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13 Deadly Sins of Cloud Application Deployment

cloud application deployment methods
04.04.19
Nadia Serheichuk

The discussion about the right hosting type for any business cannot be resolved once and for good. Today, we are going to talk about cloud solutions and catastrophic mistakes even the most tech-savvy companies make.

Overlooking What a Specific Business Needs

Choosing a cloud-based solution often comes with the growth of a business and its operations. However, the problems begin when a company ignores its own business goals. It usually comes with ‘everyone’s going into the cloud; let’s do this’ approach.

The first and most important step is to understand whether you need the transition to the cloud at all; and if you do, how it can help you resolve the issues you have. Moreover, you need to know how the number of users/transactions is going to change within the next quarter, half of the year, annually, and biannually. It helps you choose the right solution, as well as maintenance tools.

Thinking That Application Growth Is about the Transaction Volume

Most cloud solutions have tools that allow you to scale your application up. However, growth is not just about the number of customers served, but also their needs. Yes, a scalable architecture allows modern applications to handle a vast amount of users daily. However, what it can’t do, is managing the architectural changes.

One may also experience problems with the introduction of new services and features. Thus, you have to plan and understand what needs to be done in the future. So before you deploy your application to the cloud, take a good look at it, think about where you would like to go in the future, and schedule updates, changes, and new features.

Skipping Technical and Security Audits

Another critical issue comes up when a company ignores the need for proper security analysis. Some old systems with complex security requirements are not meant to be deployed to the public cloud. In other cases, cloud deployment requires changes in the architecture of an application.

For example, if you store or process sensitive data within your application, it should be accumulated securely. Here is what you should know about cloud security.

Choosing a Wrong Cloud Type for App Deployment

Unlike traditional servers, clouds can have various privacy settings. There are three basic types of cloud solutions.

    1. Private clouds host only your application. They are similar to traditional data-centers, in terms of access, control, and security.
    2. Public cloud accommodates multiple applications on the same server. Their infrastructure is defined by a cloud provider. Such clouds are not the best option for applications containing highly-sensitive data.
    3. Mixed cloud and hybrid cloud solutions. These solutions allow some parts of an application to run on private servers, while others may be hosted on the public ones. For optimal performance and cost efficiency, many companies choose multi-cloud solutions.

Failing to understand the proper privacy requirements, you can put yourself in danger of violating your clients’ privacy.

Selecting a Wrong Approach, When It Comes to Migration vs. Deployment

cloud based application deployment

There are two significant ways companies approach cloud solutions. In one case, the existing system is deployed to the cloud as it is. However, such an approach ignores the possibility of improvement in the future as an app will not be ready for the changes.

In another case, migration is performed with changes in the code that adapt an application to the specifics of the cloud. It helps you create a more flexible system that will be open for growth, the introduction of new features, as well as the growing number of operations. In other cases, migration with the changes in code might be a much better alternative.

Running an App in the Cloud Using Old Data-Center Methodologies

Managing a physical server is relatively complicated. You have a data center with limited resources, and scaling or handling hardware failures can be a problem. Cloud computing allows you to manage the infrastructure with greater flexibility. However, the prices may vary depending on the location. Not knowing how to set-up your cloud correctly, may result in additional expenses.

Failing to Plan for Changes in App Performance in the Cloud (for Public Clouds)

If you use a public cloud, there is an urgent need for proper resource management. Unlike traditional data centers, where administrators control CPU usage, disk storage, etc., public clouds force you to share the same virtual server with several other apps.

When an app is deployed to the cloud, you should compare the performance to the baseline. Technical teams might need to make adjustments until the acceptable performance rates are reached.

Ignoring Your Metrics

Business intelligence has proved to be a life-saving experience for many companies. With the growing amount of data, business owners need to collect, aggregate and analyze it. Therefore, business intelligence allows companies to get valuable insights and take more effective business decisions. It allows them to understand what happens, why, and what can be done in case something goes wrong. Cloud solutions make it much easier to monitor essential aspects of application performance, including:

  • Business-related ones. These metrics allow you to track your goals and objectives against actual performance and revenue.
  • User experience. Are your customers happy with the overall experience? What is the response time of an app? Does it perform well? These are critical questions BI insights provide answers to.
  • System metrics. If users are experiencing issues with an app, such parameters will help you understand why it happens.

Failing to Understand the Need for New Tools

Tools that were used in data centers are not always suitable for cloud solutions. For example, the serverless approach does not have PC instances, and common metrics like CPU utilization or RAM usage cannot be applied. Also, the hardware part is not a top priority as all you need to control are limits and prices.

Having No Plan in Case of Failure

No one wants to doubt the success of their product, but it is vital to understand what happens when an app crashes or the whole thing goes down. There are two important aspects to consider:

  • Decrease the likelihood of failure. Proper testing of an application, like performance and stress testing, can make an application more stable. For example, one of the tools is chaosmonkey.
  • Cut down the recovery time. No matter how well you prepare, the system will experience crashes. An issue here is what measures should be taken to ensure a quick return to the normal state.

Moreover, if an application is down, you should find a way to inform the users and minimize their troubles.

Lacking Cloud Computing Expertise

application deployment in cloud

Unlike physical servers, cloud computing comes with numerous benefits. For example, up to 40% of work can be handled by the cloud itself. It includes auto-scaling groups, back-ups, and load balancing. However, to properly set up and support the system, traditional knowledge of servers is not enough. Ignoring the fact that you need a DevOps with cloud expertise can cause many troubles.

Not Understanding Which Cloud Level to Select

There are three levels of cloud architecture: infrastructure, platform, and SaaS. Misunderstanding of the requirements can result in a lot of useless work. For example, there is no need to design everything from scratch since most administration tools can handle preparation for you (unless your platform provider is unable to provide the infrastructure required). Doing less work is always better.

Underestimating the Importance of Updated Documentation

Knowledge sharing and proper maintenance are impossible without up-to-date documentation. If you have a well-documented project, the chances of human error or knowledge loss are lower. Documentation includes wikis, automation tools, descriptions of operational procedures, or any other form of docs available.

Wrap-Up

As you can see, cloud deployment begins with a proper analysis of the business needs. It allows you to plan, mark important aspects, and avoid some of these mistakes. What is even more important, a lot of these mistakes stem from the inability to understand the differences between traditional data centers and cloud solutions. To achieve the best results, you should invest in hiring an expert with applicable knowledge and experience to minimize the aftermath of cloud migration.

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