One of the key responsibilities for any IT department is making sure computer systems are running at peak performance. It means that every server is updated with the latest security patches and OS upgrades as they’re released from each vendor. In environments that run operating systems from multiple vendors, this is a major undertaking fraught with potential downtime, broken applications and costs. This post discusses the main benefits of how a cloud environment addresses the issues of maintenance costs, security concerns and scalability.
Time and Costs to Maintain Servers
At the executive level, server maintenance costs are difficult to tie directly to a positive bottom line impact. It’s considered more of a cost of doing business. It’s easy to see how some businesses would try to minimize this sort of costly activity in favor of a better solution.
Whenever teams undertake the project of developing an application, whether for a customer-facing purpose, or for use by teams in-house, maintenance of the systems upon which they will run is a factor in the planning.
Maintaining servers can involve frequent OS version updates, as well as updates to service and security packs. While that might seem straightforward, the real trick lies in making sure that your servers are patched in a timely fashion.
It makes sense for teams to offload the responsibilities for activities that are best done elsewhere. That’s where a business can consider a cloud environment that will be used as a business backbone—such as customer-facing e-commerce sites, or complex web applications.
Architecting business applications for cloud hosting means security concerns are the purview of the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) environment provider. A PaaS provider like Microsoft Azure takes on the responsibility for maintaining all their hosting platforms with the most up-to-date security patches and hotfixes.
We all know that updates occur frequently for security fixes. In a PaaS environment, those costs are off the table for the development team, and they are free to use that budget on development of application features and functionality.
In addition to updated and secure operating systems, a cloud development strategy allows teams to leverage the most up to date cloud functionality. With the maturation of cloud services, PaaS vendors are continually releasing new functionality for the clients to test out.
Whether it’s specific mobile or GPS functionality, cutting edge shopping cart experiences or extreme data collecting and delivery, any team can try out new features at will, without having to develop backbone infrastructure to support. Sometimes, mature vendors will even release features in beta form for clients to test for the market before they’re widely available. This brings cutting edge functionality to a project without having to spend money on infrastructure, test environments, or security concerns.
The Benefits of a PaaS Environment
In reality, there’s a vast menu of choices that come into play when developing applications for the cloud. And they’re all available to any business, large or small, as they’re paid for only as they’re used. This means a team can deploy specific functionality that will have a positive financial impact for the business, without having spent the time or money on the infrastructure development.
A trusted, experienced partner can help a company navigate the complex matrix of choices in developing applications for the cloud. At RBA, our team has years of experience in helping clients evaluate business opportunities and develop solutions that leverage the ability to host applications in the cloud.
Learn more about how to make the best decisions for your business when it comes to building or moving applications to the Cloud by downloading RBA’s white paper, Architecting and Migrating Systems for the Cloud.