Most Popular Blogs of 2016: Cloud Transformation

cloud transformation

For the past few days we’ve been reviewing the most widely read themes of 2016 here on the Flux7 blog. In case you are just joining us, we’ve already discussed the benefits and challenges of containers, configuration management, and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) in an AWS DevOps environment. Wrapping it all together, we end our Best of 2016 series with our most talked about articles on Amazon cloud computing.

While cloud computing itself is a very broad topic, as our title implies, cloud transformation is the common tie that binds these very popular stories together. And, it makes sense why: digital transformation is reshaping businesses across industries and the supporting technology infrastructure must transform to support this business transformation -- from IoT infrastructure that supports new revenue generating initiatives to creating an agile developer architecture with microservices. These stories inform, share DevOps and AWS best practices and give practical help in the journey to cloud transformation.

Case Study: Creating Scalable IOT Infrastructure Rooted in DevOps Principles
Early in the year we shared this story of a Fortune 500 manufacturer who overcame its scaling challenges and met EU data privacy compliance with an AWS DevOps IoT infrastructure. As part of the company’s transformation, we created an additional layer of IT process automation that further propelled the company’s time to delivery. For example, the organization’s Mongo admin team had not previously automated the process for setting up a Mongo DB cluster. However, by setting up infrastructure as code, we were able to decrease the time for AWS provisioning to mere minutes. The result: a process which initially took the DB admin days, was reduced to 15 minutes. For an even deeper read, you can download the full DevOps case study here.

Microservices Trend as IT Competes on their Respective Strengths
Moving from IoT as a transformative tool, we also took on the topic of microservices and how they help organizations become (and remain) more competitive in the marketplace. In this article we explored the many benefits microservices provide--from faster time to market to better HR utilization and reduced risk--walking through the how and why of each. We also explored how these business benefits apply to organizations of varied sizes, highlighting for readers how their organization can use microservices to get a leg up whether they are a startup or a Fortune enterprise. We also have a more in-depth case study for you to read of how a microservices architecture helped a financial services organization.

Handling Secrets in Microservices
As organizations begin traveling down the path to a microservices architecture, one hurdle that they often run into is deploying an enterprise password manager, or secret management. For, as the number of microservices increase, so too do the number of credentials—often exponentially so—creating a need for effective and efficient management. This article walks readers through the ins and outs of dynamically handling secrets in a microservices environment such that security and agility are effectively balanced. And how with automated, centralized secret management, security is treated as a first-class citizen.

AWS Autoscaling Case Study:  Multi-region website meets high availability and performance requirements for a marketing campaign
One of our favorite stories was your favorite story, too. A case study of how HomeAway saved Christmas through RerouteSanta.com, a website parents could use to alert Santa of their child’s location on Christmas. The only problem: the HomeAway team needed to launch the campaign globally with a very tight timeline. This required the ability to launch quickly in different markets and different languages around the world while scaling to meet different traffic demands. Flux7 created a fast – loading at sub one second -- scalable, and global solution that was highly available and focused on website stability. If a single instance went down, the website would have stayed up. The AWS autoscaling architecture was flawless; there was not a single failure over the entire duration of the campaign.

DevOps in the Cloud helps Transform Retail Enterprise
From hospitality to retail, DevOps in the cloud is transformative. This story tells us of a Fortune 1000 retailer that transformed its IT with AWS DevOps strategy increasing in the process its global agility, availability and market competitiveness all while maintaining PCI compliance. Prior to transitioning to a more modern infrastructure, this organization’s IT was defined by lengthy deployment cycles and numerous manual steps for processes such as provisioning new servers or preparing OS and server images. Moving to a more elastic environment in AWS, Flux7 AWS consulting team helped design and build repeatable, automated processes for provisioning infrastructure and Amazon Machine Images AMI using Docker, CloudFormation, and Jenkins. The increased automation and flexibility resulted in an agile developer workflow that now enables rapid execution and reduces time-to-market for new projects.

Skip the Downtime with the New AWS Server Migration Service
Making it easier to move to AWS and begin taking advantage of the its benefits for business transformation, AWS announced a new server migration service. In this article we took a look at how the AWS Server Migration Service simplifies migrations by allowing users to incrementally replicate live VMs to the cloud. This approach removes the need for lengthy maintenance periods that previously may have taken critical systems offline longer than the business has tolerance for. AWS SMS has made migration so straight-forward and seamless, that they have essentially eradicated migration-related downtime while making it cheap and easy to lift and shift an entire datacenter. Read more blogs on migration here.

Service Catalog Best Practices: Your Very Own IT Vending Machine
We had a lot of fun writing this article and were glad to see you enjoyed it, too. In this piece, we compared IT to a restaurant, with different people and departments placing their orders for specific technologies. Restaurants have a leg-up on IT in this analogy as chefs created menus as a way to funnel the requests that come into the kitchen while still giving diners a choice. Taking the idea of a menu one step further and offering it in a self-service format is the vending machine. While you may not always find what you need at the vending machine, it is designed to meet the most common needs on-demand. And this is exactly the model that IT is moving to with Service Catalog.

Building a service catalog is a culture shift for organizations with IT able to serve more people faster without them ever stepping foot into the kitchen. Internal customer satisfaction grows as users are able to self-serve their own IT needs, getting the resources they need when they need them, all while keeping their work moving forward. And IT is able to stop juggling plates and get ahead of the curve which provides an opportunity for strategic leadership.

Leading the business through cloud transformation is a critical job that many of our readers are tasked with. Navigating this change in a way that successfully supports the business can be challenging, and yet very rewarding. As your organization moves to embrace digital transformation to reshape the business for greater competitiveness in 2017 and beyond, please subscribe below for more in-depth analysis, tips, tricks and case studies of how DevOps and Amazon cloud computing can help power your transformation.

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