Cloud Solutions Providers Insight 2021

A detailed summary from Seven Peaks Software

Meet our Speakers

Giorgio Desideri

Tech Lead - Cloud Solutions Architect

Migration to the Cloud as a Cloud Solutions Provider

Giorgio is a certified cloud architect for AWS and Azure, who is enthusiastic about coding. He loves to educate and share his experience with passionate individuals. In this article, Giorgio will be teaching you all about cloud solutions, and why you should be migrating your business to the cloud with cloud solutions providers.

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Craig Reville

Senior UX/UI designer

Process Automation

Craig, with a background of software development, has contributed to multiple open source projects before becoming a senior designer and turning his focus to design and user experiences. Craig will explain in this article what is Process Automation, what are the benefit of it, and how you can begin to add it to your app and website.

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Nicolas Pierson

Cloud Architect

Serverless and Containerization

Nicolas is a cloud architect engineer who loves to explore, learn, and share his experience/knowledge. He will be introducing Serverless and Containerization is this article. You will learn the ups and downs of these technologies and how it can be utilize in certain business situation for certain outcomes.

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And Meet our Guest Speaker!

Nassal Leehard

Head of Solution Architect at Alibaba Cloud

Cyber Security on the Cloud by Alibaba Cloud

Nassal is the Head of Solutions Architect at Alibaba Cloud (Thailand), who has over 10 years experience in solution architecture.

Nassal will be sharing on how businesses can secure their cloud storage to reduce business loss & risks; putting emphasis on the comprehensive DDoS protection for enterprises to intelligently defend sophisticated DDoS attacks, reduce business loss risks, and mitigate potential security threats.

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In this article, you will understand why you should migrate to the cloud with a cloud solutions providers. Moreover, what is process automation, and serverless and containerization.

Migrating to the Cloud as
Cloud Solutions Providers

Cloud Solutions Providers

Why you should migrate to the cloud with cloud solutions providers

Scalability

Utilizing cloud solutions providers will help allocate physical and non-physical resources. This gives us the options to scale automatically on-demand – either to manage the provisioning, the allocation of people, or resources for long-term. In addition, migrating to the cloud also helps people manage more automatically, human resources also need less.

Cloud Solutions Providers - Scalability

Mobility

Giorgio gave an example of Black Friday on Lazada. Traffic to sites can spike, overloading the company’s infrastructure, and businesses can’t lose customers because of system failure. However, cloud solutions providers can solve that problem.

The reason is that cloud solutions providers allow businesses to deploy their apps or websites in multiple regions around the world in just a few clicks. As a result, businesses both reduce the cost of infrastructure deployment while delivering a better customer experience with lower latency.

Cloud Solution Providers - Mobility

Affordable

When in the cloud, the management and the access to corporate infrastructure saves time and money on each project. Most cloud solutions providers prices according to what businesses use. Basically, pay as much as you use.

As Giorgo mentioned, the “pay-as-you-go” calculation also applies to the data storage space that is required to serve stakeholders and customers, which means that the business will have enough space according to the needs and is not charged for any space that the business is not using. Together, these factors lead to lower cost effectiveness and higher profitability.

Affordable Cloud Solutions Providers

Security

# 1: The top concern of using the cloud computing service is data security. In business activities in any industry, information security is always a very important and indispensable issue of the business. However, all activities in the cloud environment will be monitored by third parties and will be updated and troubleshooting regularly. This makes the system highly secure.

#2: An indispensable advantage of having cloud solutions providers is high information security, maximum control over who can access information, and businesses can be completely assured of their data. Their data will always be kept confidential, and not be leaked out. After all, having their data leaked out would cause great economic losses and reputation for the business.

Secure Cloud Solutions Providers

Measurability

The ultimate reason to use the cloud is for greater measurability. Cloud offers us the availability to monitor, check, and forecast the usage of resources, their cost, and providing an estimation for the next future. Giorgio gives an example on how it can be possible to monitor his services on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure or Google by the embedded dashboards. This let him understand what is the current status of the used services, the possible extension, and future costs.

