Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 32 | Page 36






Q + A + Q + A + Q + A + Q + A + Q + A + Q + A + Q + A +

Debates within businesses about using the public cloud are often dominated by discussion of production environments instead of exploring opportunities where the cloud could help save time , effort and money .

However , things are looking positive with Gartner forecasting worldwide public cloud revenue to grow 21.4 % in 2018 .
Let ’ s have a look at some common use cases where those benefits can be gained .
A test / development / acceptance environment
Every business needs an environment for testing solutions , development and acceptance . In an ideal world , these should be three separate environments and they should be the same as ( or similar to ) your production environment .
Unfortunately , the number of enterprises that have the resources available to use best practices is very limited . And those few that have the technical resources to do this often complain that there aren ’ t enough people to maintain such environments .
Why not use the public cloud for these scenarios ? Organisations can create copies of the production environment in a public cloud and grant access to developers , test engineers and workload owners to that environment . After a project is finished , that environment can simply be shut down .
Patching , updates and upgrades
Many enterprises have a change advisory board ( CAB ) that needs to approve all changes ( bug fixes , security patches and functionality enhancements ) that will happen in a production environment .
The best practice is to implement these as quickly as possible but only after they have been tested thoroughly to prevent any major issues making it to the live environment .
The best way to do this is to mimic your production environment as well as possible when testing changes . Again , this is impossible for most companies due to a lack of resources .
Enter the public cloud again . By using copies of the production environment and restoring them into the public cloud , organisations can conduct effective testing and documenting of all those changes and feed that information into the change request plan . What ’ s even better is that potential back-out plans can also be tested , so the organisation can be prepared in case something wrong still goes into production .
After all the tests and documentation , the environment in the public cloud can be turned off ( or even destroyed ) to save on costs .
Disaster recovery testing
How frequently does your business test its backups or its disaster recovery plans ? Weekly ? Monthly ? Yearly maybe ? Or perhaps even never ?
In many cases , leadership teams are not even aware of this and believe that these plans are readily available , updated and tested on a regular basis . The reasons why this doesn ’ t happen are similar to the previous two scenarios : There aren ’ t enough technical resources , people or time to do it in .
Can we use the public cloud again for this scenario ? The answer is obviously yes , and the way to do this is again very similar to the previous scenarios . By using the latest copies of the production environment , organisations can restore the full production ( or specific workloads ) to the public cloud , make sure backups are quarantined from the production environment and perform backup and recovery tasks and tests with speed .
And the cloud brings even more advantages . You don ’ t need to have the resources on premises , the process takes less time and effort and it ’ s easier to perform . You gain peace of mind with the knowledge that , even in a worst-case scenario , you can restore your production environment using the public cloud if there are no on-premises resources available .
36 INTELLIGENTCIO www . intelligentcio . com