Cloud computing consists of different computing services that are hosted on and delivered to clients via a virtual cloud. This cloud can be accessed easily through the internet, and saves businesses from needing to use digital space on their own systems.
Cloud services are typically offered on a rental basis, with clients paying service providers monthly or annually. If you are planning to use cloud services at your business, it is important to understand the steps for implementing these systems at your worksite.
Let’s look at cloud architecture and how businesses can implement cloud services effectively.
Cloud services are delivered with the help of cloud architecture. This is a collection of different components that are connected to host the cloud and provide services to clients. The components in cloud architecture are usually classified as either front end or back end.
The front end components of cloud architecture are the ones that are visible to clients. These are interfaces and applications used to access cloud services. Cloud service providers take great care in maintaining their front end architecture as it affects how users interact with the cloud and the services hosted on it.
Front end architecture can be broken down into three components:
- Software: This refers to the software that facilitates the functions of cloud computing software on the user’s end. It usually consists of a web browser or an application.
- User interface: This refers to the user interface of the application that clients use to access the cloud.
- Network: The network refers to the hardware devices used by clients to access applications hosted on the cloud.
The back end of cloud architecture refers to the components that support the front end. Important functions such as providing processing power or data storage are all carried out by the back end.
Good cloud service providers spend a fair amount of time building reliable and resilient back end systems, as they need to be up and running at all times. The back end consists of the following components:
- Application: This refers to the application that the client is using to access the cloud, but on the server side, which can be overseen by the service provider.
- Services: This refers to the tasks that can be performed by cloud systems, such as storage, app development, and other services
- Storage: Any data that clients create or import is stored on hard drives located in servers at the service provider’s end.
- Infrastructure: The infrastructure refers to the hardware that provides processing power and other functions to the client.
- Management: A management software controls functions on both the front end and the back end.
- Security: Cloud systems feature security systems that prevent data loss, and keep the servers secure using firewalls.
Implementing Cloud Systems by an IT Consultant
Cloud systems can be complicated to set up at your workplace if you are not familiar with them. Some steps to make the transition to these systems easier are shown below.
Pre set-up planning
Before implementing a cloud system at your business, you will need to create a plan to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
The first step is to determine who will be setting up the system. If your business already has a dedicated IT team, they will take care of any set up duties after speaking with the cloud service provider.
Alternatively, businesses can ask an IT consultant for assistance during this step. IT personnel will need to look over the existing system and decide which functions will be taken over by the cloud in the future.
Your business may need to move all its data onto the cloud system once it has been set up. In preparation for this, you will need to download your files and information beforehand. However, if your business has a very large volume of data that is too expensive or time consuming to download and store on hardware devices, you will need to limit the quantity you download.
In this situation you should opt to save only recent data, such as from earlier in the year, and valuable or sensitive data from the company’s records.
Train Your Staff
The next step is to get your staff familiar with using the cloud system. You can use the help of an IT consultant to train your staff on what to expect with the new system before it is implemented.
It may also be worth deciding which of your company’s departments will be using the cloud system first. This can help you prepare each department accordingly.
Once you have taken care of the per-implementation steps, you can start setting up the new system. Cloud service providers try to make their cloud software easy to set up, but you can always ask them for assistance if your IT team is having difficulty.
This set up process can take a while, so it’s better to set up the core components and make changes as your staff become more familiar with the software in the future.
Perform Health Checks
The cloud service provider will also include health check service components for monitoring the performance of the cloud system. These can help with early detection of any service failures and report them to the provider.
Application health checks usually consist of script checks and connection checks to confirm the system’s status.
The script check runs a script and verifies the script code’s exit status. A connection check attempts to establish a connection with an end point and confirms that it is working.
Setting up your cloud system can be challenging at first, but an IT consultant and cloud service providers can provide some assistance along the way. Businesses should be prepared to devote enough time and money towards the initial set up as the cloud system will make operations more convenient and efficient in the future.