Cloud Solutions Providers - Measurability

Process Automation

Craig discussed about Business Process Automation, which has digitally transformed today as Process Automation. According to Craig, Business Process Automation definition is to orchestrate and integrate tools, people, and processes through workflows.

More than that, it also looks at how we mitigate risk, how we make things easier to work as a team, how we look at our flows and processes internally  when we build projects, and how we operate between clients and ourselves.

There are 3 examples

#1 Hiring Process

We can look at staff requirements, fulfill project requirements from staffing levels that best suit the team, the project, and the objectives.

#2 Project management 

We have talked a lot about how we can get an overview of projects. When we look at that, we know what we need and when we need it. How can we plan for success with workload delegation because a project occurs not only once, but multiple times

#3 Q&A

People often assume that QA is just when we test, then they forget about it. However, when considering process automation, development must ensure including things like regression testing and creating a business that is not just a building, but full automation testing and constant improvements.

Project X - Existing: B2B, B2C, E- commerce, Back office, Desktop Overview

Craig gave an example of project X, which has been a long running project and over the last 2 years transformed from B2B expanding to B2C and SAAS with third-party vendors across the world.

The project started with a simple B2B store, and has expanded to B2C with an admin portal to manage customers, users, products, pricing rules, and warehouse management to ensure the client has full control over every aspect of their business and system.

Over a 2 year period the product has pivoted with the company, customer requirements and economy, as a business we looked at how we manage this transition for the company, client, the clients customers, and the working development team in order to remain efficient, reduce risk, and still provide the required service.  

How to Automate Processes

#1 Research

Understand how we work, what we are doing, and what we can do to improve.

#2 Workshops

Retrospective, discoveries, specific automation workshops will help you understand what we need to focus on, and the wants & needs.

#3 Output vs Effort

Measure the difference between the desired results (reduced effort, saving cost, accuracy) against the effort it takes to implement.

#4 Data

It helps to save some data to back up the concept on how many times has the automate processes failed or been successful,  and how much time was used to perform an action multiple times.

#5 Time

Planning properly will reduce friction or issues. It takes time to plan and even longer to implement.

The Tools

POWER BI (Tracking of events, actions, usage)

The longer the company operates, the more customers, the more staff, the data that needs to be processed will also increase. POWER BI will help the reporting activities in the business remain smooth and timely.

Power BI allows us to create automatic reporting systems. We can generate reports when something happens and something that shouldn’t happen. Thus, we can add that into the customer flow themselves. They will understand what’s happening, and when we get a report, we will understand what we need to fix.

Google 360 (Tracking of customers, users, events, interactions)

We can use it to track events, flows and segments. When we know that there’s a problem, we can track it, and we can then output that into anything we want. With the useful information we have gathered, we can develop practical action plans to achieve our business goals. Examples include UX / UI optimization, target audience reach and more.

Jira (Automate processes, limit and manage active workloads, reporting, testing)

Jira is a project, issue, and bug tracking and management application developed to make this process easier for any organization. JIRA has been designed with a performance focus in mind, ready to use, and flexible to use.

Monday.com (Automate tickets, delegation, workload based on time & status)

Monday.com is used only for premium processes for delegation of tasks and for understanding what is good in general, that plays a big part in how we automate processes the entire development cycle and how we build the product for the customer. We can automate that into JIRA and assign that to a developer or to QA.

Conclusion about Process Automation

In short, process automation is all about considering what we do. We can automate our entire QA process, we can automate the integration, we can automate anything else that we need. In particular, if you are on a long project, process automation will save time, money, or ensure the best possible product while minimizing risks. Thereby, when we develop something, we have high confidence in the product, we have a high confidence in the code. The software is now a low-risk product. We can also make sure that the product never fails and as a result, it will make our team and client happier.

