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The true health of your cloud

The true health of your cloud

By Kim Furman, Synthesis Marketing Manager

There is nothing like a routine check-up to put your mind at ease. This was the thinking of a financial services company last year except the check-up was with a doctor of a different kind, one that checks your cloud health.

We might not be medical, but Synthesis offers Cloud (Well-Architected) Reviews to assess the cloud against AWS best practices. What Synthesis found shocked the company. It was expecting to hear “you are in peak physical condition.” The company had a relatively simple cloud environment. What could go wrong?

Like in so many cases, medical and technological, there is often a great deal lurking beneath the surface. The results showed that the server was deployed as an internet-facing server and it was the subject of a brute force attack—over 4 000 attempts a day to compromise the application. The company did not even realise that the server was being attacked. It was one of many companies whose doctor’s session came to the same conclusion.

“Due to the cloud being very accessible, it is fair to say that not everyone understands the best ways to leverage the technology. Getting a third-party with a valued track record’s opinion gives you surety in your design,” explains Synthesis Cloud Practise Lead, Dean Maier.

The above is just one of many examples that Synthesis has to share from the cloud reviews that it has performed for leading companies across industries.

What they also often find is clients deploying an environment in a single account where there is no segregation of environments, resulting in disastrous consequences. These include data breaches, deletion of data, and interruption of services. Also, cost allocation is difficult to achieve in these types of environments.

Often these types of reviews illuminate areas that can be easily fixed. An example of this was a company in the financial sector. This company needed to relocate infrastructure from AWS Ireland to AWS Cape Town to reduce latency. Through a review, it was discovered that the number of servers deployed could be downsized. This resulted in reduced costs.

The saying prevention is better than the cure holds true for the cloud. An unassessed cloud environment can lead to costly security breaches, poor reliability, dissatisfied customers, and unnecessary spending. However, the prevention is easy—a quick check-up. This type of check-up can involve getting certified experts to provide an in-depth analysis of your workloads across the Five Pillars of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

This framework is based on five pillars that encapsulate a set of core strategies and best practices for architecting systems in the cloud including security, cost-optimisation, reliability, performance efficiency, and operational excellence. It helps you find areas of improvement and areas of potential risk.  Your company’s health might depend on it.