Cloud Computing & Education: 7 ways Cloud is Overhauling Ed-Tech

Cloud computing is widely adopted in education and other sectors, and the reasons are apparent. In Covid times when education shifted from physical classrooms to online classes, educational organizations such as schools, colleges, and universities got a chance to leverage cloud computing and its benefits. The cloud-enabled learning and coaching centres to connect the students and teachers virtually, save spending on textbooks, eliminating the need to buy or own servers and data centres, and many other capabilities which were not possible with the traditional approach. Moreover, they need not to worry about their study materials, documents safety, or files security as they are safe on cloud. With cloud technology students, teachers, and other working staff don’t have to confine themselves to the physical classrooms for lessons. Teaching and learning is happening remotely, and services are accessible through any internet-connected device.

Cloud computing is revolutionizing the education sector in many ways. Let’s take a look at how this new technology is proving to be the game-changer in the education system by changing the traditional ways of teaching and learning.

7 Ways Cloud Computing is Changing Education

1.     Universal accessibility through virtual classrooms

Distance learning has been there for many years but was never realized until recently when some education institutions migrated to the cloud. However, most education systems still rely on brick-and-mortar classrooms to offer lessons and lectures to students.

Cloud computing makes it possible to host virtual classrooms. Also, sharing learning resources securely and remotely is possible through this technology. A student in one continent can now interactively attend a lecture hosted on another. Students can also interact and access course materials on their mobile devices.

Due to cloud computing, a student can enrol in any school and attain academic certifications without going to a physical classroom. This is also beneficial to people who are held up with other commitments and can’t attend schools and colleges to complete their education. You can now work and pursue your studies from your office desk or home, provided you are connected to the internet.

2.     Cost saving on students' data storage and maintenance

Educational institutions are increasingly experiencing challenges with data storage and management systems. The number of students enrolling at every level is increasing, and managing their personal information requires resources. You are supposed to invest in expensive computing hardware and software to run such big educational institutions.

With cloud computing, you no longer need expensive hardware and software. All the information about every registered student is accessible over the internet. This virtual hosting with a pay-as-you-go plan is way much more affordable. Besides, there are many cloud computing service providers to choose from.

3.     Cloud brings scalability to educational institutes

Upscaling hardware and software is a big challenge in the education sector. It involves buying expensive hardware and management software to handle the increasing number of enrolling students and traffic hikes. Also, institutions set up classrooms, libraries, hostels, etc.

Besides, these established resources are underutilized when scaling down. An effective cloud-native solution that offers scalability in times of heavy traffic can help solve this problem. A renowned school was facing a similar kind of problem, Minfy designed a cloud-based highly scalable solution to handle the heavy traffic demands during admission times and purge the downtime and expenses involved.

The flexibility of cloud computing makes it the revolutionary solution for education field that learning institutions need. It allows scaling down or up with little or no effect on human resources, IT infrastructure, and physical structures. As mentioned, you only pay the cloud service providers for what you use at that time. That means there will be no underutilization when you scale down during a low activity period. You also don’t have to experience overload during peak usage or due to high traffic experienced during assignment submissions and training registrations.

4.     Enhanced data security through virtual applications

Educational institutions are adversely affected by data breaches due to cyber attacks. This problem is even more rampant when you host your servers and computing system locally. Many institutions report data breaches when they experience such attacks. Locally-hosted systems can also be affected by a power outage or server-related problems. Such unpredictable factors can adversely affect learning.

Cloud computing makes education systems more stable. Institutions can offer uninterrupted distance learning services through the cloud and maintain data integrity by using virtual applications such as virtual private network (VPN). The Government of Manipur’s Department of IT were facing security issues with their on-premise data storage, we helped them migrate their mission-critical workloads to AWS Cloud to optimize costs and achieve scalable compute and storage in the cloud using Amazon EC2 and Amazon VPC.

VPN protocols such as IKEv2 automatically encrypt the outgoing data. No one can intercept or alter the information in transit, which means students or the intended target get uncompromised data. Besides, students can also protect their login credentials and other personal information when they use cloud applications.

5.     Wide reach to diverse learners through cloud

Diversity is another factor that educational institutions should consider seriously. Many students are locked out because they cannot afford to attend the brick-and-mortar classrooms. That can be due to finances or fear of stigmatization. For example, some adults who unfortunately dropped out of school fear enrolling again to attain their academic mileage for fear of sharing a classroom with children. Besides, they may be committed to responsibilities.

The good news is that cloud computing makes educational institutions take their learning services to potential learners. The distance barrier no longer exists for those already using cloud services. Regardless of age and distance, learners can enroll and attend classes online without the fear of stigmatization or discrimination.

6.     Up-to-date learning syllabus available in the cloud

Students may use outdated learning materials because the budget for buying new textbooks is beyond their reach. Technological advancement and redrawing of administrative boundaries make most learning materials obsolete in just a few years. Learning materials published about 5 years ago may have one or more concepts they present inaccurate.

It is less expensive and easy to update the learning materials in real-time when you move to the cloud. That means students always have access to the up-to-date information.

7.     Cloud made education affordable

Every student who joins any educational institution receives a long list of textbooks and other learning materials to buy. These are expensive and push parents or guidance to the edge. Some cannot even afford them. Besides, the boarding and tuition fees are usually high because of the complex logistics involved in offering learning services physically.

With cloud computing, learning resources are uploaded to the cloud and accessible to all registered students cost-free. eBooks and e-textbooks can be accessed remotely on almost every internet-connected device. That reduces the learning cost in various institutions that migrate to the cloud.

Why you need Cloud in Education?

Cloud computing is changing education in many ways. It benefits institutions and students, which makes it a powerful tool to advance learning. Adopting cloud computing ensures universal accessibility of learning services, which also reach more diverse students. It is a reliable technology for digital transformation that learning institutions need to cost-effectively and efficiently offer their training programs.

Cloud computing made it possible to cut down the yearly expenses of buying and commissioning IT infrastructure. Now, all learning resources are in the cloud such as virtual classrooms, software, and textbooks, and, are accessible to every student connected to the internet. Distance learning is now possible and available to learners worldwide. Its flexibility and scalability has made it the present and the next big thing.  Schools, colleges, universities, and other learning institutions are embracing cloud for the technology benefits if offers and learners worldwide embrace it for its convenience. Nothing appeals to them as the access to all the learning materials at their fingertips and achieving the academic milestone remotely. Learning institutions that already use cloud computing services are more immune to future changes, and their success is almost guaranteed.

The verdict

The cloud technology is still a new subject for many educational institutes that had to rush to using it due to the need of hour in pandemic. Considering this as an opportunity to learn more about cloud computing will only help the education fields to get the maximum benefits of cloud and flourish significantly in future. Having an expert by your side to easy understand how cloud can help your school, college or university grow more is always an add-on.

Till date, we have helped many educational organizations, coaching and teaching institutes to adopt cloud and supported them in understanding why they need cloud in today’s digital world. To know how we can help you, talk to Minfy’s cloud experts.

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CIOs and CTOs: Know these Cloud Computing Security Basics, Challenges and Best Practices

About 83% of the firms confirm data security in cloud computing environments as the top concern, according to Statista's analysis of enterprise’s cloud computing difficulties from 2019 to 2022. The biggest obstacles in cloud security settings, in their opinion, are controlling expenses, governance, and a lack of personnel or knowledge.