Serverless and Containerization

What is containerization and serverless?

Those technologies allow the development team to be abstracted from computer resources.

Serverless
Serverless is a method of development to change the virtual host in long limits with the feature being set on request and the variable lost after used. Containers allow easy lift, shift application, and low response time.

Containerization
Containers are a solution to the problem of how software runs reliably when transferred from one computer environment to another. This can range from a developer’s laptop to a test environment, from a pre-production environment to a production environment, and possibly from a physical machine in the data center to a virtual machine in the cloud. Containers provide a portable environment for hosting an application or a portion of an application. The most popular container platform today is Docker.

How can you deliver faster to end users

Nicolas, our developer has created the big question: If we move from VM to container or to serverless, can we deliver faster to our production environment? Can you bring more value to our product or our customer?

Here is the answer that we can deliver faster to end users by modularizing the platform, it’s possible to iterate more often without impacting other components.

The common

  • Orchestration to be carried out more precisely, improvement in agility.
  • Eliminates server management altogether, focusing on the business logics.
  • Offers additional capabilities along with service assurance purposes, such as monitoring, logging, tracing, and debugging.

Serverless

  • Enable operational simplicity by removing the need for infrastructure setup, configuration, provisioning and management.
  • A limited list of runtimes.
  • Vendor – lock in, inevitable skills gaps and other architectural limitations. What we want to do is to put just a simple piece of code that will run the fastest as possible.

Containerization

  • Enables operational simplicity by removing the need to set up the VM, patch updates.
  • Can configure any time of runtimes.
  • Need to configure the container.
  • For the containerization, it will remove the management of the operating system. We will still need to install on your Docker image, our node and to budget, but we will have less to manage.

How to scale through a cloud solutions provider

With the level of abstraction provided by the container and serverless, it is possible to manage more precisely the resources.

Serverless

Benefits

  • Appealing for unpredictable workloads.
  • Enables operational simplicity configuration, provisioning and management. 

Drawbacks

  • Cold start. 

Containerization

Benefits

    • No cold start when scaling up and down. The user of this application has a fast response time because no cold starts. 
    • Configure the scaling and predict the workload.

Drawbacks

We need to configure the scaling part manually and to see which are the metrics that we want to use to scale. Therefore, more configuration on the container side, but the response time is faster than the function.

Will it even reduce the cost of the platform?

While they have many things in common, Serverless and Containers are designed to meet different needs and deployed using different tools.   

Serverless

Pay as you go models. The server only runs when an event triggers it, so you will only pay for the meager time the server runs the code and it will help you to reduce your cost!

No need to waste time configuring virtual machines. (security fixes, not a virtual machine for an application). We also only have to spend a little time managing the servers. No more worrying about infrastructure, managing capacity, or preventing downtime – the cloud solutions provider takes care of all that.

No operational costs. Serverless functionality does not need a long-term storage location, so you do not need to assign them to specific cloud servers nor are they limited to locations in specific regions. This basically increases the availability.

Containerization

Isolate the application from the virtual machine, which can reduce the costs by having more than one container on a VM. 

Need to configure the container. 

By default, most of the customers will go for containers first, because the customers don’t want to manage virtual machines and want to still have customers on time. In which case, you prefer to use containers and in which case you prefer to use serverless

Container Architecture – Migration

Containers allow easy lift and shift applications and low response time.

What is really good about containers is like you bring your runtime with us, we bring everything that is related to the application with your container. After that, choose the solution to have a responsive API. From that, the content delivery network, and this is a load balancer. We will have the computer part with containers. On AWS, there is a service called fargate. Fargate is serverless. Service. We don’t need to say how many museums we want. We just say we want 500 megabytes of RAM and one CPU. AWS will provide this for you. And they always can
automatically. Finally, it’s easy to lift and shift because you just put your containers somewhere else.

