Cloud News & Insights

E-Commerce Venture and Cloud Technology – Part 2

Businessman holding a cloud gadget with various application images

It’s easy to talk about cloud technology and the benefits you can enjoy, but when it comes to actual implementation, people like John have a tough time. Moving to the cloud from traditional infrastructure is like moving shop from one part of the city to another. Businessmen don’t like to take risks with their established businesses. John was even ready to shell out a few thousand extra dollars if he could somehow ensure that his business won’t suffer while migrating to the cloud.

Big vs small cloud players

It’s the stability and reputation factor which made John look at some established players in cloud technology. One established brand offered the stability of a known entity but there was one problem – this provider focused on exclusive and licensed technology and his technology consultant had cautioned that he would be stuck with a limited suite of tools. This meant that he could not move to open source software in future, if he wanted to do so.

He then looked at another option closely. Here he had a bouquet of services which he could choose from. The control panel was user friendly and there was sufficient flexibility in utilization of resources. Here again, he was told that if he was looking for some hand-holding, this was an unlikely place. Big players depend on automation and their help desk is only for solving routine queries. At the same time, smaller cloud providers provided tailor made services. Though the cost was a bit higher than the big players, John was ready to pay more if he was getting personalized service.

Reliability was the only factor which seemed to bother John. What if the small cloud provider decided to close shop one fine day, leaving John’s business in a lurch? John Grope was advised to carry out sufficient research before settling for a cloud service provider. It’s important to find out whether a cloud provider has his own infrastructure or they are only franchisees of some others. A cloud provider with their own infrastructure means they are serious about their business. Moreover, they can offer a variety of services and be flexible. The decision on choosing a cloud provider was proving to be more complex than John had thought.

Moving legacy software to the cloud

John had built up his business over a period of time. When he had started his e-commerce business, internet technology was still in its infancy. The programmers who had made the initial code were into Perl and related scripts. Due to this reason, his -commerce platform was built on several bits of scripts and programs. Actually, no one really understood how the different pieces worked together. John suspected that there was a lot of waste and useless code running on his systems. John considered shifting to LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySql and PHP suite giving up his old rickety software which had become difficult to maintain and upgrade. Cloud technology provided a great incentive for this move. Moreover he could use ready, off the shelf utilities for his shopping cart and payment gateway, making things simpler.

Migration headaches

John decided to err on the side of caution. He chose a small cloud provider who could hold his hand during the migration process and continue to provide personalized assistance thereafter. Moreover, he decided to keep his old system going until he had thoroughly tested the new platform. John also decided to carry out the migration process in the month of August/ September which was his lean period. John commissioned a pilot project which worked in parallel with his established server setup. After testing for a good three months, John was ready to shut down his old infrastructure. The move not only helped John to reduce the overall cost of infrastructure, but it also improved efficiency, speed of access and made his e-commerce site more user friendly.

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About the Guest Author:

Sankarambadi SrinivasanSankarambadi Srinivasan, ‘Srini’, is a maverick writer, technopreneur, geek and online marketing enthusiast rolled into one. He began his career as a Naval weapon specialist. Later, he sold his maiden venture and became head of an offshore Database administration company in Mumbai. He moved on as Chief Technology Officer of one of the largest online entities, where he led consolidation of 300 online servers and introduced several Web 2.0 initiatives. He holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication.

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