What is cloud architecture and why is it important?
An effective cloud architecture brings a multitude of benefits to businesses, from substantial cost savings to an efficient and highly adaptable workflow. Leveraging the expertise of a professional cloud architect can be advantageous for seamless integration.
- What is the purpose of cloud architecture?
- What are the components of cloud architecture?
- What are the functions of cloud architecture?
- Which services are there?
- What are common cloud architecture models?
- What advantages does cloud architecture offer businesses?
- Who can support companies in creating their cloud architecture?
What is the purpose of cloud architecture?¶
Using the cloud is now fairly common practice and not just for personal devices. Many companies rely on cloud computing to access a number of programs, hardware or storage capacities. Using other methods to make these available would require substantial financial investments and a huge demand on resources. The range of cloud solutions is huge, which is why company requirements and suitable solutions should be defined in advance and monitored after implementation. The goal is to find a cloud architecture that joins the various components needed by a company into a well-coordinated structure.
Cloud architecture defines how hardware, software, and various services should work together within a network. Its primary objectives are to facilitate seamless utilization of all components and to incorporate only those functions critical to a company’s specific workflows. Successful execution yields an environment that’s tailor-made to fit a company’s unique requirements. What’s more, this custom-built infrastructure retains flexibility, allowing future adjustments to be made with ease. While the process of creating a cloud architecture might be challenging, it is also undeniably rewarding.
What are the components of cloud architecture?¶
Although each cloud architecture is tailored to the individual needs of a specific company, all cloud architectures have certain components in common. Much like any cloud environment, there’s a frontend layer and a backend layer. The front end employs a client or device that grants user access. The back end, on the other hand, encompasses servers and storage capacities. Moreover, the architecture includes the actual network (usually an internet or intranet) and a cloud-based delivery model.
What are the functions of cloud architecture?¶
A comprehensive cloud architecture offers numerous functions that would otherwise significantly increase costs and resource consumption for a company. These include:
- Infrastructure: The larger a company is or the more extensive its requirements, the greater the costs and consumption. A cloud solution remedies this and provides servers, hardware and storage. These can be used flexibly and according to demand, thus relieving the burden on end users and consumers.
- Virtualization: Accordingly, virtualization is important for a strong cloud architecture. Servers, storages and networks can be virtualized. This leads to better availability and enables more efficient use of resources.
- Management and monitoring: With the help of suitable tools, an IT department can monitor the cloud infrastructure and detect and fix bugs and security leaks early on. Cloud security can be maintained through various measures and programs so that data within the network is always protected in the best possible way.
- Middleware: Middleware ensures that all layers can communicate with each other. This applies not only to various devices, but also to applications, servers and databases.
- Automation: With different solutions for automation, it’s possible to simplify services and reduce workload. Automation plays a major role in the provision of various system resources.
Which services are there?¶
Cloud architecture can provide a range of services. Generally, we distinguish between three different service models:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): With the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) approach, virtualized resources are made available to users via a cloud. This can include server structures, storage and networks. Virtualization and provision of computer hardware is also possible.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platform as a Service (PaaS) includes development and runtime environments that can be used via the cloud without additional hardware and software.
Software as a Service (SaaS): If applications are required, Software as a Service (SaaS) is a sensible option. The software is offered via the cloud and can be accessed when necessary. This eliminates the need for local provision, and the provider takes care of program maintenance.
The above can be combined within a cloud architecture.
What are common cloud architecture models?¶
There are various cloud architecture models, each of which can be tailored to the individual requirements of a company. The most common models are:
With a private cloud, the entire infrastructure is provided to a single company. The basis for this is either a local data center within the company or the server locations of a third-party provider. With this type of cloud, only the business has access to the resources within the cloud. However, the company is often also responsible for the maintenance and management of the cloud.
The counterpart to a private cloud is the public cloud model. Here, a third-party provider usually makes resources available for different customers via the internet. The individual accesses are shielded from each other, but mutual interference can still occur. The maintenance and management of the public cloud is managed by the provider, which is why having this model within a cloud architecture can significantly reduce workload. A comparison of private vs. public cloud can be found in our Digital Guide.
A hybrid cloud is a flexible mix of a public and private cloud, offering an infrastructure where functions can be seamlessly managed and migrated between the two environments. It merges the availability and scalability of the open solution with the robust security measures of the private cloud. By strategically implementing this model within a cloud architecture, users gain the ability to work flexibly and efficiently.
A multicloud is a combination of multiple clouds. This can include two or more private clouds, multiple public clouds, or a mix of the different models. A multicloud aims to provide higher flexibility, less dependence on a provider, and an optimized individual approach.
What advantages does cloud architecture offer businesses?¶
A well-designed cloud architecture offers numerous advantages for companies. The most important are:
- Efficiency: When optimally tailored to a business, a cloud architecture improves numerous workflows. The customization options ensure that new requirements can be taken into account more quickly.
- Flexibility: This boosts the flexibility of a company. Rigid structures are dissolved, and services are added or paused as needed.
- Automation: Numerous processes can be automated when using a suitable cloud architecture. This leads to a better workflow and creates free capacities.
- Cost savings: Cloud solutions are often associated with enormous cost savings. The better the cloud architecture is tailored to the individual requirements of a company, the higher these savings will be.
- Lower resource requirements: In addition to costs, space is an important argument in favor of cloud computing. Servers and computers and associated cooling and power components are minimized. In addition, a cloud architecture relieves the IT team and provides components that might not be available or integrable in a conventional way. -Security: A well-designed cloud architecture is advantageous for added security. Security and compliance requirements are improved, and depending on the model, the responsibility for maintenance work lies with the provider.
Who can support companies in creating their cloud architecture?¶
The planning, implementation and ongoing evaluation of an effective cloud architecture demand extensive experience and expertise in managing diverse IT solutions. Therefore, it is highly beneficial to engage the services of a skilled cloud architect. A cloud architect begins by assessing the specific needs of your company and creates a tailored portfolio of solutions. They handle the integration process, provide employee training, and ensure the optimal functioning of the selected cloud architecture through regular monitoring. Furthermore, cloud architects are adaptable and are able to accommodate new developments and evolving requirements, making necessary adjustments to your infrastructure as needed.