Today I’m not talking regarding Azure, I’m talking generally in the Cloud, so… the case here is: you’re ready to modernize your infrastructure to truly benefit from the cloud and avoid sprawl, poor performance, complexity, and sky-high subscriptions. Here are the five key areas you need to plan things out.

  1. What problem are you solving? The business case behind your infrastructure must be understood, with input from key stakeholders. How will the cloud help you deliver that value to your users or customers? How will you benchmark and improve on that goal? Common goals for cloud infrastructure are faster service delivery, lower operating costs, agile deployment, simplified user experience, modernization, and resilience.
  2. What base infrastructure components will be used across your stack? Your subscription model, identity management, network, storage, backup, and other key components should work with any given app or VM that might be attached to your subscription.
  3. Where can you automate? Automation and standard procedures are key to realizing the full benefit of the cloud. This helps minimize costs by automatically provisioning and decommissioning and implementing configurations without intervention. Infrastructure as Code will only continue to be more vital to cloud management.
  4. Who is responsible for each piece of the stack? As you embrace more and more components delivered entirely as a Service, you must understand which entity is responsible for their management and potential failure. Obviously the underlying hardware is not yours to command, and a hardware-level failure would fall upon the service provider. But issue-resolution can be a difficult gray area. Be prepared to work with the cloud provider and have processes in place for issue tracking and resolution as well as version control and backup/restore.
  5. How are you managing cloud governance? Depending on your management models, it may be much easier for users within or outside the IT department to provision their own resources. It was much harder to order, install, and configure a physical server than to simply click a few times to have a virtual one ready to go. You must be ready to protect and secure your data from inside and outside risks, while also reining in sprawl and maintaining compliance. Automation tools and code are a good place to start with governance and compliance.

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