Today, cyber security is a prime concern for businesses. It is of utmost importance to invest in cyber security as your business data is exposed to threats in many ways. But, it gets economical challenging for many organizations to hire a security expert or a chief information security officer (CISO) exclusively for cyber security. In most of the businesses, the CIOs and CTOs are at the frontline to streamline the business operations and solving the rising business challenges. Even CIOs and CTOs seem to overlook the role of cyber security businesses as they may not be knowledgeable of this requirement for smooth business operations or fully aware of the side effects of ignoring it.

Today's CTOs and CIOs have far more responsibilities than they did in the past, their duties and responsibilities are getting more challenging and tougher than ever as more businesses across the world are adopting cloud computing and cloud-based technologies. That’s why it is mandatory for CIOs and CTOs to understand the importance of cloud security, its basics, challenges and best practices, to attain better reliability in business with measurable results.

What is Cloud Security?

Cloud Security is the security mechanisms (policies, technologies, tools, services and controls) that protect the infrastructure, apps, and data housed in the cloud from violations. Data and resource access management, privacy protection, and user and device authentication are all ensured by these security procedures. Cloud security is more about utilizing a cloud safely.

Additionally, cloud security enables firms to be ready for future limitations, which demand compliance with international legal requirements like the GDPR. For instance, businesses must ensure that the cloud is designed with the right architecture in-line with the recommended security/privacy policies, failing to do so may lead to data breaches and significant losses.

Cloud security is a critical aspect that focuses on safeguarding data and corporate material such as client orders, top-secret design blueprints, and financial records. Maintaining your clients' trust and securing the resources that support your competitive edge depend on your ability to prevent leaks and data theft. Cloud security must be of top priority for any business moving to the cloud as it protects your company's data and assets.

Cloud Security Basics every CIO and CTO must know

1.     Cyber security insurance is not sufficient

Businesses are learning to understand that cyber security insurance alone won't protect them against all kinds of threats. Attacks by ransom ware are happening more often, and demand is growing. What's more, a "double ransom"—a further payment requested for not disclosing the stolen data—is frequently added to the "single" ransom required to encrypt data. Even worse, they might add a "triple ransom" that specifically targets the people whose data was taken.

2.     Selecting a cloud provider as per business needs

You must pick a cloud services provider with the greatest security measures and tools to support your business needs. The most chosen cloud service providers are Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. However, there are other additional cloud service providers, such as IBM and Oracle.

3.     Cloud may not be a complete security solution

Modern cloud migration methods relieve on-premise systems of some of their workload, but this cannot assure a complete security solution. In reality, there are several instances in real-time where alone cloud solutions were not found meeting the purpose of data security fully. As a result, the decision to move mission-critical data to the cloud is never settled. Many businesses do this by keeping their mission-critical data in their data centers.

4.     Basic services are insufficient

Basic cloud services only offer minimal protection that falls well short of what businesses need. Because they represent additional income streams and because clients want reliable solutions, cloud suppliers provide value-added security services.

6 Cloud Security Challenges before CIOs and CTOs in 2022

The lack of distinct perimeters in the public cloud creates a fundamentally different security reality. Adopting contemporary cloud strategies such as automated Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) techniques, distributed server less architectures, and transient assets like functions-as-a-service and containers makes this even more difficult. The various layers of risk and sophisticated cloud-native security concerns that today's cloud-oriented enterprises CTOs and CIOs are dealing with include:

1.     Expanded area for data hijack

Hackers now use the public cloud environment as a sizable and very appealing attack surface by taking the advantage of unsecured cloud ingress ports to gain access and disrupt workloads and data in the cloud. Numerous hostile threats, including malware, zero-day vulnerabilities, account takeovers, and others, are now widespread.

2.     Automation and Devops, DevSecOps

Businesses that have adopted the highly automated Devops CI/CD culture must make sure that the right security measures are followed and included in code and templates early in the development cycle. Following the deployment of a workload in production, security-related modifications might compromise the organization’s security posture and increase time to the market.

3.     Environmental complexities

In today's hybrid and multi-cloud environments, which are the environments of choice for businesses, managing security requires techniques and tools that operate without issues across the private cloud providers, public cloud providers, and on-premise deployments—including branch office edge protection for geographically dispersed organizations.

4.     External data sharing

Numerous clients, vendors, and other stakeholders frequently want data to be provided. You must establish security procedures to make sure that data packets are not intercepted and utilized inappropriately as the data is exposed to a largely external conduit.

5.     Dearth of control and visibility to cloud

The infrastructure layer is completely under the control of the cloud providers and is not made available to the users under the IaaS model. In the PaaS and SaaS cloud models, the absence of visibility and control is even more pronounced. Customers of cloud services frequently struggle to accurately identify measure and visualize their cloud assets and environments.

6.     Poor interfaces

Hackers and online attackers may get access to your infrastructure through weak or insecure interfaces, such as APIs that permit connections from the third-party apps. Outsiders can take advantage of these paths to steal data, change it, and launch a denial-of-service attack.

6 Best Practices to Establish Powerful Cloud Security

In spite of the fact that cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (Azure), and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offer a number of cloud-native security features and services, supplemental third-party solutions are necessary to achieve enterprise-grade cloud workload protection from security breaches, data leaks, and targeted attacks in the cloud environment. The following best practices can help build a powerful cloud security mechanism.

1.     Setting additional data protection

Improved data security can be achieved with encryption at all transport layers, safe file sharing and communications, ongoing risk management for compliance, and upkeep of excellent data storage resource hygiene, such as spotting mis-configured buckets and deleting orphan resources.

 

2.     Controlling IAM and authentication across complicated infrastructures

To make updating IAM definitions easier when business needs change, work with groups and roles rather than individuals. Allow just the assets and APIs that are required for a group or role to carry out its obligations. The higher the degrees of authentication, the greater are the scope of privileges. Also, don't forget about proper IAM hygiene, such as implementing strong password standards and authorization time-outs.

3.     Applying virtual server security regulations

Strong Cloud Security Posture Management is offered by cloud security companies, which consistently apply governance and compliance standards and templates when creating virtual servers, audit for configuration deviations, and, wherever needed, takes automated corrective action to fix the issues.

4.     Zero-trust network security for the cloud

Business-critical resources and apps should be deployed in logically separated areas of the cloud network of the provider, such as virtual private clouds, AWS, Google, or Azure. Utilise subnets to micro-segment workloads from one another, and use subnet gateways to enforce granular security controls. Use dedicated WAN lines in hybrid architectures, and alter access to virtual devices, virtual networks, and their gateways, as well as public IP addresses, with static user-defined routing settings.

5.     Threat intelligence

By intelligently comparing aggregated log data with internal data from asset and configuration management systems, vulnerability scanners, external data from public threat intelligence feeds, location, databases; a third-party cloud security vendors add context to the numerous and varied streams of cloud-native logs. Additionally, AI-based anomaly detection techniques help to identify unknown threats. These threats are then subjected to forensics investigation to assess their risk profile. Time to remediation is shortened by real-time notifications on intrusions and policy breaches; in certain cases, these alerts even start auto-remediation operations.

6.     Application security

The WAF rules are automatically updated in response to changes in traffic behavior, and it is installed closer to the micro-services that are carrying out workloads. This will granularly examine and manage traffic to and from web application servers.

