How to Stay Independent from One’s Cloud Provider
One of the key benefits of using cloud services is the ability to quickly and easily scale up or down to meet changing business needs. This can be particularly important for companies that experience seasonal fluctuations in demand, or that need to respond to sudden changes in customer behavior. By using cloud services, companies can avoid the need to invest in expensive hardware and software upfront, and can instead pay for the resources that they need on a pay-as-you-go basis.
However, this dependence on cloud providers can also create a number of challenges for companies. For example, there is the potential for vendor lock-in, where a company becomes so dependent on a particular cloud provider that it is difficult to switch to a different provider without incurring significant costs and disruption.
Thus, staying independent from one’s cloud provider is an important strategy, one that should be thought of in the early stages.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the practices and solutions to have that independence. We’ll start by talking about the choice of the architecture design, then we’ll see some of the cloud managed solutions to use and the ones to avoid. We’ll be taking GCP’s solutions as an example.
Some of the solutions to consider in one’s architecture design are Docker, Terraform and a blacklist of solutions to avoid.
Using Docker can be important in helping to increase flexibility in an infrastructure solution, as it allows for the creation and deployment of lightweight, portable, and self-contained units of software called containers. These containers can be easily moved between different environments, such as from a development environment to a production environment, without the need to worry about differences in underlying infrastructure. This can be particularly useful when it comes to future migrations, as it can help to ensure that the application or service can be easily moved to a new environment without requiring significant rework or reconfiguration.
Terraform is another tool that can be useful in increasing flexibility in an infrastructure solution. It is a infrastructure as code (IaC) tool that allows users to define and manage infrastructure resources, such as compute instances, networking resources, and storage, using declarative configuration files. This allows for the creation of reusable and version-controlled infrastructure configurations that can be easily shared, modified, and applied across different environments. Having the ability to easily manage and modify infrastructure using Terraform can be particularly useful when it comes to future migrations, as it can help to automate the process of provisioning and configuring new resources in the target environment.
Having a blacklist of IT solutions to avoid can also be important in increasing flexibility in an infrastructure solution. By identifying certain solutions that may not be suitable for the organization’s needs or that may introduce unnecessary complexity or risk, it can help to ensure that the infrastructure is built on a solid foundation and can be more easily modified or migrated in the future. This can be particularly useful when it comes to making changes to the infrastructure or moving to a new environment, as it can help to reduce the risk of introducing technical debt or compatibility issues that could hinder the migration process.
Cloud solutions to use
Using some of the solutions like BigQuery and Cloud Run can help to reduce the burden of changing cloud providers in the future, as they both offer features that can make it easier to migrate applications and workloads between different cloud environments.
BigQuery is a fully-managed, serverless data warehouse service that is compliant with the ANSI SQL 2011 standard. This means that it supports a standard SQL syntax that is widely used and supported by many different database systems. As a result, it can be easier to move data and queries between different database systems and environments, including between different cloud providers. This can be particularly useful when it comes to migrating applications and workloads that rely on BigQuery to a new cloud provider, as it can help to ensure that the data and queries can be easily transferred without requiring significant modification.
Cloud Run is a fully-managed platform for deploying and scaling containerized applications. It allows users to deploy Docker containers as standalone applications or as part of a managed service, and offers automatic scaling and high availability. Because Cloud Run is based on Docker containers, which are portable and self-contained units of software, it can be easier to migrate applications and workloads that are deployed on Cloud Run to a new cloud provider. This is because the containers can be easily moved between different environments, including between different cloud providers, without the need to worry about differences in underlying infrastructure.
Cloud solutions to avoid
On the other hand, using some of the solutions like App Engine and Firestore can add a significant burden when it comes to changing cloud providers in the future, as they are both proprietary cloud-managed solutions that are tightly integrated with the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and may not be compatible with other cloud providers.
App Engine is a fully-managed platform for building and deploying web applications and services on GCP. It offers a wide range of features and capabilities, such as automatic scaling, high availability, and integration with other GCP services. However, because it is a proprietary solution that is tightly integrated with GCP, it may be more difficult to migrate applications and workloads that are built on App Engine to a different cloud provider. This is because the APIs and interfaces used by App Engine may not be compatible with other cloud platforms, and the application may need to be significantly modified in order to work in a new environment.
Firestore is a fully-managed, NoSQL document database service that is also tightly integrated with GCP. It offers real-time synchronization, offline support, and automatic scaling, but like App Engine, it is a proprietary solution that may not be compatible with other cloud providers. Migrating data and applications that rely on Firestore to a different cloud platform may therefore require significant effort, as the data may need to be exported and transformed in order to be used in a new environment, and the application may need to be modified to work with a different database service.
In conclusion, there are several key steps that organizations can take to help stay independent from their cloud provider and increase the flexibility and scalability of their infrastructure solution. One of these steps is to carefully consider architecture design and its tools.
Another important step is to carefully consider which cloud solutions to use and which ones to avoid. This may involve identifying solutions that are proprietary or tightly integrated with a particular cloud provider and may not be compatible with other platforms, and building a blacklist of such solutions to avoid. By doing so, organizations can help to ensure that their infrastructure is built on a solid foundation and is less likely to introduce unnecessary complexity or risk.
Overall, by following these tips, organizations can increase their independence from their cloud provider and build a more flexible and scalable infrastructure solution that is better able to meet their needs and support future migrations.