You're perhaps starting to see signs of growth in your company after taking several years to get to where you are now. As a result, it's perhaps time to upgrade to new technology, even though you worry about how much you can acquire based on your budget. Having to invest in overhauling your infrastructure could cost thousands of dollars. Worse, you may acquire technologies that are far too complex for your team to acclimate to immediately.
There's a good reason why scaling your business requires simplicity, not complex technologies. In a time when you need every moment to spend on running your business, it's impossible to take time to learn something taking months to master.
Call it ironic you have to experience downtime just to train how to use technology to prevent downtime.
You don't have to let things be this way thanks to simpler technologies available. With advancements in cloud technology, you can simplify everything to a point where cost isn't even a factor. Plus, many features are accessible through a simple user interface.
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Simplifying Your Business Through the Cloud
Perhaps you're still on the fence about the cloud and need to find out more about how it works. The cloud is one tool you most likely can't do without if you want to compete at a higher level. Even if you have to whittle down your technology acquisitions to what's most relevant to you, the cloud should become a must-have.
Using the cloud isn't all straight-forward, however, and different services are available that remove complexity and improve collaboration. In the cloud stack, you have Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service as three popular cloud services.
It goes beyond these three, yet having just one of them can help eliminate a complex set of problems. SaaS alone eliminates you having to invest in complicated software, which could take weeks for your development team to learn.
IaaS provides you with virtualized hardware in the cloud so you don't have to worry about maintaining it on your own, or running your own datacenter. When you need upgrades, you simply have to ask your provider for them and it's done. This immediately takes away any risk of a disaster occurring and leaving your server out of commission for hours.
PaaS simplifies things further by basically placing all of your IT infrastructure in the cloud, and providing automation tools that help with the deployment and management of your software stack. With this, you get added security so if a disaster hits your business, you can redeploy and get back to business without worrying about the complex interconnections and configurations happening between the servers powering your business.
Using Container Technology
Containers aren't new. The technology has existed in the Linux kernel for years, yet software like Docker has made this technology start to take off in companies around the globe. While it's still growing, it's already getting noted as simplifying the way developers test and develop the applications they create.
Through containers, developers are able to quickly instantiate a Linux environment and complete filesystem containing everything needed to run their applications including any dependencies and libraries needed for their software to function. It is then simply to share the resulting image with other developers so that they can test it, and simple to move it to other environments or production. Containers help to solve the incredibly difficult problem of maintaing parity between development and production environments.
Containers also help to promote the concept of "immutable deployments" where each change to a software project results in a completely new build and release that can be easily completed, or if there is a problem, rolled back. Because of all of the dependencies being pre-built and stored within the container image, it results in faster deployments, essentially giving more work efficiency for every developer short on time.
Other Simple Tools to Use
To complement containers, adding a cluster scheduler helps you consolidate all your servers, allowing you to think of them as a pool of resources instead of individual machines. This eliminates the need to think about applications as living on specific servers or VMs. If an application crashes, the scheduler will automatically restart it on a different server so it doesn't affect your work or your customer's experience.
Service-discovery is another tool that is crucial to being successful when deploying a highly dynamic clustered computing environment. Since servers can be thought of as throw away resources, and applications are being placed on random machines within the cluster, you need a way for one of your applications to find the other dependent applications it needs to function. Service discovery makes this simple, portable, and dynamic.