10 IaaS Implementation Best Practices

September 7th, 2022

Moving infrastructure to a cloud workspace is unlike any other tech project. There can be a tremendous amount of benefit for making this move. At the same time, it’s essential that the move is executed properly. 

Although infrastructure as a service (IaaS) options like Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and other public cloud platforms can make it easy to subscribe to and use cloud services, getting real value — and avoiding some serious mistakes — is critical to turning a “cloud experiment” into a well-developed cloud strategy. 

This post will highlight the best practices when implementing IaaS for your organization. We’ll also dig into what IaaS is and explain some of the missteps users make when getting started with IaaS providers.  

Why Move to IaaS Cloud Computing Service? 

Infrastructure as a service is a type of cloud computing that manages virtual machines, data centers, and other computing resources to support web apps. Software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) are also forms of cloud computing.   

Together, these types of cloud computing provide businesses with data storage, networks, software, and other digital services without the business having to manage them. The benefits for cloud computing clients include speed, security, efficiency, and cost savings.  

IaaS specifically allows users a greater level of automation and organization. For example, if a company is working on a new digital product, it might make more sense to use an IaaS provider rather than procuring and maintaining their own underlying infrastructure.  

Risks When Implementing IaaS Cloud Services 

Adopting any new system comes with the potential for hiccups. Users may not understand the various processes and costs associated with implementation. Other times they may not grasp how the infrastructure is organized.  

In some cases, communication gaps between the user and the IaaS provider mean the client experiences unexpected problems if the provider has downtime or other issues.  

Being aware of cloud infrastructure challenges can help you to prepare for them, especially if you counter the challenges with some best practices.     

Following are 10 quick but important ideas that will help you plan a successful IaaS or PaaS implementation. 

1. Focus on your organizations “why” for Moving to IaaS 

Why are you moving to the cloud? Greater efficiency? Agility? To lessen the cost of on-premises infrastructure and maintenance? Whatever your goal for using IaaS, keep it in mind through each step of the process as you move to the cloud to ensure your project stays on track.  

Many organizations point to the cloud without real purpose because they see their peers doing it. Don’t get caught in that spot. Make sure your rationale for doing this is a compelling business reason. 

2. Plan a Strategy for Moving Applications to the Cloud 

Once you clearly define why you’re moving to the cloud, you need to map out how you will do it. This can entail asking questions like: 

  • Will all applications move to the cloud? And do they need to be reworked or can you “lift and shift?”  
  • How will moving a workload to the cloud impact other parts of your operation?  
  • How can you minimize disruption?  

Also, consider whether public cloud, private cloud, multi-cloud, or a hybrid cloud and on-premises is the best plan for your organization. 

3. Conduct a Pilot to Keep Issues Manageable 

Once you have a strategy, it’s wise to conduct a pilot to make sure the migration and the new system will work as planned. It’s smart to fail small and create the opportunity to correct issues rather than jumping into a full-scale migration that could end badly.  

Cloud migrations are a little like home construction projects: Plan for something to go wrong, just make sure it happens on a small-scale. 

4. Budget Based on Strategy and Pilot to Avoid Surprise Costs 

Your plan and the results of your pilot will help forecast IaaS costs you’ll incur as you scale. Different factors, such as incorrectly autoscaling, inaccurate forecasting that leads to buying on-demand capacity, and services that get turned on but not off can all lead to unexpectedly high charges.  

Develop an accurate picture of costs and how to manage IaaS use to control them. Leveraging the cloud is usually not more expensive than leveraging an on-premises build as long as you’re factoring all associated costs and not attempting to run on-premises equipment past a three-to-five-year refresh. 

5. Backup All Data Before Migration  

Before migration, make sure all data is backed up and that you can continue to meet your organization’s disaster recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) so operations aren’t disrupted. Backup and recovery systems are among the most vital components of your cloud solutions. 

RELATED: Learn How Sustainability Can Drive Your Cloud Computing Migration  

6. Communicate With Stakeholders and Your IT Team  

Throughout the process, it’s vital to keep all stakeholders informed of your plans, the migration schedule, and milestones they need to be aware of in the process.  

It’s also smart to have buy-in for using IaaS services. You can build this by showing your IT team and users how it can benefit them individually through user-friendly features, greater agility, and time savings. 

7. Test Immediately After Migration  

Immediately after migration, you need to perform testing to make sure that it was successful, users can access the data and systems they need, and integrations are working. 

8. Prioritize Security  

No one wants to be vulnerable to cyberattack and risk data loss — you must make security a priority. Make sure you fully understand which security measures your IaaS provider has in place, and which are up to you.  

Also, consider security during the migration itself. Make sure your system and your data are never vulnerable, not for even a few minutes. 

RELATED: Why Data Security in the Cloud Is Greater — Not Less — Than On-Premises Systems 

9. Observe Compliance Laws and Guidelines  

Regulations about cloud use and storage can’t be an afterthought when you’re leveraging IaaS.  

Make sure you use the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry (PCI), the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), or other applicable laws or guidelines to guide decisions about the clouds and services you use. 

10. Leverage Your Consultant’s Expertise  

You may be an experienced CIO, a software developer, or a seasoned IT engineer, but that doesn’t mean you are an expert in cloud computing. Understanding the finer points of the first nine elements of cloud migration takes knowledge, skill and, probably, a few cloud migrations under your belt. 

Working with a consultant who has cloud expertise will make it easier to choose the right products, tools, and security solutions for your use case and help you control the costs of cloud computing. A cloud expert can also help you increase user adoption and get the most return on your investment. 

The decision to leverage IaaS or PaaS instead of on-premises infrastructure can lead to a variety of benefits for an organization, but like other tech projects, cloud migration must be done right.  

Migrating to a cloud computing infrastructure has many broad, moving parts that must be managed to avoid data loss, operational disruptions, frustrated users, strange costing models, or even a system that doesn’t deliver all the functionality you need. Proceed carefully and make sure you reach out for the help you need. 

RELATED: Best Practices in Cloud-Powered Data Protection 

Virtual Systems Is Your Trusted IaaS Partner and Provider   

Moving to IaaS is a big step, and you deserve to make the move with a cloud provider you can trust, like Virtual Systems. We prioritize security, communication, and efficiency at every point to ensure you receive the best results.  

We’d be happy to discuss the benefits of IaaS and other cloud computing services with you today. Just call (844) 2-VIRTUAL | (844) 284-7882 or use the quick contact form on our site.  

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