April 2, 2018

Top 3 Challenges of Moving to the Cloud

Yes, everyone has a cloud strategy – it might be public, private, or hybrid. It might be just for greenfield applications or part of a lift-and-shift strategy or both. For years, organizations have been flocking to the cloud given the promises of cost reduction, computing flexibility, and much improved availability of services. The kicker is that there are a number of challenges that can erode many of the benefits associated with the cloud, and it requires proper planning and execution to make the most out of any cloud investment. That’s why we’ve put together 3 major challenges that we see enterprises run into when working with the cloud.

Challenge #1: The Data

The first stumbling block is the data. You know, the stuff that your cloud apps collect, process, analyze and report.  Many teams and organizations have adapted application delivery and support models to fit their cloud strategy. However, it’s often surprising to find that many of these same teams have forgotten about Data. Delivering a service to your users from the cloud means lots of application instances that will be spun-up, on-demand, all over the globe. Correspondingly, you’ll have an explosion in the number of databases that need to be replicated, synchronized, and managed all over the globe. Without a transparent and automated database deployment process to keep your applications and databases in-sync every time there is a change, your team is headed for trouble.

Challenge #2: The Workflow

The next major challenge is the cloud application development workflow itself. The cloud computing mantra is “you build it, you run it.

It’s common for teams to invest in a transparent pipeline that includes build automation, continuous integration, and continuous delivery for application code. However, the same isn’t always true for data. Every time there is a database schema or logic change, database code often flows through a completely separate, manual, and opaque deployment process. Unsurprisingly, a manual review of database code and custom database deployments by DBAs doesn’t scale to the cloud. There are too many database instances across too many environments for any type of manual effort to succeed. To successfully adopt the “you build it, you run it” approach, organizations must allow database code to flow through the same transparent, unified, and automated pipeline as application code to achieve necessary scale.

Challenge #3: Software Architecture

The last major issue is software architecture. As cloud computing adoption has matured, so have the teams. Teams have gone from simple infrastructure-as-a-service solutions to platform-as-a-service or even serverless solutions. Architecturally, this has meant a shift away from giant monolithic applications (and databases), to microservice-based solutions where a small database or datastore underlies each microservice. This change in software architecture means even more databases to manage. To make matters worse, the variety of database platforms in use has exploded. Development teams are now making DB choices based on what best supports their microservice. That not only means more instances to manage from a DB deployment perspective but also more diverse database platforms to manage.

To get the most value out of a move to the cloud, you must find and address these challenges. That way, you can prevent problems that quickly erode many of the benefits that made the move a necessity in the first place.

Learn more about each of these challenges and how to avoid them in our whitepaper on Overcoming the Top 3 Data Challenges with Cloud Application Development.

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