Conclusion

Modern cloud tools and technology have helped organizations become more sophisticated and data-driven than before. Every second and piece of data is critical in the corporate world of today in order to make wise choices and outperform rivals. As a market leader in cloud services, we assist companies in choosing the best strategy, operating model, and road map by fusing our extensive business and industry knowledge with current insights.

Do you have cloud security concerns? Contact us today and learn more about how we can help your company.

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Blog | Migrating to Cloud: 6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Trustworthy Cloud Services Provider

Migrating to Cloud: 6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Trustworthy Cloud Services Provider

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Moving business operations to the cloud can reduce costs, speed up workflow, and do away with the need for in-house IT infrastructure and resources. Strong cloud providers can also help distant workers cooperate online, report for duty, and have secure access to vital data. To support infrastructure (servers, storage, databases, networking, etc.), software, or services that offer flexibility, performance, scalability, innovation, and cost savings, businesses today rely on cloud services.

The worldwide pandemic has hastened digital transformation, with 90% of enterprises reporting increased cloud usage as a result of COVID-19 to enable distant work, satisfy the demand for tailored customer experiences, and ensure system uptime. Gartner believes that public cloud investment would approach 45% of total IT spending by 2026, up from 17% in 2021.

How to Pick a Trustworthy Cloud Services Provider

It's simple: data needs security, thus cloud service providers must ensure their security requirements are high. Cloud service providers must adhere to key industry certifications, such as ISO 27001 or other government-initiated cyber essentials schemes. The finest data governance method, backed by a structured service support procedure, continues to be the linchpin of the cloud service provider’s selection.
What to consider when choosing the right cloud services provider
There are several certifications and standards available in the market that ensure the data management operations of cloud providers are streamlined. Businesses must map their industry-specific security requirements and choose the relevant certifications. It is critical that suppliers meticulously organize their resources and support services, assuring continual adherence to the needed certifications and standards.
It's possible that you already have a system in place for classifying data that outlines different data categories based on their sensitivity and/or sets rules for where the data is stored. You should at the very least be familiar with the legal or data privacy requirements that apply to personal data.

 

What to consider when choosing the right cloud services provider
In light of this, the location in which your data is stored and the consequent local legislation to which it is subject can play a significant role in the decision-making process. If you have particular needs and duties, you should search for service providers who provide you a choice and control over the location where your data is kept, handled, and controlled. Although cloud service providers should be open and honest about where their data centers are located, it is your job to do your own research.
Check to see if the provider's platform and technology selections are appropriate for your current environment and/or achieve your cloud goals. Do the cloud architectures, standards, and services offered by the provider align with the workloads you have and how you wish to manage them? To make your workloads platform-ready, figure out how much customization is needed.
What to consider when choosing the right cloud services provider
A lot of service providers offer comprehensive migration services, including evaluation and planning assistance. Make sure you have a firm grasp of the support that is available, align it with the tasks of the project, and decide who will do what. Service providers typically offer technical staff that can bridge gaps in your migration teams' skill sets.
Choosing the best package needs to be a priority because moving to the cloud is neither simple nor inexpensive. It is advised to pre-define the budget for creating the cloud infrastructure and to adhere to the pre-established comparative standards. All cloud service providers need to be evaluated based on the various price plans and licenses once the company demands have been carefully mapped out.
What to consider when choosing the right cloud services provider
Due to the various pricing schemes and discount systems used by the suppliers, it is challenging to compare prices across them accurately. But it's crucial to look for clarity in pricing strategies. Most respectable cloud service providers typically give free trial periods and online pricing estimators so that companies can "test before they buy." And without a question, this is the ideal place to begin.
You can assess a service provider's dependability in a number of ways. First, compare the service provider's performance over the last 6–12 months against their SLAs. While some service providers make this information available, others need to do so upon request. Expecting perfection is unrealistic because any cloud service may occasionally encounter outages. What matters is how the supplier handles the outage.
What to consider when choosing the right cloud services provider
Make sure that the available tools for monitoring and reporting are adequate and compatible with your overall management and reporting systems. Make sure that the service provider you choose has developed, documented, and tested procedures for handling scheduled and unscheduled downtime. They should have procedures and strategies in place that detail how they intend to get in touch with consumers during times of interruption, including how to prioritize concerns, communicate on time, and gauge their seriousness. When service faults occur, be aware of the remedies and liability restrictions provided by the cloud provider.
Vendor lock-in occurs when a client who uses a product or service finds it difficult to switch to a rival. Usually, proprietary technologies that are incompatible with those of rivals lead to vendor lock-in. However, among other things, it can also be brought on by ineffective procedures or contractual restrictions.
What to consider when choosing the right cloud services provider
By minimizing the usage of services that restrict your capacity to move or switch providers, you can reduce the danger of vendor lock-in and ensure that your selected provider uses the least amount of proprietary technology. In order to reduce the danger of lock-in, it is ideal to choose value-added services that have equally effective and affordable alternatives in the market.

Importance of Certified Cloud Partner

Working with the certified cloud partners can bring a lot of difference in your cloud journey as compared to others. Being certified partners can make them bring special deals, discounts and offers that your organization can get benefited from and may not be available in market. In addition, you get to optimize your spending, extended support, experts advisory, more flexibility and much more.

 

Benefits of moving to cloud with certified cloud partner

Saving money is made simpler by AWS' pay-as-you-go approach, but cost optimization to its fullest extent necessitates the continuous observation of the resources being utilized and their usage patterns. A competent partner can assess your total cost of ownership (TCO) and make sure you aren't spending money on resources that you don't actually require.
Benefits: For instance, a certified AWS partner offers a thorough Cloud Foundation solution that reduces expenses and increases clarity about exactly where your money is being spent.
In order to retain the availability and performance your users or customers have come to expect from your website or apps when you migrate to AWS, you must consider what data and applications to move and how.
Benefit: certified partner will implement an AWS Migration Acceleration Program to ensure that the procedure satisfies both your business and your technological needs, laying the groundwork for a successful migration.
You will experience the advantages of your relocation more quickly with the assistance of a partner. We've seen that migrations with a partner typically proceed 25% more quickly than those carried out alone and also produce greater business results. The entire organization can more easily transition to the AWS platform with a shorter migration period.
Nearly 500,000 cybersecurity experts are needed globally, according to a survey by the international cybersecurity professional association (ISC)2, which revealed that nearly two-thirds of respondents felt their business's cybersecurity personnel were understaffed. The cost of employing an internal security staff might be exorbitant given this demand.
Benefit: You can hire a team of security specialists through an AWS partner for less than the salary of a full-time employee.

Conclusion

Lack of preparation, ignoring to consider the needs of the company, not evaluating the benefits and drawbacks of various cloud service providers, and not having skilled expertise to develop for the cloud today, are some of the most common reasons behind cloud migration failure in many organizations. Many of these typical cloud failure issues are solvable with the assistance of a trustworthy cloud partner. The finest cloud service provider is one who can adapt to even the most unusual and complex business requirements. A cloud strategy is essential, but it's also critical that the cloud journey plan shall be loaded with clearly defined execution milestones and unmistakable business objectives.

Till date, many organizations got benefited from our cloud native solutions and products with active support from our panel of cloud experts in solving their complicated business challenges, building a comprehensive cloud based system for their business operations and achieved measurable outcomes within planned budget. Do you have a cloud questions? Contact us today and learn more about how we can help your company.

