In Driving Digital Business with App and Cloud Transformation, one of the best whitepapers we’ve read, WTE Partner VMware (linked in Resources), explains how the cloud is and will change Information Technology.
Cloud has already redefined the relationship between IT and business, accelerating the delivery of new services and bringing unprecedented innovation to developers. It (the cloud) has forever changed how business services transform inspiration into reality and how we unlock insights from a vast expanse of data. Cloud helps us move faster. It is a true accelerant for innovation.
Traditional computing can’t manage the growing river of data every business must process due to bandwidth limitations, latency issues, and network disruptions. As a result, centralized data architecture gives way to decentralized cloud and edge-based computing.
Cloud and Edge Computing
There’s more than one cloud and more than one type of cloud computing. Cloud computing delivers servers, storage, databases, software, and networking over the Internet (“the cloud”) for faster innovation, resource flexibility, and scale.
Public clouds are created from Information Technology (IT) not owned by the end users. Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure are a few of the largest public cloud providers. Private clouds are usually dedicated to a single end user and lock cloud computing services behind a firewall.
Robust public and private cloud computing services are adding new life to an old concept – remote computing. Rather than rely on a single centralized location, companies with remote or branch offices found moving computing services and resources at or near those locations increased data reliability and timely processing. Edge computing updates an old idea using the cloud to push processing closer to data and end users.
75% of business data will be created outside of centralized data centers by 2025.
What is Multi-Cloud?
Many WTE customers use more than one cloud. For example, accounting may be on one cloud while Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is on another. Each cloud provider has its operating stack, services, and toolsets. Amazon’s functionality doesn’t extend to other cloud platforms such as Google or Microsoft, so information architecture in a multi-cloud era comes with new IT challenges.
Organizations need to support growing application complexity from modern (i.e. cloud enabled) and legacy (use of old coding languages, frameworks, and usually not cloud enabled)applications.
Networking data across clouds is complex and can contribute to holes in security, but multi-cloud IT environments is where we are headed because one cloud may go down but two clouds going down at the same time would be like winning the lottery as you were struck by lightning.
The lack of multi-cloud infrastructure increases costs while reducing security.
Clouds provide choice, flexibility, and a positive, streamlined user experience for an increasingly remote workforce when more data and people are outside a company’s network creates design, security, and integration challenges.
What are Hybrid Clouds?
As we shared in Cloud-to-Cloud Backup – Save Your Data, Brand, and Company, using more than one cloud for data backup increases security and recovery because clouds can go down. Still, two cloud infrastructures going down simultaneously would be exceedingly rare. WTE likes to create “hybrid clouds” using VMware and other tools.
A hybrid cloud uses tools to create what looks like a single IT environment created from multiple clouds through Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs), Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and Application Program Interfaces (APIs).
WTE Cloud Partners
WTE partners with several leading cloud providers including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, and VMWare. Discover WTE's cloud partners.
Cloud Computing Services
In the future, most WTE customers will use more than one cloud to deliver one of the three primary cloud computing services:
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is when a cloud service provider or cloud storage providers such as Amazon or Google manage the servers, network, virtualization, and data storage through connection to the Internet. Users access IaaS through APIs or dashboards, renting needed infrastructure on a pay-as-you-go basis. Depending on the cloud, users manage the operating system, apps, and middleware with the cloud service provider taking care of hardware, networking, hard drives, data storage, and servers; the cloud service provider has managed outages, repairs, and hardware issues.
Platform-as-a-Services combines hardware with application software managed by a cloud service provider. Designed for developers and programmers like WTE, PaaS creates a shared cloud platform for application development and management. In addition, our PaaS creates a shared programming environment where WTE programmers can efficiently and securely code.
Software-as-a-Service delivers a software application managed by the cloud service provider. SaaS updates, bug fixes, and other maintenance are handled for users by providers, with users connecting to SaaS apps via APIs or dashboards. SaaS eliminates having apps installed locally on each user's computer, promoting group and team software access.
VMware’s IT leader survey showed 44% of apps were “modern” or able to take advantage of the cloud, APIs, and other microservices making the majority of apps “legacy” or in need of “modernization.” Modernization migrates legacy software applications to current development patterns, paradigms, and platforms to improve business value.
Applications are modernized for a variety of reasons including:
Pogramming isn’t a static field so today’s coders may not know how to fix legacy software.
Legacy applications are harder to maintain, update and link to other “modern” applications.
Legacy applications may represent a higher security risk when/if they are connected to the cloud.
Older applications may use older libraries, outdated frameworks, development platforms, operating systems, and databases all components that may not be supported or are being phased out.
This is why VMware’s survey showed an active parallel track with modern apps replacing legacy systems and some legacy software being modernized.