What SMEs should consider when looking to the cloud

Moving storage to a cloud platform often sounds more straightforward as a concept than in reality. Particularly if you’re an SME, you don’t want to overspend or sign up for a contract that provides storage that you simply won’t use.

As an SME ourselves, we’ve had a think about the top considerations when moving storage to the cloud.

Measure and optimise

Given the various analytics tools available, there’s no point operating in the dark. It’s really worth thinking about how you use analytics as a way to control costs. For example, if you can profile applications to find out what they are really up to, you can select the most appropriate type of storage.

Should you use containers?

Using containers adds layers of complexity, but once they’re up and running they can bring a lot of wins.

If you do opt for containers, you should think about volumes. Shared file systems work well in-house, but are the wrong solution for most cloud services. Containers should be stateless, with data stored in a database. Users who need volumes and a lot of shared data should look at Singularity and not Docker.

You also need to have a good understanding of how your applications are running in your container to make sure you’re not wasting time. Ellexus Container Checker can help with that.

Don’t reinvent the wheel

Rather than replicating your infrastructure in the cloud, instead take advantage of the myriad of software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to help you get what you need. There are a lot to discover.

Which suppliers will you use?

It can be very hard to change your cloud platform supplier, especially after series B funding for high-growth enterprises. Make sure that you can live long term with any aspect of your cloud provider that doesn’t work well for you now.

Scalability

Depending on your growth plans, you’ll want a solution that can grow with you. Ambitious companies will want to set up something for their future, particularly if they have just closed a round of funding. However, this can be a costly way to operate and a distraction from the real task of growing revenues and the customer base.

Instead, make something that works for you now with a view to design for change and growth. Some businesses go bust because they can’t scale with demand, but most go bust because they spend too much time building the wrong thing.

We can get help you develop a sustainable go-to-cloud strategy. Get in touch to find out how our tools can help.