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Blog | Financial Operations/FinOps: A Solution to your Cloud Financial Management Problems

Financial Operations/FinOps: A Solution to your Cloud Financial Management Problems

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Cloud environments are inherently complex, and with rapid cloud adoption, organizations struggle to regulate cloud costs and get their ROI correct. FinOps or financial operations addresses the issue by enabling spend optimization and bringing financial accountability to the variable spend model of the cloud. The enterprise IT spending on cloud adoption is witnessing an accelerating shift to the cloud.

Gartner says the worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services in 2022 is forecast to grow to total $494.7 billion i.e. by 20.4% up from $410.9 billion in 2021. The end-user spending in 2023 is expected to reach $600 billion approximately. The accelerating shift to the cloud stems from the promise of improved productivity and competitive gains. Leading cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud. All cater to businesses from small to medium to large enterprises. While organizations hop on to the cloud bandwagon, they realize challenges in regulating their cloud costs and achieving the correct return on investments with rapidly expanding cloud services and their use.

Cloud spending is becoming a more prominent and visible cost component in quarterly financial reports of organizations, irrespective of size. Questions arise on efficient management of cloud utilization costs and ensuring that it is money wisely spent, and providing planned ROI.

Role of FinOps in tracking Cloud Financial Accountability

Cloud accounting or FinOps helps address the extravagant cloud spend issue enabling spend optimization and cloud spending using operational practices and necessary tools. Today FinOps is an effective means to manage cloud financial operations, cloud financial management, or cloud cost optimizations. It is a cloud operation model that consolidates finance and IT by guiding to profitable cloud operations through processes and practices that provide visibility into cloud resources. With proper implementation, FinOps uses the right cloud accounting tools and approach to provide considerable cost savings, efficient resource utilization, and billing transparency.

Let us take a closer look at some challenges with the cloud and why FinOps or Cloud Accounting is essential today.

Challenges with Cloud Cost Accounting

Firms usually transition from fixed-priced data centers to cloud solutions that are usage-based and adaptive for additional core computing services resulting in a new set of problems. Some of such challenges are as follows:

Cloud spending is less predictable and variable when computing resources are required with options of on-demand scalability. It becomes time-consuming and challenging to comprehend the large volume of data on cloud prices and invoices.
For example, AWS offers Reserved Instances (RIs) in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Duration of reservation and amount of upfront payment are vital components. Between their one-year or three-year commitment options, a longer commitment period offers higher discounts with an upfront payment. With upfront payment, you are pre-paying for three years. But using accrual accounting, the finance teams cannot consider the entire three-year payment as operating expenses for the first year. One needs to capitalize the three years of payments and amortize them over the 36 months. Finance departments need to use appropriate accrual methods or have misrepresentations in their financial statements.
FinOps approach has solutions to track, predict, and optimize cloud costs accurately.
Engineers focus on their special technical delivery, making financial decisions that might be steering away from the established economic and purchasing processes. FinOps helps to implement accountability for all the cloud costs.
Cloud costs must be updated, transparent in associating with the correct departments, and deliver commercial value for success. The need is for economics at the unit level along with real-time inputs and responses for business cases.
Optimizing cloud resources has to be a regular activity, and the expense management activity covers various techniques. Technical experts need to get a centralized view and work on optimizing cloud resources accordingly.
Organizations pursue multi-cloud strategies and may take various packages from different cloud providers. Standardization and consolidation of cloud costs into a single reference source can be challenging.
Cloud FinOps helps increase financial accountability in the cloud's variable expenditure model among disparate teams delivering business efficiency. It enhances cloud expenditures' administration and cost management by establishing and facilitating real-time and efficient control.

Why FinOps?

Cloud infrastructure technologies are significantly different from the familiar on-premises technology infrastructure. Organizations typically use the tried and tested financial model that involves purchasing resources and depreciating and amortizing them over the years. Using a FinOps model, there is a paradigm shift in the company's perspective that focuses on operational expenses of using cloud resources by by-the-minute.

Unlike on-premise solutions with memory space limitations, the cloud offers scalable on-demand memory resources with varying pay-as-you-go usage that risks exhausting allocated financial resources. IT engineers must proactively plan software projects and consider cloud costs a top-class performance indicator.

FinOps is becoming a widely accepted industry practice as firms realize the criticality of driving optimal value from their cloud investments that help boost business outcomes and ROIs.

Getting a grip on cloud cost optimization

As cloud computing costs rise yearly, organizations and their leadership need a proper explanation that demonstrates sound cloud knowledge and justifies the costs. A well-planned implementation of a cloud spend optimization strategy using FinOps can help an organization leverage the benefits of the cloud at optimal prices.

Visibility to Cloud Spends

Having visibility across cloud resources and activities for even the most sensitive environments with a comprehensive solution can help attain immediate cost savings. From analyzing your cloud billing, cloud cost drivers, generating alerts on cloud cost budgets to keeping your cloud spending in check by controlling cloud access and recommending actions for cost optimization – Swayam does it all for you. From small-sized organizations to public sector to large-sized enterprises Minfy customers deploy Swayam for optimizing, governing and managing the most complex cloud infrastructures.

To learn more about FinOps, sign up for a free consultation. We can help you manage cloud finances with FinOps solutions at a 50% discounted cost, sign up know-how.

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Blog | 10 Ways to Reduce your AWS Cloud Spend

10 Ways to Reduce your AWS Cloud Spend

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is perhaps the most preferred cloud service provider available in the market today. And the credit goes to its bestseller, sheer size computing resources, hands-on customer support and the user-friendly pay-as-you-use pricing policy.

AWS customers often complain about receiving giant cloud bills and spending more than their estimation on the cloud. For the organizations moving workloads to the cloud for the first time, cloud bill emerges as a new factor consuming a sizable piece of their IT budgets. Users keep struggling to find the right balance between cloud performance and cost. The unending battle to control the heavy cloud spending can be annoying for those who have already identified mismanaged resources, switched to good discounted cloud deals, and right-sized the computing services but did not succeed in slashing the cloud cost.

Paying only for the resources you use can help businesses achieve higher benefits of the cloud with unlimited scalability at lower IT cost. But the truth is that you are charged for the resources you have ordered regardless of the fact that you use them or not. Other cost drivers are a lack of visibility over cloud accounts and activities resulting in unauthorized access and use of services. This leads to costs addition without notice and charges of un-used, unnecessary resources. A study by Craig Lowery and Brandon Medford on cloud spend waste reveals that “Near about 70% of the cloud costs are wasted”.

Attaining cloud cost optimization is the main concern for organizations eager to control their cloud expenses. Here are the ten best practices to reduce your cloud spend and save big on your next cloud bill.

