What is CloudOps? Best Practices for Elevating Your Cloud Operations
Learn how to optimize your cloud operations efforts to elevate your impact on enterprise data storage.
Over the last two decades, cloud computing has become increasingly ubiquitous and accessible among enterprises. The segment is expected to grow further with a CAGR of 16.3% from $445.3 bn in 2021 to $947.3 bn in 2026 driven by cloud providers offering more custom solutions. CloudOps, or cloud operations, evolved over this shift from on-premise to cloud and hybrid solutions.
In this article, we’ll be exploring CloudOps, how to employ a CloudOps strategy, and some of the best practices to get the most out of it.
What is Cloud Operations (CloudOps)?
Cloud operations or CloudOps is a group of tasks for maintaining cloud infrastructure and delivering cloud services that meet the demands of an organization or its clients and customers. This includes maintaining networks, managing servers, ensuring availability of services, risk management, disaster recovery, change management, and others.
CloudOps evolved from ITOps and DevOps and shares concepts from both. But the shift to the cloud requires tools, talent, and skills unique to it. Cloud computing brings unique benefits to organizations; organizations become more digital and more independent of geography. And to exploit these benefits, companies need a strong CloudOps team with the right expertise to understand the needs of the organization.
CloudOps vs DevOps
DevOps evolved as both a culture and an approach to IT to develop and deploy applications quicker. The approach encouraged two traditionally different teams—IT operations and developers—to work together and collaborate better.
CloudOps uses some of these DevOps principles and tools to deploy applications on the cloud instead of using on-premise hardware. Here, the actual hardware is often maintained by a third-party cloud provider. But depending on the architecture or the platform, the CloudOps team may be responsible for virtualization, load balancing, application and network security, and more.
CloudOps teams use automation as much or even more than DevOps
Automation is one of the core principles of DevOps
Cloud tends to be less expensive compared to DevOps
Since DevOps teams often use on-premise hardware, there’s usually a lot more overhead
Due to the nature of the Cloud, it's easy to scale up CloudOps applications
Not easy to scale up compared to CloudOps
In most cases, disaster recovery and risk management are baked into cloud service agreements.
DevOps teams are responsible for managing disaster recovery data centers and servers
Often part of Cloud service providers’ SLA
Handled by the DevOps team
What Challenges Do Businesses Face When Using the Cloud?
One of the significant challenges of shifting to the cloud is the risk of vendor lock-in. Different cloud providers require specific engineering requirements, making migrating to another cloud solution resource intensive, if not impossible. A multi-cloud or a hybrid-cloud approach can prevent this to an extent.
Another major challenge is managing the cost of CloudOps. In the Multicloud Maturity Report published by Seagate, 84% of respondents agreed their existing data can produce business value. At the same time, 73% reported that they are hampered by data costs. To mitigate this, companies have to invest in experts—be it through consultants or by hiring talent—before they shift to the cloud.
Organizations also find it difficult to align their own risk management policies to cloud service offerings. In CloudOps, disaster recovery and redundancy are typically managed by the service provider and rarely offer custom cloud services.
Enterprises also struggle with compliance and security when they shift to the cloud. Without the right talent or expertise, organizations won’t have enough visibility over their cloud, compromising security.
Benefits (and Disadvantages) of CloudOps
CloudOps confers numerous benefits to users:
Reduced cost: With a traditional on-premise solution, organizations incur a lot of overhead for redundancy and disaster recovery. Cloud providers are instead able to leverage the economy of scale to offer these services at a much lower cost without affecting the quality.
Improved scalability: Cloud Operations are easier to scale compared to traditional systems; scaling up is often as simple as a couple of clicks.
Shorter time to deploy/market: Because CloudOps is easier to scale, it's easier to deploy applications.
Improved security: When it first emerged, companies expressed concerns with cloud security since they essentially were holding an application and data in someone else’s hardware, often along with others. With today’s improvements, it’s tough to beat the investment that cloud providers make for security. They have the best cybersecurity teams in the world for guarding their system—not to mention their investments for physically securing their data centers.
One of the biggest concerns is privacy. Many industries have strict regulations on how and where customer data is stored. Many countries mandate that the data pertaining to their citizens be stored in the same country. There’s also the inherent privacy risk when you’re storing data in someone else’s hardware.
Another disadvantage is that it's difficult to get the granular control or customization options you may get with an on-premise solution. And as discussed above, there’s the risk of vendor lock-in when working with CloudOps.
CloudOps Best Practices
For most organizations, migration to the cloud is inevitable, if it hasn’t happened already. Here are some of the best practices for CloudOps that will provide good results.
Develop a Cloud Migration Strategy
Before enterprises migrate to the cloud, they should develop a comprehensive strategy that answers all the questions about it.
The first step is to define the goals of cloud migration. These metrics should accurately showcase the success of the project and make sure they align with the goals of your organization.
Based on these goals and metrics, choose the type of cloud environment that would work best for you. In some cases, a public cloud may work best, but if you want more privacy and security, a private cloud may be a better option. And in some cases, a hybrid or a multicloud option may give the flexibility that an organization needs.
The next step is to create a cloud migration checklist. When migrating at a rapid pace, a checklist can help you dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
You’ll also need a communication plan as part of your cloud migration strategy. For a successful migration, you need employees to adopt the new solution as part of their workflow. Organizations also have to invest in training the employees to actively contribute to the change and exploit the new system for maximum benefit.
Develop a Set Process for Modernizing Applications
Instead of using ad hoc approaches for modernizing individual apps, develop a standardized set process. This can help avoid mistakes and missed steps.
Automate Your Cloud Processes for Scaling
Instead of scaling manually, an automated approach can reduce your workload as well as minimize the cost of the cloud.
Build Redundancy into the Process
With CloudOps, it’s easy to make your apps robust with redundant systems. And it doesn’t incur overhead as with an on-premise approach. Make sure the organization gets the most out of this possibility and ensure minimal downtime and low time to repair.
Work with Your Vendor Interface to Set Limits and Monitor Costs
Billing is one of the most complicated elements with CloudOps. While the costs are lower than on-premise solutions, most cloud vendors have a complicated and not-so-transparent billing process. Disorganization costs companies an average of 14% more for migration to the cloud per year than they originally planned. Make sure you monitor costs and set limits to avoid expensive surprises.
Partner with a Cloud Service that Automates, Scales, and Secures
A good cloud service can help you get the most out of the cloud without falling into any of the pits surrounding it. Lyve Cloud gets you exactly this—as a multicloud solution, Lyve Cloud lets you move easily between different cloud environments, reduces your cloud computing costs, and guarantees high availability and world-class security. Talk to an expert to learn how Lyve Cloud can uplevel your CloudOps strategy and secure your data for the long term.