaling. In this case, we provided the client with private publish servers where authoring and testing could take place. Then, using built-in tools we were able to help the team cutover to the new servers and have the content up within sections.

The cloud shows its advantage here because we could build more servers quickly without purchasing hardware. Plus, when the old servers were no longer being used, they could easily be removed and along with them their cost. As long as deletions are timely, the client only pays for what they use.

Preparing for Disaster

A hurricane, tornado, power loss due to weather or an earthquake can affect physical locations that house data centers and without a Disaster Recovery (DR) environment ready to go, such an event can lead to a loss of business.

Maintaining a DR environment is like purchasing any other insurance policy. Everyone hates to make the investment for something that may never happen, they're always glad they did when the inevitable occurs.

A DR environment can be more costly than a primary environment. This is because though it not actually in use DR environment will be kept up to date and tested regularly so it is ready to go in case of emergency.

A DR environment on the cloud can put in a region that is known to be more save and less prone to national disasters. You can also geographically disperse them without any additional cost. Setting up the author server for on-the-fly use is tricky but by using snapshots and storing them in the cloud, it is possible to access recent images of the environment too. 

The key is ensuring that you use best practices when building your DR and to consult with someone who knows what they are doing when creating it. 

Final Thoughts

In considering your holistic environment, our advice is to pay attention to keep your infrastructure clean, eliminating what is not used so that your costs stay under control. In some cases, it is helpful to seek outside counsel during setup, when making changes or for an assessment so you can build a roadmap. 

 Benefits of utilising the 3|SHARE Managed Services Team:

  • High value for lower cost: The team is lean, all AWS certified and doesn’t operate with a lot of unnecessary overhead
  • Quick resolutions: there will always be someone dedicated to monitoring 24/7 meaning issue reports will be picked up and addressed quickly
  • Expertise: 3|SHARE will leverage industry best practices and knowledge of their own experiences working on many systems to manage your servers

If you’re not yet on the cloud, but want to know more about what that transition will look like for you, or if you want help with assessing your environment as it is, contact 3|SHARE and let our team help!

Nate Nelson

Nate Nelson is 3|SHARE's Director of Remote Operations Management. He has been with the team since 2013. What Nate most enjoys about working at 3|SHARE are the people and the flexibility. Outside of work, he teaches Jiu-Jitsu to children and adults.