Three Things to Consider When Opting for the Distributed Cloud Model
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Three Things to Consider When Opting for the Distributed Cloud Model

The usage of the distributed cloud model for data storage and management is expected to become a strong trend, scaled to the enterprise level. That is how Forbes has already called distributed cloud usage, the way of the future, while  97% of IT leaders surveyed by Volterra reported they were planning to distribute workloads across two or more clouds. In this article, we suggest dwelling on the ways businesses should prepare for a distributed cloud adoption, keeping several essential factors in mind.

The Concept of a Distributed Cloud in a Nutshell

The concept of a distributed cloud is relatively simple, and we have already discussed it in detail in our dedicated article. Essentially, a distributed cloud is an innovative approach to data storage and management. According to this approach, businesses can store their data in multiple data centers, each of which can be located in more or less proximity to the end-user.

The opportunity to locate the data in a way the business needs is what makes distributed clouds more beneficial compared to the public and hybrid ones. Since distributed storage makes data access and transfers faster, it can promise a wider bandwidth, reliable tactics for disaster recovery and data protection, along with cost-effectiveness. Besides that, the distributed cloud infrastructure accounts for the processing of huge amounts of data as quickly as possible.

While the distributed cloud aims to diversify data assets between numerous cloud environments, it also simplifies their management with a single control point. Organizations can benefit from choosing multiple cloud infrastructures and data centers, that meet their customers’ demands, without extra hassle, since all the operations, applications, or networks will be governed with a centralized cloud management solution.

How Businesses Should Prepare for a Distributed Cloud Adoption

Getting started with a distributed cloud adoption needs a clear strategy developed with a deep understanding of possible pitfalls.

According to the Volterra research, meeting compliance requirements, improving visibility and transparency, plus leveraging the best services from leading cloud providers are the main reasons why businesses consider moving to a distributed cloud.

At the same time, another study states that ensuring reliability and connectivity between multiple providers is the biggest challenge on the way to distributed cloud adoption. That means, developing consistent operational experience is key to making a distributed cloud work for the business’s benefit.

The company should take the following steps to get better prepared for distributed cloud adoption:

  • Align IT and DevOps teams so that they can migrate and deploy the applications across the data centers in response to the growing needs of the business.
  • Develop data security and storage transparency policies. These policies are necessary not only for more effective distributed cloud usage but also for ensuring compliance and achieving better visibility.
  • Reduce human errors with the help of automation. Developing and deploying cloud-based robotic process automation applications allows the companies to ensure automated and algorithm-based data transfer, which will be managed by Business Intelligence (BI) software capable of making decisions based on previous outcomes. This is a better option for reducing human intervention in the cloud infrastructure, streamlining routine operations, and achieving the ultimate cost-effectiveness. A case in point: by leveraging RPA, Infopulse managed to automate different erroneous manual tasks and processes of an oil and gas company, also cutting overhead costs. 
  • Get in touch with a reliable cloud development company. The process of distributed cloud adoption is less risky and more effective when your company is supported by an experienced cloud development vendor. Infopulse will be happy to help you, providing the highest-end cloud transformation and development services.

Our practical experience with cloud development also allows us to solve business-specific challenges in value-driven ways. For example, we have migrated the internal systems of Delta Medical (one of the biggest companies in the Ukrainian pharmaceutical industry) to Microsoft cloud solutions, ensuring secure accessibility of the systems from multiple platforms.

Main Things to Consider When Moving to the Distributed Cloud

Below are the main things businesses have to keep in mind when deciding to leverage a distributed cloud.

1.    Security

54% of respondents surveyed by Volterra indicated security as their main concern when moving to the distributed cloud model. Despite all the benefits of using distributed clouds, ensuring their security is more challenging compared to public, private, and hybrid ones. More data stored in multiple data centers means more access options for employees from different departments, more sophisticated use cases, and more dependencies.

The first thing on the way to ensuring security in a distributed cloud is revising the legal framework for cloud data storage practices and making sure the organization will be compliant with them. In addition, there are specific data usage and storage regulations that companies from certain industries should follow (e.g., HIPAA for the healthcare industry). When deploying a hybrid cloud, not a distributed cloud, the organizations should be compliant with this regulation. In this case, utilizing an AI-powered model for ensuring better compliance can be a great option.

The distributed cloud infrastructure also needs clear mapping, stating the ways each of the applications request and transfer the data from the data center. Leveraging robotic process automation for data transfer and protection can help reduce data security risks. While AI allows identifying anomalies in data access and usage behavior, consequently blocking unauthorized attempts to access the data.

A case in point: in a cloud-based project, Infopulse optimized and upgraded the IT infrastructure of one of the largest providers of telecom services in Ukraine. We helped the customer reduce the usage of extra software and hardware, eliminated the data security risks related to the legacy system usage, and improved the performance of the systems to make them more effective for dynamic workloads.

2.    The location of the data

The core feature behind a distributed cloud is that the company using it can locate the data across multiple data centers, achieving such a data transfer speed that would be effective for managing everyday tasks.

For example, the applications that need to transfer data instantly should store their data as close to the end-user as possible. Coupled with edge computing, they will be able to process huge amounts of data in no time.

And vice versa, those solutions with low latency that are not so essential for business operations can store their data in less proximity to the end-user.

The next thing to consider on the way to a distributed cloud adoption is data location and data mapping, depending on the application’s specifics, the speed of data transfer it should deliver, and the level of data protection it should provide.

3.    Data storing transparency

Both enterprises and their customers want more cloud data transparency. Both of them are concerned about the ways their data is stored by the cloud service provider across multiple locations.

That is why, to ensure data storage transparency for their customers, the enterprises using distributed clouds should carefully understand the ways their data is stored and protected on the side of the cloud service provider.

So, at this point, we get back to one of the challenges of distributed cloud adoption such as ensuring reliability, connectivity, and clear communication between the data centers sourced by different providers.

However, given the fact that leveraging the distributed cloud is an upcoming data storage trend, as named by McKinsey, there is significant reason to believe that very soon, cloud providers will be able to develop a single regulatory framework to become better aligned with each other. According to Gartner, most cloud service platforms will offer at least some distributed cloud services by 2024.

A case in point: we developed an Azure data warehouse for one of the biggest agro corporations in Ukraine. The primary customer’s business challenge was to move their data from the legacy system to a transparent and well-managed distributed cloud. Our team also located business-critical data in a single cloud warehouse to ensure instant continuous protected data access.

Conclusion

Getting started with a distributed cloud adoption poses several challenges of which companies should be aware. The main ones refer to the alignment of cloud services delivered by multiple providers, along with data security and transparency issues with data storage.

Overcoming these challenges requires a clear strategy and professional support from a cloud development vendor, and we at Infopulse are here to help you with both tasks! Contact us today to have a professional consultation on the adoption of a distributed cloud.

About the Author

Oleksii Masharov is a highly qualified specialist in software development and system architecture with over 20 years of experience. He primarily focuses on Enterprise Architecture, IT audit, and Service Management with a range of successful projects in fintech, agriculture, and energy domains. Oleksii's deep expertise is proven by numerous certificates from Microsoft, IBM, and HP Software.

Oleksii Masharov

Delivery Manager, Managed Services and Solutions

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