In early 2020, when government-imposed lockdowns were being implemented to contain the spread of COVID-19, the retail industry took a heavy hit. The impact was felt more by retailers whose revenue depended primarily on foot traffic rather than online sales channels. One of the popular retail chains in Canada had to face the embarrassment of their website being non-functional for more than a day due to the inability of their system to scale with increasing demand.

As clichéd as it may sound, “hindsight is always 20/20!” So, what’s next? Enter public clouds.

Using the same infrastructure and network backbone used by heavyweight tech giants, public clouds like Azure, AWS, GCP, and a few others, offer a great solution to this common problem of scaling and reliability. Not only do they offer eye-popping uptime guarantees, but they are also designed to facilitate economies of scale.

Uptick in Demand for Cloud Services Bringing Prices Down

As is the case with most market trends, more organizations embracing the cloud will drive down the cost of cloud services. Your business could easily auto-scale your infrastructure (memory, processing units, storage, etc.), maintain geo-redundant backups of crucial data, load balance workloads across the globe, and do a lot more.

Cloud is Also Empowering!

Unlike on-premise infrastructure, where business teams typically had to rely heavily on their IT teams, cloud infrastructure can be easily managed by the business teams themselves. While it is not a walk in the park, it’s relatively easier to create infrastructure on the cloud. In addition, cloud portals offer clean and intuitive UIs to carry out most operations, from provisioning to monitoring.

Cloud Migration and Storage Done Right

With great power comes great responsibility. Unless you have a process, Cloud Deployments can easily get out of hand. Rather than cost savings, you could be hit by a ginormous invoice or worse, end up having a system that is extremely unstable and insecure. Cloud environments are inherently ephemeral. Without proper care and standard protocols in place, a hacker, or even a negligent user could easily wipe out a database. They could even destroy a virtual machine (VM), resulting in the loss of mission-critical data and other irreparable consequences. Incorrect use and handling could also expose internal applications to the public internet, revealing confidential and restricted information to unauthorized parties. The latter actually happens more often than you might think!

Making Cloud Best Practices Inherent to Your Operations

Infrastructure-as-Code (I-a-C) is the essential best practices framework your cloud must rely on. Frameworks like Terraform are one of the most sought-after skill sets in the industry for this specific reason. It’s a disciplined approach to deploying, scaling and securing your cloud through Software Engineering best practices baked into it. With Infrastructure-as-Code, your Deployment Specs, Subscription Info, ACLs, Role Definitions/Assignments, and policies, (e.g. allow public access or not), are all written in scripts. The infrastructure code is managed using git repositories and follows the standard processes akin to SDLC. Not only does it put some structure in place, but it also allows for easy re-deployment of infrastructure in a Disaster Recovery scenario. Having I-a-C or not could mean an outage of hours versus weeks.

At Mantrax, we have adopted Terraform for the past year and have worked with some big companies here in Canada and also in the US. If you’d like to learn more about I-a-C or Terraform, please reach out to us anytime.

Book a discovery call today to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members about your cloud migration needs.

Learning resources: Terraform in 100 Seconds –
Terraform for Azure Udemy Course – (Highly Recommended)

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