 

10 steps closer to reduce your AWS cloud spend

A heat map is a visual tool that acts as your cost optimization assistant. You can check the highs and lows of your computing demands using this tool and decide which services to start or stop for a specific time without disrupting other services. For instance, identify if development servers could be safely shut down on weekends. Do it manually or automate the start or stop schedule of instances.
Avoid paying for unused services by identifying the least or most used resources and scheduling their start / stop operations to run them only when needed.
Employees accessing and using the organization’s cloud resources for personal or other use without proper approval come under Shadow IT. This adds considerably to your cloud bill. In addition to increasing cost, it also poses security threats due to unaccounted data access.
Having a medium to peek into your cloud activities, educating your staff about the risks of Shadow IT, and setting a proper audit system to block unofficial apps can help eliminate Shadow IT and cut down related charges.
The AWS auto-scaling facilitate adjusting server’s capacity automatically to meet demands as per traffics density and maintain a steady performance at the lowest cost. It is not uncommon for teams to take shortcuts to configure auto-scaling groups in order to expedite the process. This leads to increased capacity-to-demand ratios and, therefore, more addition to cloud costs.
It is important to review the EC2 auto-scaling groups for the scaling activity with necessary settings and analyze the result in a timely manner to stop incurring related pricing.
Charges start adding from the time an EBS (Elastic Block Store) volume is created.  A huge part of the cloud cost is charged for the unattached EBS volumes in AWS accounts, these volumes are not in use but are chargeable. When a volume is left unattached and has very low (write) activity for a specific period of time it is considered as unused and shall be discarded. To avoid getting charged for such volumes, set a mechanism that allows checking the unused volumes and automatically deletes them.
To reduce cost, the best practice for deleting an EBS volume is first to have an EBS snapshot of it and then delete the volume. EBS snapshot is used to create a copy of data to use in case of any disaster or data loss. Accumulating old EBS snapshots can again make your cloud bill heavy. Organizations can decide how many snapshots to retain over a specific period. Consider setting a policy that alerts users on reaching a specific number of snapshots after a certain time and automatically deletes the older snapshots can avoid unexpected charges.
It is a smart decision to analyze your cloud use for a long term and then invest in reserved instances. Reserved instances help you save significantly on cloud spending. But it is equally important to properly use and monitor these reserved instances from time to time in order to optimize their benefits; failing to do so can only add more charges to your cloud bill.
To ensure the optimization of your reserved instances purchase, you shall be able to track and evaluate their benefits, spot waste and take action on a regular basis.
AWS provides five elastic IPs for each region; you are charged if:
  1. Same instance is assigned with more than one elastic IP
  2. Instance with elastic IP is terminated /stopped
  3. Same IP is remapped more than 100 times
  4. IP is disassociated, unattached or unused
To not incur charges for any of the above reasons, ensure none of your elastic IP or carrier IP addresses is left disassociated. Either re-associate them to any instance or delete them to elude wasted cost.
AWS cloud services are meant to make your cloud journey easy and simple. But if not used or monitored properly, you can only end up paying for not using any of them. For instance, if you are using AWS OpsWorks to create AWS resources, then you must terminate those resources when not in use in OpsWorks only. Otherwise, the auto-healing feature restarts these resources automatically, and you keep getting priced for them. A similar case is with Amazon CloudWatch, which lets users monitor resources and track spending but drives up costs on scaling cloud usage.
You can manage AWS services on your own with proper training or look for managed services experts who can do it for you so that you can optimize the cloud services without paying unnecessary charges unknowingly.
AWS offers free trial period for its services and packages. Once the services are expired, charges begin at standard billing rates. Setting alerts to notify when the free trial is about to expire can help to avoid incurring costs.
Scan your AWS bill to check what’s driving up the cloud cost. You will notice that you are being charged for the resources you once bought but not using anymore. Lower your cloud spending by identifying and then destroying such overlooked unused resources.
IT departments shall track new instances and attached storage created. It is very common for them to remove new instances and not delete the storage attached to them, which keeps adding charges to the bills. Setting up a process to spot such resources and deleting them can cut down unexpected expenses.
Another factor where users get charged is data requests for accessing, transferring or recovering data. Frequent data access, transfer or recovery requests can raise the cloud bill.
To shift data between different cloud platforms or regions, you have to pay extra to the cloud service provider. Therefore it is best practice to first evaluate your cloud providers’ fees for the data requests, transfers, or recovery then define your budget, and as per that, limit the frequency of transfers or retrievals.

The bottom line

Cloud holds great potential and can unlock many financial opportunities for businesses if used effectively. Reducing cloud spend will not happen overnight; companies shall follow the cost optimization strategies efficiently with few reviews and modifications frequently. It is essential to understand that cloud cost optimization is not a one-time activity but an ongoing effort that needs the contribution of the whole organization. Everyone using cloud resources in an organization shall take the responsibility to use the cloud optimally and sensibly. Educating various teams on their cloud-saving role, pricing attributes, and best practices to cut down cloud expenses can help shun unexpected cloud cost waste and keep your next cloud bill in control.

It is always good, to begin with, a free consultation to initiate saving on your next cloud bill. Talk to our cloud experts to know where you stand on your cloud cost optimization journey and how we can help you cut down your cloud expenses by 50%.

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Blog | Risks and Challenges of Legacy Systems: Why to Modernize?

Risks and Challenges of Legacy Systems: Why to Modernize?

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Organizations still running legacy systems are losing on the benefits of modern technologies and lagging behind their competitors in the digital race. Embracing digital transformation is vital to increase revenue, performance and productivity.

Legacy systems are roadblocks to digital transformation for many organizations as they are outdated, old, impossible to integrate with new platforms, independent and not compatible with other data systems. Businesses with significant resources, such as companies or government organizations, are still more likely to depend on legacy systems, platforms or technology for multiple reasons.

Using and maintaining a system that operates independently of others can only slow a company’s productivity. Replacing legacy systems is a complicated job as they are a fundamental requisite for businesses. But despite of its complexity, migration can prove life-changing for businesses. Integrating legacy systems into the cloud provides a more secure network, flexibility, scalability, and ability to use new technologies and boosts business revenue by cutting down the high operational and maintenance cost of legacy systems. Companies using legacy systems shall understand the risks and challenges involved in continuing their use and how it can retard their business growth.

Risks and challenges in keeping the legacy system

Let’s take a close look at the issues and problems of legacy systems that can harm your business’s growth if not addressed sooner.

