How to Get Started with Google Cloud Platform
Historically, some IT leaders have been skeptical about moving their workloads to the cloud. There have been different reasons for slow enterprise adoption of the cloud; it can feel like a very daunting task that has widespread effects on the entire organization. With the advancements in public cloud products like compute, networking, and storage, in addition to higher-end services for application integration, analytics, and machine learning, it’s time to take a serious look at the cloud. It might be time to assess if your organizational strategy should be spending more money building out your own data centers and infrastructure assets or taking advantage of the public cloud.
The historical barriers to cloud adoption like cost, security, compliance, product capability, and staffing are no longer an obstacle for most companies. In the past, there was a common fear that IT professionals could work themselves out of a job after moving to the cloud. While it is true that organizational structure will need to be altered, the cloud does present a strong value proposition to the business, an opportunity for employees to stay current within their industry, and to allow IT to re-focus efforts on driving innovation for the business.
Additionally, in many instances a public cloud workload is actually more secure than its on-premise equivalent. According to Gartner, through 2020, public cloud infrastructure as a service workloads will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional corporate data centers. There is plenty of research in the past few years that shows that the major cloud providers are equal or better than most enterprise data centers in terms of security and should no longer be considered as a primary barrier to public cloud adoption. The same goes for costs (more on this below).
Now that you know you’re considering a move to the cloud, where do you get started? We recommend considering the following steps.
4 Best Practices Before Committing to the Cloud
1. Get comfortable with the public cloud provider and how it will work with your organization: Building awareness of the full cloud products and services with your key stakeholders will open up the possibilities not just for your existing application workloads, but for net new application cloud architecture. Taking advantage of some initial ‘proof-of-concept’ cloud workloads helps an organization to understand the cloud potential and build the business justification for an enterprise migration. Some places to start include:
Cloud Disaster Recovery: Tools that continuously replicate applications to the cloud, providing a robust disaster recovery solution without expensive data centers.
Test in Production Environments: Purpose-built solutions for creating dev/test versions of a production environment without the need for large operational overhead.
Lift and Shift Workloads: Avoid capital intensive refresh cycles by moving an entire workload to the public cloud. Replication technology moves data and workloads with minimal time and expense.
2. Rationalize the organization’s application portfolio BEFORE the migration: Many times it is difficult to capture the current application portfolio, let alone to figure out which applications are a good fit for the cloud. It’s important to take the time to analyze all enterprise applications to determine which would be good candidates, how it needs to be positioned (shift vs. re-architecture vs. SaaS), dependencies with other applications or data, and the overall roadmap for migration. For example, you wouldn’t want to migrate an on-premise email solution (you should consider replacing it with G Suite!). Additionally, you need to consider past barriers in terms of an application use. For example, now you can take advantage of the elastic nature of the public cloud to rapidly allocate and deallocate massively scalable resources to support business service on-demand compared to building out your own infrastructure to support that one-time peak demand for the year (e.g., call center application for Black Friday).
3. Understand the costs involved: It’s commonly known that moving to the cloud can ultimately save the business money. While it is true that running applications in the cloud can reduce operational, infrastructure, and maintenance expenses, there are costs involved with migrating to the cloud and its ongoing support too. The biggest consideration being the upfront cost of the migration. Once data is migrated, it can be significantly cheaper than on-premise solutions. You’ll also see additional cost savings in freeing up IT staff from mundane operational tasks that are no longer required. With public cloud, you only pay for what you use, so utilization is another key parameter. It’s important to do a cost/benefit analysis by workload as a prerequisite to making the decision.
4. Hire the help you need: Your IT staff may not be experienced in cloud migrations or experts yet with the cloud products and services. It’s important to enlist the assistance of people who are. As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, Maven Wave is well-positioned to assist customers with their migration to the cloud. Working with a partner gives you a custom plan of action to ensure you’re making all the right decisions for your business, saving both time and money. From the initial assessment phase, through planning, migration and possibly ongoing cloud support operations, the process can be much simpler.
The Emerging Cloud – Google Cloud Platform
As organizations begin to consider public cloud services, Google Cloud Platform is quickly becoming an emerging star in the market. For the past 15 years, Google has been building one of the fastest, most powerful, and highest-quality cloud infrastructures on the planet. Internally, Google uses this infrastructure for several high-traffic and global-scale services, like Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Search. Because of the size and scale of these services, Google has put a lot of work into optimizing its infrastructure and creating a suite of tools and services to manage it effectively. Google Cloud Platform puts this infrastructure and these management resources at your fingertips.
From a pure cost standpoint, Google’s customer-friendly pricing is on average 60% less for many compute workloads compared to other cloud providers. There are no upfront costs, you can pay as you go, and there are no termination fees. Urs Hölzle, senior vice-president for technology infrastructure at Google Cloud recently stated that “As soon as you use a virtual machine for even a quarter of a month, you start seeing savings, and if you use a virtual machine for an entire month, you get a 30% discount. But you’re also free to stop.”
Used by organizations worldwide, from large enterprises and retailers with hundreds of thousands of users to fast-growing startups, Google Cloud Platform includes offerings in compute, storage, networking and Big Data. Maven Wave can help your organization with any stage of your cloud journey; from developing your cloud strategy and migration roadmap to building that new custom cloud application to solve a critical business need.
Check out our Google Cloud Platform Quick Start solutions and contact us for more information.