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Ten Ways to Make Your Cloud More Efficient

Believe it or not, we are at a very critical junction point when it comes to cloud computing. Although growth has been steady, we’re about to hit a very big boom. According to the recent Cisco Global Cloud Index Report, “while the amount of global traffic crossing the Internet and IP WAN networks is projected to reach 1.6 zettabytes per year by 2018, the amount of annual global data center traffic in 2013 is already estimated to be 3.1 ZB, and by 2018 will triple to reach 8.6 ZB per year.”

So in the midst of this rapid growth, how can you improve cloud efficiency to keep your environment up and running in a proactively healthy state? Remember, in the technology world, anything and everything can (and will) happen. So, here are 10 ways to improve cloud efficiency:

  1. Utilize WANOP and load-balancing. Think QoS for the cloud, but way better. With WANOP you can truly control the flow of traffic between distributed data center locations. Plus, smart load-balancing policies can help you scale inside of your data center and into the cloud.
  2. Optimize your storage environment. Data control is the latest thing in cloud. This means creating data tiers and assigning data to the right type of storage. Know when to send workloads to flash vs spinning disk.
  3. Converged Infrastructure. Smaller, better utilization metrics, more power, greater density, and cost effective. You should give this stuff a try.
  4. Software-defined technologies (SDx). Logical abstraction is taking place around technologies we never thought would embrace it. Storage, security, networking, and even data centers. Utilize the power of SDx to truly diversify your cloud platform.
  5. Optimize the end-user experience. Adaptive user experience orchestration is really cool technology. Intelligent systems can look at latency, connection point, and many other metrics to automatically optimize the user experience.
  6. Modernize the end-point. We’ve got better zero and thin clients out there creating truly powerful computing experiences. Here’s a thought: the days of the PC, as we know it, are numbered. Make sure you think about your next hardware refresh. New solutions from Google and their Chromebooks are powered by HTML5-ready apps. Definitely worth taking a look now that virtual application and virtual desktop delivery can all be done via HTML5.
  7. Monitor, monitor, and monitor! Did I mention monitoring? Utilizing a powerful monitoring and management platform creates a proactive system where the issues can be caught in your cloud before they become major problems. Modern cloud management platforms can now span numerous data centers, locations, and workloads.
  8. Create better security. The cloud is getting bigger; so are the targets. Just look at Sony… Yikes. Imagine being on that IT team right now. Start looking at next-generation security technologies which span the logical, physical, and cloud. Also learn to be more proactive with pen-testing, and regular security review.
  9. Invest in more virtualization. Now that the hypervisor is a bit more agnostic, systems running on top of a virtual platform can integrate with other data center components much easier. Virtualization, in some respects, is your entry point into the cloud. Get rid of those old clunky servers and virtualize on top of Optimization tip #3.
  10. Automation and orchestration. Set it and forget it. Automation lets you boost resources when needed and spin down VMs when they’re no longer in use. Create logical policies to allow your cloud engine to run smooth.

There’s got to be more to cloud efficiency than listed here. Physical data center efficiencies shouldn’t be discounted, for instance. Creating better power and cooling solutions can help your data center and cloud operate better. As cloud continues to grow, we as administrators will need to become even more creative in how we optimize our platforms. That said, what are you seeing in the world of cloud optimization?

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About the Author

Bill Kleyman is a veteran, enthusiastic technologist with experience in data center design, management and deployment. His architecture work includes virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Currently, Bill works as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, a Stamford, CT based consulting firm.

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