The only constant in the field of technology is changes. New technologies are always cost-effective and designed to make operations faster, and easier with quick support and updates. This is not the case with legacy systems (software, applications, hardware); they are outdated – built as per older requirements and compatibilities, and struggle to keep up with modern operational demands. Newer staffs’ unfamiliarity with them as only fewer programmers know the required language makes it harder for developers to work with them. They are slow to update, weaker in performance and increase the whole system’s downtime making them expensive to maintain.
Soon comes a time when the company finds it cheaper to replace them than to maintain the existing system.
Data is a real asset of any organization, and developers work diligently for the cyber security of their company. As hackers keep seeking out the weakest entry points in solutions for data access, legacy systems can be an easy targets for security breaches if not kept up-to-date.
Legacy systems are more susceptible to security threats as it is hard to get the support from the vendors creating them in case of any security attack. Only few developers who know the old languages can handle the security issues with legacy systems; receiving their updates and patches to tackle the security risk is hectic as most of the outdated software support gets stopped from the makers after a period. Due to all these reasons, businesses using legal systems are more vulnerable to security threats as compared to the new systems.
The new systems are built considering the latest threats and are tough to crack. Organizations feel safer than most on-premise systems after moving to the cloud due to the stronger security capabilities offered by the cloud-native solutions.
In today’s digital world, everyone wants to access things faster; mobile phone has become a significant part of our life. Mobile allows accessing apps remotely, adding to more productivity and operational efficiencies. Businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity and creating mobile compatible apps to increase their reach and business.
Legacy software cannot be accessed through any devices than office computers and legacy applications are not mobile-compatible. This limits company’s productivity, reach, growth; adding more expenses required for traveling, infrastructure, work environment set up, and others.
Legacy systems are insecure and decrease employees’ productivity over time as new employees are unaware of this kind of system; which makes your business less competitive and hampers business efficiency. The problems in stability are visible when there is a lack of frequent support from the vendor making it difficult to fix bugs and patches.
As the company scales, software shall be able to change, update, grow and develop. One of the risks of keeping legacy software is that it will not adopt or expand as per evolving business needs.
To meet the demands of new technologies, big companies shall make their legacy software compatible with new applications; this can be achieved through migration. It is not uncommon for businesses to go for shortcuts and apply patches as emergency solutions for their legacy software; this can work only for a short time and then come back with big trouble. Your business needs will always keep evolving, and your systems will not be able to meet them.
You must set a working system compatible with business growth and open for updates with growing business demands. This cannot be achieved with monolithic or legacy systems as they are independent and incapable of integrating with other software. This impacts an organization’s flexibility and scalability and limits businesses from exploring and incorporating new technology into the existing system.
By embracing modern solutions, you can integrate more advanced software and solutions your organization needs.
In this competitive age, you must adopt new technologies to be ahead of your competitors. This is a digital era, where you will only lose your business opportunities to your competitors by using a legacy system. Customers will not stay loyal to you if you cannot provide a fast, easy, cheaper solution to their demands.
Customers come back to the applications that are user friendly and easy to use; adding too many features and functionality can make the applications complex and it may affect the customer’s experience resulting in losing their interest in using them. Businesses cannot retain their existing customers or attract new ones if they get a bad user experience for their products.
Legacy systems do not support advanced features, formats or designs and allows creating old, outdated structured forms which may not be appealing as compared to the latest, user-friendly, easy-to-use apps possible with latest technologies. With legacy systems, businesses can only design products with old formats or structures that customers are not willing to use.

The bottom line

Legacy systems in business are notoriously rigid, non-scalable, and a hurdle to success. They pose a series of problems to any organization making their progress stagnant. Problems associated with compliance, security, high maintenance expenses and integration can be eradicated by modernizing or replacing a legacy system. Restraining from investing in new technologies and sticking back to a legacy system will only hinder your business’s ability to compete and make the ground ready for your competitors.

Migrating to the cloud is one of the best means to stay competitive. If you are still unsure about why you should modernize, get in touch with our experts who can make it easy for you.

It is always good, to begin with a free consultation to know the roadmap to the cloud journey. Talk to our cloud experts to see how you can start your cloud migration journey and how we can help you get it done at a 50% discounted offer.

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Blog | Cloud Migration Phases: Avoid These Common Mistakes

Cloud Migration Phases: Avoid These Common Mistakes

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Cloud migration phases establish a framework for a successful migration. However, companies unaware of the specific nuances of each phase continue to jeopardize migration. In this article, we will look at the different cloud migration phases, the obstacles management will face in each, and how to overcome them.

Cloud migration phases

AWS migration documentation breaks down the migration process into four phases-Prepare, Plan, Migrate and Optimize. These phases will help give us an overview of the process. Note: These phases also apply to AWS, Google Cloud migration for Google Cloud Platform (GCP migration), and Azure Migrate.

Identify the system components and how these communicate. This holistic view of our system will help us determine what processes we want to keep on-premise, retire, or update to fit into the cloud.
What to do
  • Identify dependencies.
  • Qualify workloads.
What you can’t miss
  • Change the mindset. Pay attention to how you visualize your role and responsibilities as CIO. Moving to the cloud means doing things differently: from managing access policies to rethinking your tools and security.
  • Examine what you take for granted. Migration can affect even simple processes. Don’t ignore them. These can pile up and become a problem if not addressed from the beginning.
Measure the best approach by considering the system information, business objectives, and budget. Also, define what the company expects from the migration: E.g. increasing network capacity or minimizing expenses.
What to do
Cloud migration's most common options are:
Re-hosting. Migrating to the cloud without modifying the system or with little modifications. E. g. AWS Application Migration Service and AWS Server Migration Service.
Re-purchasing. Moving to a new product altogether.
Re-platforming. Modifying the software to optimize it for the cloud. It doesn’t necessarily mean making deep changes to the software architecture.
Refactoring. Adjusting software to architecture level to match cloud features and tools.
What you can’t miss
  • Present the budget properly. Buying capacity differs vastly from buying hardware. Hence, when figuring out and submitting the budget make sure to acknowledge this difference. Also, sometimes companies decide to keep their systems unaltered for the time being due to the expense it would be to update them or retire them altogether. It is up to you as CIO to decide what’s best.
  • Go for new business strategies. While cloud migration allows businesses to scale and work more efficiently, it also offers new functionalities and unheard business opportunities and products to users and clients. As such, CIOs have to present these as the key to the migration decision.
Implement the target system, that is, the database and workload.
What to do
  • Choose a provider.
  • Start with a trial. Make sure that you’re in the right direction by starting on a small path and moving from there.
  • Use migration tools. To automate the process, you can rely on tools. Providers often have their own: e.g. AWS Server Migration Service, Azure Migrate and Google Workspace Migrate for GPC migration.
  • Test. Test how your database and applications work in the new platform.
What you can’t miss
  • Trust a partner. To ensure a smooth and swift migration, consider hiring a partner specialized in the provider of your choice.
  • Learn how to deal with capacity. The cloud offers a somewhat limitless capacity. Still, don’t overbuy capacity. Learn first how your system works on the cloud. Make sure to include capacity into the cloud migration proposal for speeding up infrastructure buys approvals.
  • Keep an eye on your application. In case you’re only migrating your database, bear in mind that you may also need to test if your applications still work as expected with it or if they need adjustments.
  • Rely on tools. Aside from migration tools, cloud tools can help you educate on what the cloud looks like. Don’t limit yourself to the platform's tools, but look out also for third parties.
Once migration is over, what’s left is to ensure the system has successfully done so.
What to do
  • Monitor. Ensure it is sustaining high availability. Performance monitoring tools can help to visualize the database and the system status.
  • Backup.
  • Optimize. Learn from feedback what can be improved and implement cloud tools to do so like automatic scaling for micro services.
What you can’t miss
  • Learn about scalability. Scalability can help you increase revenue, but also save expenses.
  • Optimize your limits. Cloud providers have limits so once you are cloud-enabled learn how your operation works and what can be cut down to ensure you go over them and have to pay an extra. Minimize your data footprint as well.

The bottom line

In cloud migration, following the best practices is just half the equation. A successful migration stems from avoiding regrets by learning to identify potential mistakes. From small-sized to large-sized enterprises, 100s of customers are benefitted from Minfy’s cloud services and solution. We have done it for them; we can do it for you.

Do you have a cloud strategy in mind? Contact us today and learn more about how we can help your company.

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Blog | Cloud Computing: A boon to StartUps in Financial Slowdown Period

Cloud Computing: A boon to StartUps in Financial Slowdown Period

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The last two years have been tough for all businesses. The pandemic has devastated many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and brought down their revenue to a point that they were left with no choice but shut down their business. Many businesses redesigned, reconsidered and revamped their entire business models to withstand the pandemic challenges of remote working, zero motivation, lack of funds, less business demand and related supply, etc.

