In this digital era, leveraging the cloud has become essential for businesses. From scalability and security to cost optimization and reliability, you need to consider many aspects before architecting and building cloud applications. If you are a business owner looking for cloud consulting services, read this blog to learn the top 5 things that you should consider when architecting your application on the cloud. So, let’s look at the first one:

1. Always Build Scalable Cloud Applications

Fluctuating workloads are a reality for many applications. However, you do not have to scramble for extra servers when you build applications on the cloud. Take the help of cloud migration services that allow you to automatically scale resources up or down based on real-time demand.

Architecting cloud applications: 5 key considerations

So, how do you design for elasticity? Here are some key aspects:

Stateless Design

You can break down your application into independent components that do not rely on storing data in sessions. It allows for horizontal scaling to meet higher demand.

Microservices Architecture

Divide your application into smaller, well-defined services with loose coupling. It promotes independent scaling of individual services based on their specific needs.

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API-driven Communication

Utilize APIs for communication between services. It allows services to scale independently.

Cloud providers offer powerful auto-scaling features, and you can define rules based on metrics like CPU usage or memory consumption. Here are some benefits of using auto-scaling:

  • Cost-efficiency: Pay only for the resources you use.
  • Improved Performance: Your applications handle spikes in demand without performance degradation.
  • Increased Reliability: Automatic scaling helps ensure your application stays available during high-traffic periods.

Indeed, you must remember this aspect and leverage auto-scaling features for better performance and customer experience. 

2. Security and Compliance of Your Cloud Application

When you are building an application, you should consider security and compliance. For security, strong encryption is essential. Encrypting data protects sensitive information, even if it falls into the wrong hands.

However, experts in cloud security services understand that encryption alone isn’t enough! Granular access controls are essential, so define who can access what data for your business. Also, do not forget to implement mechanisms like multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security. Here are some more aspects:

  • Regular Security Audits and Penetration Testing: Proactive measures like vulnerability scans and penetration testing help you identify bugs before they are exploited.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): It ensures only authorized users have access to your cloud resources.
  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP): Implement DLP to prevent sensitive data leaks from your cloud environment.

For compliance, the cloud consultant offers tools and features to help meet compliance needs. Overall, you need to ensure your cloud applications are safe and trustworthy.

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3. Optimizing Your Cloud Spend

Most cloud service providers offer a pay-as-you-go model, but that does not mean uncontrolled spending. However, you need to set the right virtual machine configurations, storage options, and databases. Here, experience is crucial, so you need a cloud migration consulting service to analyze your application’s resource requirements and then select the most cost-effective options.

Here are the two most cost-saving techniques that you can consider when you are architecting an application on the cloud:

  • Right-sizing: Regularly monitor resource usage and scale virtual machines up or down to match actual demand.
  • Reserved Instances: If you have predictable workloads, consider reserving instances for a fixed period.

4. Performance and Reliability in the Cloud

In the cloud, factors like network latency, virtual machine type, and resource availability can impact how your application runs. First, you must choose a cloud provider with a geographically distributed network. It minimizes latency for users in different locations. Moreover, selecting the right virtual machine type ensures your application has enough processing power and memory for optimal performance.

But what about unexpected issues?

Here’s where high availability (HA) and fault tolerance come in. High Availability (HA) keeps your application available even if a server fails. You can use features like automatic failover, which quickly redirects traffic to healthy servers in case of an outage. 

On the other hand, fault tolerance handles component failures that minimize downtime and keep your application up and running.

5. Have a Clear Cloud Exit Strategy

The cloud offers immense benefits, but what if you need to switch providers? An exit strategy helps you plan for this scenario. Do not be a victim of vendor lock-in. It is a situation when your application becomes heavily dependent on a specific cloud provider’s features or services. A reputed cloud migration consulting service helps you avoid it.

For example, many businesses rely heavily on AWS or Azure core functionalities like data warehousing, machine learning, and recommendation engines. It makes migrating away difficult and expensive.

Here’s how to avoid lock-in:

  • Cloud-agnostic Solutions: Choose services and tools with open standards and APIs. It helps you to work across different cloud providers.
  • Portable Code: Design your application code to be portable, minimizing reliance on vendor-specific functionalities.
  • Data Independence: You can facilitate easier migration by storing data in a format independent of the cloud provider.

The cloud offers incredible potential, but navigating its complexities requires careful planning. Prioritize scalability, security and performance when you architect your application on the cloud. Partnering with cloud consulting services can empower you to make informed decisions and ensure your journey to the cloud is smooth, secure, and cost-effective.