Serverless Architecture – background tasks

Serverless is adapted for short term background tasks

Serverless is good for background tasks because serverless have the cold start. Despite if we have something to do in the back, we can say that we will wait for three seconds. We don’t have to worried because it’s back on task and if we need we can process it later. Thereby, this application, we have the same concept as before. We have API gateway where our endpoints are exposed and we have some functions. Eventually to expose the API endpoints, and they saw some information in the database. From that, we can see there is something called cert parties. Apparently, we are trying to inject some data to the database. This process is done like every day at 5am.

Cyber Security on the Cloud by Alibaba Cloud

Recently, we, Seven Peaks Software, have a wonderful chance to partner with Alibaba Cloud but who are they? Alibaba is one of the world’s largest retailer and e-commerce companies from China. In 2008, they first launched their first cloud computing service platform called “Alibaba Cloud”. Alibaba Cloud is now becoming one of the world leading cloud providers, after Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. They provide a wide range of cloud services including Data Intelligence, Infrastructure Services, Industry & Application Engine, Private Cloud, and Security. Since most of everything is up in the cloud (air or somewhere, who knows), how can you be sure that your valuable data is secured? Here are some of the tools that you may need as cloud solutions providers.

Security Tools

WAF

WAF or Web Application Firewall is a web applications attacks defense service that helps to protect your web applications by monitoring, filtering, and blocking potentially harmful traffic that can facilitate web exploits through HTTP and HTTPS Request. WAF is considered as a protocol layer 7 in the OSI Model including Cookie Tampering, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), SQL Injection, Hidden Field Tampering, Forceful Browsing, and so on . However, this method is not designed to defend all kinds of attacks but its strengths is that it knows all kinds of attacks in applications level that target the application server better than other Network Firewall and IPS.

Bastion Host

Bastion Host is a special-purpose server that provides perimeter access control security to a private network from an external network, such as the internet. It is also known as a Jump Box, which is a particular purpose computer. As having a single checkpoint for entering the internal network, it is a lot more convenient to concentrate only on one host when facing problems, therefore saving time and effort, without having to consider other hosts. Since a Bastion Host is designed to be highly exposed, as it works as a public presence on the internet, it must be protected against the chances of penetration. In order to reduce the threat to the computer it generally hosts a single application, such as DNS server, FTP server, Honeypot, Proxy server, and VPN server.

Anti DDos

Anti-DDoS is a set of techniques, tools, and systems for resting or mitigating the impact of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks on Internet-facing applications, by protecting the target and relay networks and reinforce the security of applications, reducing the threat of malicious attacks. DDoS attacks are a constant threat to businesses and organizations by threatening service performance or to bring down a website entirely, even for a short time. It is a layer 4 defense, through TCP and UDP, and layer 7 defense, through HTTP, HTTPS, HTTP2 Websocket and Websockets, in the OSI model.

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Meet the Writers:

Giorgio Desideri

Tech Lead - Cloud Solutions Architect

Giorgio covers all the roles from System Engineer / Administrator until Project Manager, step through Development, Software Architecture, Integration and Admin roles. A certified cloud architect for
AWS and Azure.

Craig Reville

Senior UX/UI designer

A senior designer and user experience, Craig has worked with startups, small medium and large companies, corporations such as RHB, IRPC and BSkyB as well as his own non-software based ventures across much of the world.

Nicolas Pierson

Cloud Architect

Solution architect with 5 years of experience guiding companies in their digital transformation. Participate in designing and delivering solutions hosted in the cloud (AWS and Azure).

Julie Han

Digital Marketing Intern at
Seven Peaks Software
Julie is a digital marketing interns at Seven Peaks Software graduated from Stamford Stamford International University. “I have had the opportunity to work with developers to bring viewers the most engaging articles.”

Richie Liu

Digital Marketing Intern at
Seven Peaks Software

Richie is a Digital Marketing Intern at Seven Peaks Software who is graduating from Bangkok University School of Marketing. “I have learned so much within a short time compare to academic work. Here you are able to learn and perform in meaningful projects.”

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