Expert Advice for Medium and Midsize Businesses

  • IT
    November 28, 2016

How Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Can Help You in Your ‘Shark Tank’ Moment

Guest Author

By Thomas Bressie, Vice President, Oracle Cloud

Many small and medium businesses (SMB) face a similar problem…how to scale effectively when the demand curve is anything but linear.  An analogy I like to use is what I’d call the “Shark Tank” moment, when something—major publicity, an IPO, or another demand driver — suddenly sends demand for your workload through the roof. Without having implemented your workloads with the ability to scale in the cloud, bottlenecks can form as you try to scale to meet the spike in demand.

Today’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud platforms provide the capability to solve the problem of demand spikes. With scaling cloud implementations, businesses can meet fluctuating demand without the expense of building or renting dedicated data centers or continually refreshing hardware within exiting data centers. IaaS solutions can offer the exponential scalability and flexibility SMBs require to get them to through to their high-growth phase.

IaaS can provide a meaningful answer to the demand spike problem. No more building from the ground up. No more purchasing servers, installing software or configuring networks.

Flexing to Meet Demand in As Your Business Grows

A comprehensive IaaS solution provides the flexibility you need to manage unexpected demand spikes. If you’re running ecommerce platforms, you can move all your storage capacity-intensive needs—such as rich media content and videos—to a scaling cloud storage solution. This dramatically increases your reliability because you’ve now disassociated the application servers from the data. Application servers in the cloud are intended to be added and removed as demand dictates.

This implementation requires that servers are templated with an orchestration solution so they can be spun up and down as needed with automation. There’s an added benefit to this approach: if any individual server encounters operational problems, you can simply kill it and create another one. You also can spin up new servers quickly to serve a growing customer base if your baseline demand increases.

IaaS + PaaS + SaaS + On-Premise

Business-focused IaaS solutions should provide more than just servers and storage in the cloud.

In a recent Forbes article I argued that to gain the full benefits of IaaS, SMBs “need services for their native cloud apps, along with deployment services for workloads that will always run in the corporate data center, as well as meaningful integration and connectivity between those environments.” This means the optimal IaaS solutions should offer tight integration with platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and on-premise systems.

Hybrid: The Best of Both Worlds

A small to midsize business also needs an IaaS solution that isn’t one-size-fits-all, since workloads need to be maintained both in the cloud and on-premise. For example, the Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Service combines the attributes of a highly scalable public cloud with the capabilities and experience of on-premises infrastructure. This enables your SMB to not only retain investments that have been made, but also retain the governance, transparency, and enterprise-grade security you’re accustomed to in the corporate data center while adding the cost control, raw performance and scalability of cloud.

At Oracle, we have seen several of our SMB customers improve their access to large volumes of data in real time using hybrid cloud IaaS solutions. For example, Falkonry—an artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider—has a solution that recognizes behavior patterns from real-time data to provide proper intervention for people with epilepsy.

“The hybrid solution of on-premises hardware and the cloud allowed the company to process large volumes of data in a short period in a much more cost-effective manner than Amazon Web Services,” says Nikunj Mehta, CEO at Falkonry.

“By using Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud, we could bring to bear a very large amount of computing in a very short amount of time to explore the data around these problems and provide very quick responses back to experts of the domain,” Mehta says.

Don’t let your “Shark Tank” moment catch you unprepared. Learn more about IaaS cloud solutions available as an Oracle small business solution, and discover how we can help your SMB grow.

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