Cloud Development Support Services
Having an in-house server used to be how everyone managed their business. Proprietary business secrets were carefully guarded, with information hoarded by those at the very top, shared only grudgingly with the people below. The left hand seldom knew what the right hand was doing, resulting in a massive amount of duplicated effort, lost time, and wasted money.
This was called the “silo method” of business management. Departments didn’t share, either. Inventory, production, order control, the likelihood of a customer to pay when taking a new order—it was all guesswork—until ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) came along, introducing large-scale horizontal integration of departments and information. It was the beginning of the modern age of business.
The Price of Business Intelligence (BI)
BI is data analysis, using numerous tools, applications, and techniques to organize
information and create strategies based upon it. That defines what lives at the core of BI.
Bringing together pieces of information (both internal and external),
to compare them in detail provides us with the opportunity to discover invisible trends,
not perceptible when information is scattered all over. Before we can derive the first
scrap of useful information, however, it requires that we put all the data we have
into a format where it can be usefully accessed.
We need a substantial database (such as the NoSQL/non-relational
Casandra database, which is highly scalable, with high availability); we need an efficient
system to accept, sort, and recall data; we need user-friendly interfaces to convey
information quickly and effectively. We need Big Picture methodologies to present
the information so that it is comprehensible to decision makers, and useful to people
that need to utilize it on a daily basis.
Reducing the Costs of being Progressive
This is where large-scale server farms came into play. They fulfilled
a demand from startups to acquire computing power without necessitating massive investment
in infrastructure. New companies could focus what resources they had on developing their
business, product, or service, and not lay out hundreds of thousands of dollars for servers,
staff, set up, and maintenance. Using someone else’s servers is known as IaaS, or
Infrastructure as a Service. All it required was sufficient bandwidth on an internet connection.
A similar tool, especially useful to developers, was developed. It was
known as PaaS, or Platform as a Service. The benefits of this were immense. When
testing programs on a real system for stability and crash-resistance, you would have
to spend hours re-initializing it for the next tests once it (successfully) crashed.
With PaaS, you can instantly restore it to pre-crash condition with a keystroke, and
begin testing again. Developers saved their most precious commodity: time… and that equals money!
Sometimes you need microservices, where complex applications are supported
by independently versioned “services." They can be either stateful or stateless,
but since they are often customized and modularized, they run in “Containers” in a
black box state. That means that the customer doesn’t interact directly with the code.
These microservices can be provisioned on a cloud server for easy modification and
allows disconnection when the client no longer requires (or pays) for the ability. This
is known as CaaS or Container as a Service. AZURE’s Service Fabric offers this capability.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Now we have the tools to analyze Big Data in a way not previously
possible. The advent of AIaaS (AI as a Service) permits us to use that immense, intimidating
collection of data in ways that are beyond mere humans! AIs will never rule the world
(you’ve been watching too many TERMINATOR movies), but they will be the best thing
we’ve created so far as a race.
They are not good at “thinking” yet, but they can analyze at millions of times
the speed of humans. Medical imaging has been revolutionized by letting AIs look
at (for example) X-rays or MRIs. They find tiny anomalies that human eyes miss because
the oddities are several inches apart, too far for a human eye/brain to make the
connection. When the whole thing can be grasped at once, it becomes apparent.
Using the Cloud
As you can see, the potential is immense. Those who possess massive
internal server farms to manage their businesses are still understandably reluctant
to move to the cloud. They’ve invested (potentially) millions in hardware and staff.
Would moving to the cloud make all that useless? It’s time to take a fresh look at the world of computing.
If you have one corporate server in New York that provides facilities
for all of your satellite offices, one event can put your company in limbo. Consider
the 2003 Northeast Blackout that left 50,000,000 people without power for two or more days.
Now consider the most recent Emerson Network Power and the Poneman
Institute (2016) study on the total cost of outages. The per-minute cost has risen
from $5,617 in 2010 to $8,851 in 2016. That is a 57½% increase in six years.
The average total cost per incident was about half a million in
2010 and almost ¾ million in 2016. Maximum downtime costs now exceed $2.4 million, an increase greater than 81%.
When customers come to your website and get a blank screen or “404 Error”
who can blame them if they move on to your competitor? People are so impatient that
they will move on in less than 10 seconds if a site is unresponsive.
Redundancy is Good
Having duplicate, distributed servers running in Toronto, Los Angeles,
Denver, Austin, and New York has several advantages. First, by eliminating the bottleneck
of a single corporate server, your website response times improve, meaning more customers
stick around and interact. Each server behaves locally, meaning people in LA don't
have to wait for the NY server to receive, process, and return their request. It happens right in LA.
Second, if LA goes down, Denver just automatically (and seamlessly)
picks up the slack and no one even notices that something happened (unless they’re in
LA and are affected directly by the event itself).
Third, with the increase of Ransomware events, if you are attacked,
and your server is corrupted, it is a simple matter to erase everything, format the
drives and download a clean copy from any of the other servers. No more of these million
dollar ransoms to retrieve your data!
Fourthly, if you are an international company (and who isn't nowadays?),
having cloud servers in Australia, Europe, or Asia will make your global services more responsive, too.
What about my Hardware?
In reality, you are replacing hardware constantly. Drives go bad; server
components go bad; Uninterruptible Power Supplies go bad; A/C for cooling the servers
fail; and heat disposal units always need service. The energy costs of running a server
room are immense on an annual basis, along with the attendant maintenance staff costs.
The best hardware solution is to let it fail! As each part ages, showing
signs of unreliability, instead of replacing it, switch that portion to a cloud service. The
change is seamless, and server provisioning is virtually unlimited as to size. If you
need a Terabyte to start, that’s fine. If your company grows to need a Petabyte, that
can probably be arranged, too (although that is a ridiculously large unit of measure equal to 1015 bytes).
Attrition means that you get maximum use out of your current hardware
until it fails. It is akin to driving the same car until it disintegrates into rust. You
obtained all the use you could out of it—every penny of value—so now move on to a managed
service where they replace the parts; where they pay the IT people to keep things running;
where they worry about keeping the system 99.999% available.
It saves your company an immense amount of money because the service
you use automatically expands and contracts according to your needs. You pay for what
you use and not for an extra $180,000 cabinet in your server room "just in case."
Of course, a cloud server provides infrastructure for hundreds or
thousands of clients simultaneously, so costs are shared with a large number of customers. It
results in prices that are a mere fraction of your in-house costs for providing the same services.
Jentico is all about agile solutions and eliminating top-heavy decision-making. Traditional
methodologies are time-consuming, costly, unresponsive, and lead to frustrated clientele—and
that is bad for business.
We provide leading-edge solutions, and meaningful business consultation,
all combined with a broad range of systems, infrastructure, and solutions-delivery
across diverse industries and the most complex environments.
If you're still not "on the cloud," it's where you need to be. If you're
already established there, we have innumerable ways to make it better, faster, more
cost-efficient, and turn it into a responsive system that will make your customers happy. That
means improved sales, with the added benefit that you will receive B2B/B2C/C2C recommendations
directly from your customers. Word-of-mouth advertising is the most trusted among colleagues,
and that means better business volume.
It’s time to listen to your business because it has a lot to tell you. Let
us show you how! Give us a call at 1.844.536.8426,
drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd be
delighted to hear from you and answer your questions.