Why small businesses need to choose Infrastructure as code over physical server infrastructure?
My father was a small business owner. In the 1980s and 1990s he built and sold automated power starters for tube-wells for farm owners who lived in remote villages where power cuts were frequent. So twice a year (during the season), our family would start building these devices. Our biggest challenge was to predict the demand and build accordingly. We were not a big corporation. The budgets were tight and margins were acceptable. He could not afford to build and let the inventory sit on the shelves. Because it could mean we will be in the loss for the year. The product eventually evolved into something else.
The bottom line here is that every small business owner understands the pain of unpredictable expenses outside the budget plan. It could mean can not give someone a raise that year. It could mean that your family may not be able to make that trip that they had been planning for.
Technology disruption means business disruption
In 1975, Business Week ran a cover article called The Office Of The Future. In it, George E Pake, head of research at Xerox, predicted "a revolution… over the next 20 years", involving a television display terminal sitting on his desk. "I'll be able to call up documents from my files on the screen, or by pressing a button," he said. "I can get my mail or any messages. I don't know how much hard copy I'll want in this world. It will change our daily life, and this could be kind of scary."
This indeed has become the reality of the business world. Today, every business is reliant on technology if not completely, somewhat semi-completely. And hence the type of disruption a business can face today is hugely ruled by technology disruption. If a POS is down, you cannot sell. If your EMR is down, you cannot pull patient files. If your data has been encrypted by Ransomware, your business is on a stand still until the data is recovered. That’s the reality. Period.
The cost of technology disruption.
What does a typical server failure cost? We generally just take the cost of recovery into account. But what about the cost of the business lost, the cost of the employees that showed up to work but couldn’t do anything, the cost of losing data because of this failure. If the server was completely lost, you would be paying an IT company to recover the data over loaner equipment until your new server arrives. And then paying them to migrate everything on to the new server. And along with all of this, how much cost can you put for the stress of possibility of losing your business because of this server failure.
How infrastructure as code changes this in the cloud?
The era of IaC ( Infrastructure as code) has changed the face of business technology. Instead of managing bulky physical hardware, the cloud brings the possibility of technology infrastructure as lightweight code which can be easily redeployed. Not only that, the hardware layer is completely hidden from the infrastructure, so if there is a hardware failure, the software defined infrastructure is seamlessly migrated to other underlying healthy hardware. This freedom completely takes away ever dealing with hardware again. If there is any failure of the software based servers, cloud offers highly integrated services of storage and backup to easily recover from such failures.
With cloud services platforms, you pay for what you use and have the flexibility of scaling up and down as needed. You never have to build to scale in the future like on premises server infrastructure.
Best of all, because of these fully managed services, the infrastructure is always up-to-date. Security and compliance is easy to achieve with infrastructure as code.
Will cloud services platform become a utility like PG&E?
Cloud service infrastructure is rapidly becoming the first choice of small business owners because of its growing list of benefits. After virtualization ruling the last decade, Infrastructure as code in the cloud is going to be the change maker of innovation for small businesses for the next decade. It will very likely become a utility like service as it will not make any sense to own server infrastructure when you can get all the benefits using cloud infrastructures.
At Cloudanize, we help build innovative software defined infrastructure solutions of businesses of any size and ensure a smooth transition to the cloud.