Among all the businesses, the worst affected were startup companies. Startups embody nearly 90% of the world’s reported businesses and employ 50% of the world's workers. They are regarded as pillars of the country’s economy, these pillars were shaken and forced to close their operations due to less revenue and work. However, many startups survived and managed to operate smoothly with good revenue; and this became possible due to cloud computing services. The technologies have proved to be a saving grace in this financial slowdown period. Businesses that invested in cloud were able to surpass the current pandemic; on the other hand, those who didn’t were affected badly. Today, the cloud has become an integral part of all businesses and the most sought-after solution for organizations virtually in every industry. As a result, all companies are leveraging cloud technology in the pandemic period. According to a research by Cisco, cloud will handle almost 94% of the business work within next 3 years.

Why are startups adopting the cloud?

Today’s startups are born in cloud; they are adopting the cloud, and building apps with innovative digital technologies more than ever.  Startups are using cloud computing for many reasons than budget, such as flexibility, security and scalability. With cloud computing, a third-party vendor owns and manages the IT resources and leases them to businesses for use on a subscription basis. Any required changes or maintenance is the vendor’s responsibility. For example, if your startup needs extra bandwidth or computational power, it can be done through a simple request to vendors who will do it for you at amended subscription fees.

Additionally cloud is easy to use, budget-friendly, many features are offered as freebies, doesn’t need any unique resources, and payment is a usage basis which helps to invest more as and when required.
Whether it is a software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or other managed service, with the cloud you get a wide range of the cloud-based services for your different business needs. The subscription based fee structure of cloud further makes it more affordable for startups than the traditional IT solutions with high upfront CAPEX costs.
The key cloud service providers AWS, G-Cloud and Microsoft Azure have designed customized cloud programs to meet the requirements of startups at each stage. Stages of the startup tech companies can be categorized as early, minimum viable product (MVP) level, launch and blitz scaling one. If your startup falls under an early stage, you can use AWS Activate at this stage program to avail the cloud services at a reasonable rate. For more mature startups, incubators and providers, AWS has designed Activate Portfolio. Startups can use these ready and easy to use customized cloud programs and save big.
Most of the cloud providers offer a set of services and technologies which can help start-ups secure their data as it is located on reliable servers that make regular backups. With cloud-based backups, companies do not need to worry about losing data stored in remote locations.
Cloud computing is sustainable, which can help start-ups to gain new customers and retain the old.
Cloud enables startups to compete with well-established players with access to the expertise and resources offered by cloud vendors. Additionally, 24/7 managed support is provided. Startups now have access to a wide range of software and hardware, which was not possible earlier in the traditional IT environment.

Common cloud mistakes by startups

study by Bobby Chernev reveals that 90% of startups fail, and only 40% manage to make a profit; the reasons for failure were cited as lack of cash, lack of investor or financing interest, pricing and cost issues. As startups are low on the financial side, they have to keep their budgets in-check to succeed. Startup adopts the cloud as it is cost-effective, offers independence, flexibility, reliability and scalability. When adopting the cloud many startups make common mistakes that can affect their scalability and weaken their financial growth.

 

In 2018 because of the development team’s mistake, Adobe unknowingly wasted $80K in cloud cost; another tech giant had to pay heavily after exceeding the spending in AWS beyond their anticipated budget. The reason behind these mistakes was - unexpected traffic spikes. Even though the cloud can help startups survive the financial slowdown period, these examples show how a minor topple in the cloud strategy can hamper your business’s scalability and finances. Chances of startups making such mistakes and losing big are very high; that’s why before moving to the cloud, it is vital to know the common cloud mistakes made by the startups and how to avoid them. Let’s take a closer look at some of such mistakes.

Many startups deploy apps or solutions without evaluating their cloud need, without discussing them with other departments and make the wrong decision of directly adopting the cloud. This results in non-optimized cloud benefits.
What to do
Always start with assessing what your business actually needs, and devise a cloud strategy in-line with your performance targets. Gartner states, “a right cloud strategy is a central role that the cloud plays in an organization”.  Always involve all departments of your company when creating a cloud strategy for better decision-making. Have an exit plan for the situation when things go out of control or budget.
Before moving to the cloud, startups must first consider deciding which provider to partner with and check which cloud suits their business needs best. Not doing your research correctly is the other common mistake due to which startups end up paying more on the features they do not need or use.
Deciding the right cloud partner is important as cloud infrastructure is tailor-made for every business’ individual needs by cloud providers. The trouble starts when vendor’s payment model is complicated and offer rigid, non scalable platform.
What to do
  • Do your business requirements evaluation before selecting a cloud service provider. You can have experts’ opinions if you don’t have the required expertise or consider outsourcing it to a professional.
  • A right cloud service provider helps you analyze your unique requirements and provide recommendations before starting the service. Select cloud providers based on your business goals and needs, not trends and popularity. Give a try to different cloud vendors and before finalizing one of them always use their free trial programs.
  • Estimate your upfront cloud transition expenses with MicrosoftGoogle and Amazon pricing calculators.
Overall the following factors can help you choose the best cloud provider in-line with your business needs:
  • Evaluate business requirements
  • Know storage and computing requirements
  • Identify users and devices count
  • Estimate the budget
Businesses rush to the cloud in an unplanned manner and then complain about slow transition and cost wastage than estimation. You may have complex, huge applications running on millions of code; moving all of the application components simultaneously to the cloud will only lead to poor performance and maintenance issues.
What to do
Move your applications to the cloud in stages. Follow a step-by-step migration approach.
The cloud could go down sometimes, just like the traditional IT infrastructure. Consider implementing the famous saying in the cloud community, “Design for failure and nothing will fail”.
What to do
Execute the cloud-optimized failure-tolerant cloud architecture and ensure to opt for a cloud service provider who offers a reliable data recovery system.
$1.52M was lost in data breaches in 2020 which was $1.42M in 2019. Data breaches are costly and can kill business scalability. Most of the startups struggle to execute security protocols. Startups must establish a security-first approach when migrating their workflow to the cloud.
What to do
Ensure that your startup is following all the cloud security practices. In addition, verify if your cloud service provider is following the compliance laws apart from the security measures they provide.

The bottom line

Cloud technology has helped many startups survive the financial slowdown period. Cloud is offering multiple business benefits to start-ups and helping them to scale more. However, to achieve measurable business results and increase the success rate, startup companies shall consider following some of the practices, such as establishing a proper cloud strategy, deciding the cloud spend as per the available budget, using the freebies and discounted cloud deals, auditing cloud needs and use as per actual business demands and choosing the right cloud partner.

Pandemics are unpredictable, but you can always use digital technologies to secure the future of your business. Ignoring the lessons learnt in this pandemic and not thinking about embracing the cloud even after witnessing how it saved so many businesses from breaking down in tough times may only delay the plethora of benefits that the cloud can add to your business.

In the past few years, many startups are benefitted from Minfy’s cloud services and solutions. Are you a startup, looking for answers to your cloud questions? Contact us today and learn more about how we can help your company.

