It’s easy to not fully appreciate the progressive technological advancement of the Cloud and its disruptive potential. It’s common to encounter impressions that the Cloud is just another virtual hosting capability. However, this overlooks almost all the key reasons why the Cloud is becoming so central to the technology and infrastructure plans of businesses both small and large alike. At a high level there are a raft of readily achievable and non-compromising business benefits including:

  • Sizable reductions in hosting and operation costs
  • Flexibility to establish infrastructure, modify and extend or terminate with no lock in
  • Reliability and resilience usually only available to the largest installations
  • Security that surpasses the needs of governments and large banks
  • Scalability and performance with infrastructure that meets processing demands at any level
  • Advanced features, such as AI, easily accessible to drive innovations to new levels

 

However, for existing applications, these won’t be achieved by a simple lift-and-shift into a virtual equivalent of the existing infrastructure. In fact, this approach may even lead to higher hosting and running costs. Instead, applications need to be re-architected to be able to leverage the managed services and features that allow the benefits of the Cloud to be realised. If you could write a new application without any constraints, then you could leverage the truly core capabilities of the Cloud including serverless for few infrastructure concerns. You would then focus on the innovative features and functionality and the Cloud takes care of all aspects related to infrastructure including reliability, performance and scalability. This would deliver all the benefits above to the full extent including a negligible operational and hosting costs. For existing applications, this is not practical but with investment, most of the benefits can still be realised.

 

For HansenCX applications, the following is a table outlines in greater detail many of the achievable benefits with an effective deployment of the application in the Cloud, specifically focused towards AWS.

 

 

DRIVERS TOWARDS THE CLOUD

Traditional Approach

Cloud Approach

Benefit

 

Flexibility

  • Estimate hardware with risk/growth caveats
  • High upfront capital expenditure
  • Months for delivery and commissioning
  • Review at hardware end-of-life
  • Infrastructure within seconds programmatically
  • Pay as you go
  • Change anytime
  • Zero risk infrastructure
  • Adapt to changing business requirements quickly
  • Pay only for what you use

 

Lower Costs

  • Hardware is over specified to account for load spikes and potential growth
  • Teams of specialists manage all aspects of infrastructure and networking
  • Oracle licensing for enterprise scale
  • Infrastructure is elastic matching processing demand
  • Managed services
  • Enterprise grade database technologies at a fraction of the cost
  • A Hansen case study – like-for-like 36% cost savings over 3 years
  • Puts more money back into business for innovation rather than operations

 

Security

  • Reliant on internal technical experts
  • Often only improved when vulnerabilities exposed
  • Not a core competency
  • Security is core at all levels
  • Industry experts implement solutions with independent penetration testers
  • Compliant with industry standards
  • Advanced security standards extending as far as robust DDoS protection
  • Meets requirements of governments & large banks

 

Reliability

  • Within the capability of the infrastructure specification, often a single data centre
  • More reliable solutions require additional solutions (i.e. Oracle DataGuard)
  • Manual response to issues
  • Infrastructure spread over 3+ geographically dispersed data centres (redundancy)
  • Durability guarantees of data eg 99.999999999% on AWS
  • Self-healing compute and storage
  • Levels of durability otherwise only available to the largest installations
  • Significantly less risk of downtime with real-time multi-datacentre failover

 

Scalability and Performance

  • Operate within bounds of hardware
  • Underutilised hardware to allow for load spiking and future growth
  • Elasticity, demand drives infrastructure
  • Cloud services that perform at any load
  • Enterprise level database performance
  • Achieve user response time targets at varying demand levels
  • Achieve required batch windows

 

Broad Infrastructure

  • Supporting capabilities are licensed and deployed independently
  • Hardware is procured to host
  • Integrated access to capabilities like OLAP and analytics on demand
  • Wide range of capabilities
  • Common infrastructure capabilities are readily available at low cost
  • Analytics, report creation, monitoring

 

Advanced Capabilities

  • As per R&D programs but traditionally difficult to evolve and sell
  • Easy access to common capabilities like speech recognition, conversation parsing and artificial intelligence
  • Create advanced capabilities that support sophisticated digital platforms and customer engagement

 

 

Craig will be sharing ongoing stories about his extensive cloud experience, helping clients move to the cloud, digital transformation and impacts on the energy industry in a 4 part series. Contact info@hansencx.com to find out more.

 

 

Craig Palmer is Hansen's Technical Architect and Sales Engineer and has been with Hansen for over 20 years improving on the scalability of complex billing and other modules. He has been involved in large scale performance deployments for Hansen's utility products in the UK, US and NZ. 

 

 

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