There are many important advantages to cloud computing, including reduced IT costs, flexible scalability options, improved disaster recovery capabilities, and more. But these advantages do not come without their share of challenges. Cloud environments, especially multi-cloud ones, can be somewhat complex to master. Serious problems may occur if they are not handled properly, including compliance issues, security breaches, and a massive waste of time, resources and money.
That is why it is crucial to follow and implement best practices in the realm of cloud management. Staying up to date on the most recent advancements can help you optimize your cloud environment and avoid major pitfalls. Over the past several years we have witnessed companies establish dedicated Cloud Centers of Excellence (CCoE) and clear protocols to achieve this goal, but even companies that can’t or won’t go as far as creating such a function have plenty they can do to keep up.
The main components of cloud management best practices
- Observability: This is a challenging task regardless of the cloud environment you’ve chosen to work with, and even more so when a multi-cloud structure is in place. Getting a clear and quick overview of the operational and financial aspects of your cloud environment across teams, regions and accounts is as hard to achieve as it is important to establish. Without it, you are in for a few unpleasant surprises regarding the cost and performance of your cloud architecture.
- Optimization: Cloud optimization is an ongoing effort that changes as we grow to understand our needs and as our business goals advance over time. Fine-tuning the environment to make it more cost-efficient and effective must be a continuous process in order for it to be truly productive. This process may have a significant impact on the bottom line and we must pay attention not only to issues involving finance, but also focus on the infrastructure itself to reduce downtime and improve productivity. At the end of the day, a strong cloud environment is one that hits the subtle balance between various cost, time and functionality considerations.
- Automation: One great thing about continuously optimized processes is that many parts can be automated to save time and minimize human error. Establishing certain rules and setting a customized system that takes them into account will create a smoother and more polished process that does not require too much effort and is virtually foolproof.
- Cost control: If it seems as though we’ve mentioned the issue of cost quite a bit in this article, that’s because we have. It’s important, challenging, and unfortunately neglected enough to justify its own category. Deviation from best practices can bring with it cost implications that you may not be aware of, exposing you to potentially massive budget overruns. That is why it’s critical in this case to follow and implement clear best practice protocols that will help you meet your specific short and long-term business goals. Each organization has different cost focus and therefore the FinOps team should and would have different policies to follow by using tags and continuous cost processing.
- Security and compliance: A weak cloud environment adds to the already alarming risk of data leaks and cyberattacks. Understanding the distribution of responsibility and the limitations of cloud providers in protecting your data is key to creating best practices for the entire organization. Compliance rules are needed even if you don’t use any cloud-base solutions at all, but they become that much more critical when external storage is involved.
Practical tips for staying updated on cloud computing best practices
- Make it someone’s responsibility: Choosing a designated person to oversee the updating and implementation of best practices within the organization is a step in the right direction. Have someone perform research and read relevant blogs and magazines on a regular basis. Make it part of their job description! Encourage the person or team in charge to share and even summarize their insights to make the information available to everyone, and know that there’s at least one person who considers this issue part of their official to-do list.
- Choose the right tools: Some cloud management tools, including CloudWize, make best practices a built-in feature and include in their offering a library of rules to choose from for continuous optimization. Make it a practice (best practice :)) of the vetting process to ask vendors how their product or service helps get this part of the job done.
- Turn knowledge into practice: It’s not enough to learn about the latest advancements in cloud management; you need to turn this knowledge into practical procedures and implement it across the organization. Whenever someone on the team shares relevant information on cloud management, ask them to take things a step further and think how this concept can be applied at your company. Encourage the creation of a clear methodology that anyone can reach, understand, and follow. When possible, automate parts of the process.
- Know when things get off course: Don’t just implement best practices and hope for the best. Instead, know when something deviates from the plan and act on it. Once again, systems like CloudWize offer integrated alerts that immediately inform on any unauthorized changes to your cloud architecture. This will help you stop problematic action from going on any further and make the necessary adjustments on time. That way you’re creating a uniform cloud language (“one language”) across the company.
Best practices in any field keep you informed, updated, and optimized. In the cloud management arena, they also help your business stay at the top of its game. Thankfully, you’re not on your own when it comes to following and adopting best practices. There are blogs, mentors, and technologies to provide you with the necessary guidance and solutions to create your own best practices and reach the best results.