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Why enterprises are moving their workloads to the cloud

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As businesses explore options to shift from traditional data warehouses to meet their demands and scale business operations, modern day enterprises are migrating their workloads to the cloud.

According to Gartner, by 2020, enterprises will spend around $411 billion in public cloud. Multiple cloud players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and Google Cloud Platform are already offering open stack-based cloud platforms, encouraging businesses to shift to the cloud to meet surging demands and scale their business operations.

As businesses explore options to shift from traditional data warehouses to meet their demands and scale business operations, the open stack-based cloud platform has gained popularity. Whether it is public, private, or hybrid, enterprises are continuing to move their workloads and applications to the cloud infrastructure. Gartner predicts that more than 50 percent organizations using the cloud today will have all their workloads in the cloud by 2021. Let us look at the five top factors that are driving enterprises to move their workloads to the cloud.

Flexible deployment:

Unlike traditional data warehouses, hosting warehouses on the cloud provides various deployment options. Landing, transformation, storage, and query, along with other functional components of the data warehouse can be deployed on private, public cloud platforms, or can be integrated within a hybrid cloud architecture.

Flexible model:

With easy load-and-go provisioning, enterprises have the option to choose either a fully managed subscription or pay-as-per-usage depending on their business needs. Some of the common service models are as follows.

1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS):

Online services that deliver computer infrastructure like hardware, storage, servers, and data center space or network components on an outsourced basis to support enterprise operations. Examples include Google Compute Engine, Azure, AWS, and Alibaba Cloud.

2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS):

Provides a platform that allows customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the hassle of building and maintenance of the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. Examples include Google App Engine, AWS Elastic, Beanstalk, Engine Yard, and Heroku.

3. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS):

A software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. Examples include Google Apps, NetSuite, Office 365, and Salesforce.

4. Data warehouse-as-a-Service (DWaaS):

A managed service where the customer outsources the hardware and software requirement of a data warehouse to a cloud vendor, and only provides the data and pays for the service. Examples include Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, IBM dashDB, Snowflake Computing, Coola Data, and Amazon Redshift.

Scalability:

If your business is proliferating, your warehouse solution needs to scale to meet its growing needs. As data volumes and varieties grow, cloud infrastructure can be both scaled up and scaled out. While some cloud infrastructure like Redshift can be scaled horizontally, adding more nodes to meet the demand, some like Amazon’s S3 allow exponential scaling for read/write operations to achieve extremely high request rates. Some cloud infrastructure like Microsoft Azure allows decoupling of computing and storage, which provides a more flexible scaling options.

Speed:

When you think of speed, it can either be accessed speed or processing speed. Depending on the business requirement, cloud data warehouses offer different ways to get the speed you need. Cloud data warehouses can process mission-critical workloads in real-time, both for data in motion and data at rest, and accelerate in-database parallel processing of analytic algorithm libraries. Cloud can also help maintain the optimal performance of the warehouse.

Performance:

With the advantages that cloud offers over traditional data warehouses, enterprises will no longer lift-and-shift into the cloud but will instead refactor and rebuild directly in the cloud. While enterprises might retain some mission-critical workloads on-premise, most enterprise data will be in the cloud.

Public, Private, or Hybrid?

Once you have decided to migrate to the cloud, the next step should be to choose the cloud type. The following are the options:

Public:

Your resources are entirely hosted by a cloud provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Private:

You create your private cloud using a platform like OpenStack or VMware’s vCloud.

Hybrid:

Your resources are spread over both private and public platforms. Hybrid cloud’s benefits include high reliability, high availability, security, and reduced operation costs, and hence is an attractive option out of the three.

Although most modern day enterprises are investing in cloud migration, it is important to note that there are several other factors from the benefits and the risks, to the cloud service model and type that is right for your business, that must be considered for a successful transformation to cloud.

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