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Blog | Minfy Achieves AWS Energy Competency

Minfy Achieves AWS Energy Competency

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Minfy Achieves AWS Energy Competency

29 November 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada Minfy Technologies, a Bionic Organization, has announced today that it has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Energy Competency status. This designation recognizes that Minfy has demonstrated deep expertise helping customers leverage AWS cloud capabilities to transform complex business and operational systems, accelerating their transition to a more balanced and sustainable energy future.

Achieving the AWS Energy Competency differentiates Minfy as an AWS Partner with deep expertise and technical proficiency within this industry, including proven customer success in developing solutions across the value chain, from production operations and optimization to commodities trading, new energy solutions, and more. To receive the designation, AWS Partners undergo a rigorous technical validation process, including a customer reference audit. The AWS Energy Competency provides energy customers the ability to more easily select skilled partners to help accelerate their digital transformations with confidence.

Minfy is proud to achieve AWS Energy Competency designation, following the achievements of the AWS Migration Competency and AWS SAP Competency earlier this year. Our team is dedicated to helping companies achieve their technology goals by leveraging the agility, breadth and depth of cloud services, and pace of innovation that AWS provides,Said Vikram Manchanda, Minfy CEO.Minfy will strive to help more energy customers accelerate their digital transformation journey and get one step closer to its core mission of green technology. 

AWS is enabling scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions from startups to global enterprises. To support the seamless integration and deployment of these solutions, AWS established the AWS Competency Program to help customers identify AWS Partners with deep industry experience and expertise.

About Minfy: Minfy’s purpose is to help customers achieve a symbiotic relationship between humans and deep tech. Minfy started as a Born in the Cloud MSP (Managed Service Provider) and is transitioning to a Bionic Organization. Minfy is committed to help accelerate digital transformation of customers in a variety of Industries. Minfy, with its talent base in India, is expanding its market presence internationally in ASEAN, US and UK.

Blog | Minfy Supports Digital Transformation for BookMyShow

Minfy Supports Digital Transformation for BookMyShow

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Journey to the Cloud with AWS

Big Tree Entertainment which owns and operate India’s most loved entertainment platform BookMyShow, is one of the oldest and most experienced organisations in the entertainment ecosystem, having been around for over two decades. They strive to enable entities along the entire value chain of the entertainment ecosystem through BookMyShow’s seamless delivery of outstanding user experience for consumers, organisers and partners.

Being India’s largest entertainment platform offering not just tickets for movies, plays, concerts, stand-up comedy and sporting events but also complete execution of live experiences, BookMyShow has contributed immensely to not just the Indian but also global Entertainment ecosystem. They have paved the way for other entertainment service providers by being the first to digitize their offerings through an online ticketing service platform which was how BookMyShow first began. The platform also provides full stack and end-to-end management services for all forms of movies and live events including hospitality, on-ground execution, ingress management & marketing outreach for both partners and consumers to experience the best-in-class entertainment be it out-of-home as it was traditionally or virtual, with offerings delivered safely to consumers’ homes via a virtual streaming experience, thereby covering the entertainment landscape in its entirety.

BookMyShow sells more that 200 million tickets on an annual run rate, which is the largest volume for an online entertainment platform in India. They also approximately get over 200 million monthly customer visits and 5 billion monthly page views on an average. This is a testament to their ability to innovate, respond, be sensitive & agile to changes in Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand, and proactively engage with the future. Thus, BookMyShow has done what many organisations fail to do, that is, to consistently stay relevant in their business space.

Here are 2 record-breaking metrics to acknowledge:

• January 2020 created history with the highest number of tickets ever sold at 23 million, for the first time on the platform
• BMS sold 2.1 million movie tickets for a single day on January 12, 2020, the highest ever sold in one day along with 7 consecutive days of 1 million tickets sold each day from January 10th until January 16th, 2020

Pattern of Typical Consumer Usage Traffic Surge Pre-Pandemic: 

• Weekends have more traffic for ticket bookings as opposed to weekdays.
• New blockbusters releases spawn traffic surges, which typically happen every couple of weeks to sometimes months during regular release periods. 
• Extremely high demand live entertainment events like music concerts, comedy stand-ups, theatrical performances, etc usually occur a few times a year. 

As the pandemic hit and a nation-wide lockdown was imposed, BookMyShow was quick to sense the shift in tide and change tack to alter their service portfolio that had catered to out-of-home entertainment for the longest time to enable consumers to find virtual entertainment offerings on their favourite platform. This meant the company’s technology infrastructure was to urgently adapt, accommodate and respond to the ambiguity of the on-going environment. BookMyShow saw a window of opportunity to implement & accelerate their digital transformation in the pandemic. BookMyShow’s many agile transformations through the years to stay strong, resilient and relevant in the face of multiple external downturns has been largely due to a robust technology and product platform built adeptly over several years. 

With the pandemic presenting the opportunity to shift to a smoother digital infrastructure, BookMyShow was looking to further improve their system & process level efficiencies, reduce operational costs significantly, while continuing to remain agile & nimble. This would aid their journey towards being further future-ready while having robust practices & resilient operations all achieved during a period of reduced customer activity.

Thus, adopting the Cloud-based system posed many benefits that would accrue to BookMyShow. A cloud environment enabled BookMyShow to focus its energies & resources on building offerings that provide the ultimate seamless experience for customers. Secondly, the ability to leverage AWS Cloud Services like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, etc, would help accelerate innovation for both core and emerging offerings. Further, the adoption of new technologies helps BookMyShow attract & retain critical talent across functions within the organisation while aiding decision making far more cost effective in the long run, with little need for capital expenditure to buy & maintain infrastructure and elastic operational expenditure thanks to the Pay-as-you-go Model (likening it to a Light Switch).

The entire Cloud Migration Process consist of two phases:

• Phase 1: Rehost – Lift & Shift BMS Site & Services to AWS Cloud (Completed)
• Phase 2: Refactor – Optimize & Adopt Cloud Native Technologies (On-Going)

BookMyShow has always prided itself on rapid time-to-market, a major prerequisite to being a successful organization in the entertainment business space. Therefore, the @minfyteam leveraged infrastructure as a code (IaaC), which served purposefully due to its ability to turn complex systems and environments into a few lines of code, deploying them at a click of a button.

Perhaps a major point of interest is how BookMyShow decided to leverage Gravtion2 for production workloads. It gave us a significant opportunity to improve the price-performance profile of some of the major database workloads that we currently run-on Amazon EC2. We scheduled the start and stop to run in the business hours, and calculated cost projections monthly to realize the savings achieved during the migration period. Therefore, having benchmarked the new Graviton2-based R6g and C6g instances, we have potentially lowered costs by 30% compared to similar workloads on other instances. We take this as a major lesson learned during this transformation journey. 

It has been a remarkable journey for all stakeholders involved — BookMyShow, AWS & Minfy. We would like to thank the leadership from BookMyShow including Parikshit Dar, Mahesh Vandi Chalil, Ashish Gite and the AWS team, Naren Kachroo, Yogesh Lele, Kaushal Sarasia, Renu Menon, Saurabh Shankar for supporting us throughout this journey and making this transformation possible through their technical leadership.

Thanks & Congratulations to the Minfy Team for working relentlessly in the face of challenges, extending their support at any point necessary, and making this transformation seamless. Manish Jain, Shankar TR, V.Satish Kumar, Anant Joshi, Dharshan MR, Sekhar Unnam, Murali K, A Bharath, Ramit S. 

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