Rackspace Vice President of Technology Nigel Beighton took the stage Thursday at Structure: Europe to talk about the five most important tools for any company deploying infrastructure in the cloud. Infrastructure-as-a-service is a great thing, he told the crowd, but it’s also full of potential land mines.
How good is the cloud? Well, Beighton explained that an online travel company he worked for during the dot-com boom used to spend about £100,000 every year to scale up for the post-Christmas travel-booking spike. Once that demanded subsided, his team put those extra servers to use playing Doom. Come the next year, they’d do the same thing.
Now, he said, scaling up to meet the same post-Christmas demand would cost about £200 in the cloud. But if you’re not careful, IaaS can burn you, or at least deliver a less-than-optimal experience.
Here are the five tools Beighton thinks are essential for getting the most out of the cloud:
- API management, because you can’t do everything from a GUI.
- Automation, because the cloud should make people’s lives easier.
- Scaling and monitoring, because you need to know where your bottlenecks are and be able to fix them.
- Security, which must scale along with applications in the cloud.
- Financial control, because you don’t want a huge, unexpected cloud bill at the end of the month. You probably don’t want any unused cloud servers at all.
Check out the rest of our Structure:Europe 2013 coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below: