Moving infrastructure to the cloud: 5 not-so-obvious benefits
Cloud is a buzzword everyone talks of, and cloud migration is considered inevitable for every business.
There are obvious and self-explanatory cloud usage advantages like cost-efficiency, scalability, increased resiliency, optimal resource allocation and zero capital expenses.Today, however, we will list 5 more subtle, yet equally important benefits of moving your infrastructure to the cloud. Here are these benefits:
- Infrastructure as Code
- Immutable infrastructure
- Interaction through API’s
- Out-of-the-box feature availability
- Homogenous environment
Below we will describe them in more details, so every business can check if these benefits add value for them (and believe us, they do!)
Infrastructure as Code
Infrastructure as Code (IaC, programmable infrastructure) is an approach to building the IT infrastructure in such a way that Ops (or DevOps) team can automatically provision and manage instances through code, rather than doing this manually. When the whole infrastructure is described using declarative code and configuration files, software delivery and ongoing services adjustments happen within seconds and minutes, not hours and days. In addition, this allows the team members collaborate on the infrastructure easily, as each DevOps engineer can read the code and update it as needed, without having to actually setup new servers, plug in the cables, etc.
Immutable infrastructure is an approach when all the parameters are described through scripts and configuration files, so and the instances are never updated. When a new configuration of an environment is needed, the change to these files are made, the previous instance is decommissioned and the new one is deployed. This makes the infrastructure independent from hardware limitations, as ANY needed environment can be configured and deployed with a few clicks, the benefit a brick-and-mortar dedicated servers cannot offer. This also protects from configuration drift, where separate servers are managed on their own, build their unique history of updates and end up having slight differences in software versions and configurations, which poses threat as a potential security breach.
Interaction through API’s
With cloud configuration management tools, all software can interact and call the functions of other applications through APIs, thus vastly increasing the range of functions performed and decreasing operational overhead. Programmatic access through APIs is actually the thing that enables IaC ideology in the first place, as DevOps engineers can simply order the software to make API calls for any needed functions and updates.
Out-of-the-box feature availability
When using the cloud, many features are a part of the cloud service provider (CSP) service package. You don’t have to install, setup and configure a MySQL or PostgreSQL database, for example. Just specify the credentials and you are good to go. With several clicks you can set up quite a complex software ecosystem for your needs The same goes for the load balancers and a ton of other software features that are activated by simply ticking the appropriate checkbox and configured with minimal effort.
Homogeneous virtual environment
Cloud hosting works without regards to the underlying hardware layer. The virtual layer you operate on pays no attention to the hardware vendors, software drivers, etc. The IT specialist simply requests 4 more servers with required configurations, and the machines are created at once, without the need to setup the physical servers, format the disks, install the operating system, install and configure the software and drivers, etc. This ensures the software and API’s work with the same result regardless of the hardware configuration or data center location in the real world.
The cloud is the way the computing will evolve, indeed. It provides the businesses with immense benefits of cost-efficiency, scalability, security, etc. More importantly, though, it reduces the operational overhead greatly, both for an SMB owner performing the IT tasks on their own and for a specialized IT team of a big company, responsible for running a wide range of operations.
Did your infrastructure migration to the cloud go smoothly? Or are you just planning one? Did we miss any of the additional benefits the cloud provides? Share your thoughts in the comments below!