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As organizations go global and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud-hosted online services grow, companies have adapted to an “always-on” model. Both technical and non-technical organizations are increasingly relying on online software, which only serves to increase the prevalence of always-on platforms in all aspects of our lives. The rise of online streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify, digital workspaces such as Google Drive and Asana, and more have made complete digitalization the way of the future.
Organizations in the gaming, software, media, regular service, and tech industries are all moving to always-on platforms. Running these always-on platforms can bring an explosion of growth and an entirely new set of opportunities. However, there are also some challenges.
Changing a business model to always-on comes attached with some heavy, but necessary, burdens. If an organization wants to grow, it must adapt to the needs of the market. Transitioning organizations must have a full plan set in order to be successful. Going forward with no structured methods may cause a company to pursue a course of action that is the least cost-effective and increase the cost of the project overall.
When transitioning to always-on, enterprises usually encounter three major roadblocks that challenge their infrastructure’s stability. The good news is there are solutions to each challenge.
Finding the Right Host for Your Organization’s Infrastructure
Companies have two basic choices for hosting infrastructure: on-premises or in the cloud. Both come with their own benefits and challenges. For example, hosting everything in the cloud typically works as a pay-per-use model and is a great option for those looking to scale their infrastructure. On the flip side, hosting on-premise means more predictable costs. The downside with on-premise hosting is that it can also mean complications in assessing and adjusting capacity needs.
The solution: Enterprises can take the middle ground and adopt a hybrid cloud approach. Hybrid cloud infrastructure allows businesses to host workloads requiring scalability in the cloud when developing and growing, and also build a tailored on-premise data center.
Finding the right back-end management to manage IT infrastructure when transitioning to always-on can be a tough task, especially when you have a limited team. The dilemma that a business owner is then placed in is either having a team that is proficient in cloud-native development or a team that is mostly outsourced.
The solution: Running a data center next to your cloud has never been easier. Highly virtualized and advanced servers and storage are now simpler to run even with a limited team. Cloud-like management experience of these systems will seamlessly integrate with public cloud or private cloud environments, allowing businesses to easily manage the back-end. The time-to-value benefits are enormous because your team will be able to focus on initiatives that increase ROI overall.
Transitioning to an always-on business can rack up costs quickly. Keeping costs under control is critical. First, organizations must be calculating and comparing TCO between a public cloud environment and an on-premise data center to create a baseline for costs.
The solution: Have a conversation with your prospective service provider or invest in a third party to help calculate your TCO for host-it-yourself solutions. Taking the extra step will ensure that the information is accurate and there are no surprises on the bill at the end of the month.
Exploring the Benefits of a Hybrid Set-Up
Hybrid clouds set-ups are becoming a popular solution for many always-on enterprises, and for good reason. With a hybrid cloud, organizations can harness the benefits of both public and private clouds. Previously mentioned companies like Netflix and Spotify show little to no failures on their platforms during peak hours. Why? Hybrid clouds allow enterprises to scale to accommodate their traffic, making lag times a thing of the past.
Obviously, keeping an always-on business running at all times is necessary. Downtime cannot be afforded. Data has to be accessible during a disaster. With a hybrid cloud, IT professionals can replicate data on different locations in case of any disaster or attack. Simply having a backup ready will not cut it for always-on businesses.
With the increase of ransomware attacks, organizations must be prioritizing data security within an infrastructure. A hybrid solution gives data private cloud protection while maintaining the benefits of a public cloud.
Growing Your Always-On Business
Businesses will continue to adopt the always-on model. For a smoother transition and scalability, organizations will have to consider hybrid solutions. There is no “one-size-fits-all solution” for an IT infrastructure, but a hybrid cloud solution offers the flexibility of a public cloud and the security of a private cloud that always-on businesses will smoothly work on.