IT Focus Area: cloud
January 15, 2020
Data Optimization in the Cloud: Too Good to Be True?
Cloud isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a strategic tool that continues to help companies save money and optimize their user experience.
According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to have grown 17.5% in 2019, totaling $214.3 billion—this is up from $182.4 billion in 2018.
If the trajectory continues, the public cloud services market will reach $289.1 billion dollars by 2021.
Clearly, cloud still reigns king when it comes to data optimization and business modernization.
As a business leader, running your technology or part of your technology from the cloud just makes sense—it delivers overall business efficiency, including savings and scalability.
And, when it comes to modernization, cloud can be a key tool in your strategy. For example, cloud migration is critical right now for companies who have an on-premises Structured Query Language (SQL) database server that may have reached its end of service deadline during 2019.
So, how can your organization benefit from the cloud this year?
Migrate your SQL database
Many years ago, companies input or built their data on-premises with SQL. Fast forward to today: some businesses have prepared to move these databases to the cloud in order to garner its many benefits while others are forced to take action due to end of service events. This, of course, can lead to security vulnerabilities and compliance issues.
The important things to understand about SQL data are:
- It is the highest priority data
- Users will always need to access it quickly
- The data must be secure
A SQL server hosted on a virtual machine will be mostly designed and built for high-use points. For example, an e-commerce company probably builds its database for the extra activity on Black Friday, not for January when activity is low. But when you build your entire database for the high points, that means there are wasted resources during downtime, which translates to a financial hit.
Moving a SQL database to the cloud offers the ability to scale workloads up or down; to only pay for what you use; and to allow users to access data quickly. So, if an e-commerce company needs to process sales quickly on Black Friday and then run customer reports shortly thereafter, it can all be managed seamlessly. Plus, there are the added security and business continuity benefits that come with the power of the cloud.
Get serious scale with cloud
Being able to scale users and data up or down is always essential for a business and its employees, as it needs to grow or reduce staff. Picture this: Company A is using an application for its employee portal and intranet, and it’s located on-premises. This application is accessible to approximately 100,000 employees. But the company wants to be able to serve every one of its employees—who number in the millions worldwide.
Migrating this application to the cloud allows Company A to satisfy the on-demand requests of two and a half million employees. That’s 20 times the original population.
Company A also reaps these benefits from migrating to the cloud:
- Access to data from anywhere in the world
- Access via a variety of devices, including iPad, laptop, watch or mobile phone
- “As a service” operation—end-users only pay for what they use
- Ability to handle high transaction points throughout the year, such as during benefits enrollment
Rightsize your workload
Overprovisioning is overpaying. Another benefit of going to the cloud is the ability to rightsize your organization’s workload. In an on-premises environment today, businesses are typically using some form of hypervisor technology, and the virtual machines for these workloads are often over-provisioned.
- What if an organization has eight CPUs, but only needs two?
- What if an organization has 128 gigs of memory, but only needs 24?
The extra CPU and memory cost money.
So, the goal is always to rightsize those applications first, and then move them to the cloud. This is important because if you “lift and shift,” (a strategy that moves an application or workload from one environment to another without stopping to redesign the app or workflow) as is, your company may pay three to five times what it is paying for on-premises. Once in the cloud, you can still grow or reduce some of the workloads’ resources as needed and only pay for what you use, when you use it—minimizing any sort of financial burden.
For scale, savings, and SQL, cloud optimization is real
Cloud’s reign is an enlightened one, with benefits that are far-reaching.
Organizations that need to address issues with SQL can use cloud to gain increased operational efficiency, improved availability and scalability, and a reduction in costs, which help speed time-to-market and ROI.
And regardless of your SQL status, businesses will always need scalability—of all kinds and for all users. Cloud is a powerful tool to make that happen. And, since the cloud model is simply, “pay as you go,” it’s the crowning choice for organizations that want continued financial efficiency for years to come.