Cloud advice

Are you well-architected?

If you currently work in a UK university or college, then the chances are that somebody, somewhere in your institution is already a customer of AWS or Microsoft Azure. Maybe both? In most cases, that usage of AWS or Azure will be known about and managed by the central IT deparatment, in some cases, possibly not.

Maybe you have one or two public cloud proof-of-concept projects on the go. Or maybe you’ve gone further and have some production workloads running on AWS or Azure?

If so, how confident are you about the way you are using public cloud? Is security locked down? Do you have the right mechanisms in place to control and manage your spend? How resillient is your cloud-hosted service to component failures? How will it respond to spikes in demand?

We can offer you an independant, external and impartial review of your existing cloud usage in the form of a Cloud Architectural Review. The review will assesses your current public cloud estate and associated operational processes against your business objectives from the perspectives of:

  • operations
  • security
  • reliability
  • performance
  • cost optimisation.

We can then make architectural and operational recommendations with respect to cost-benefit, best practices, processes, implementation approaches and timescales. All our Solutions Architects are certified in line with Azure and AWS best practices and all have experience of deploying a wide range of services to the cloud.

If that sounds of interest, please speak to your Account Manager or get in touch with Jisc Cloud Solutions via the usual channels:

We also understand that not all universities and colleges have yet started their move into public cloud. If you fall into this group then you may be interested in a new service that we are developing, tentatively called Public Cloud Landing Zone.

In this context, a ‘landing zone’ is a well-architected public cloud tenancy, or group of tenancies, into which a university or college can start deploying services to the cloud. Well-architected in both a technical sense but also in a policies and processes sense. A Public Cloud Landing Zone engagement will involve both workshop type activity (to understand requirements and current practice), technical deployments using infrastructure as code, as well as documentation, etc. Although we have done much of this kind of activity many times in the past (when deploying a particular service to the cloud) we haven’t wrapped the component parts together into a single service and we haven’t really done it at the scale of a whole university or college – hence the reason we are treating it as a new service.

The creation of a well-architected ‘landing zone’ allows technical, operational and governance stakeholders in the institution to develop the skills, experience and confidence needed to use public cloud technologies. In turn, this allows IT staff, researchers and academics to experiment and explore capabilities within the confines of secure, compliant and well-governed platforms, providing reassurance against unexpected costs and security risks.

Again, if this sounds of interest, please get in touch.

By Andy Powell

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