Insights 18 October 2022

5 Principles of Cloud Architecture Design

Bluebik Group Public Company (BBIK), a leading consultancy and service provider on end-to-end digital transformation, presents five cloud architecture design principles for organizations to improve their cloud computing. They cover operation, security, cost effectiveness, reliability and efficiency. With the principles, server management at organizations will be more flexible and efficient and they can cut unnecessary costs, be ready for future operations and enjoy steady and sustainable growth.

Phiphat Prapapanpong, Director and Head of the Big Data and Advanced Analytics Team at Bluebik Group Public Company Limited (BBIK), said cloud computing became increasingly popular. This is confirmed by the “Cloud Shift” survey of Gartner which suggests that in 2025 organizations’ spending on information technology will mostly go to cloud computing and more computing technologies such as software, applications and infrastructures will be cloud-based. This trend indicates that cloud computing will be a crucial factor in business, serve organizations of all sizes and support new working environments including the “work anywhere anytime” one.

Cloud computing also helps improve the cost management of organizations which, for example, can reduce investment in on-premise servers and system development. There are pay-as-you-go and post-paid cloud services which relieve the financial burdens of organizations and many cloud service providers continuously develop new applications and platforms to suit more natures of usage. There are three types of cloud computing services.

1) Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – Infrastructures and data storage systems are provided to replace the need for servers.

2) Platform-as-a-Service (PasS) – There are platform services for software and systems such as web applications, database servers and application programming interface (API) systems with tight security.

3) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – There are software and application services, most of which charge pay-as-you-go fees.

“Basically, the architecture design of cloud computing systems is not different from that of on-premise systems which have their own computer systems and networks. The only difference is that the servers of cloud computing systems are under the supervision of cloud service providers. Cloud computing can be used via many systems such as portals and consoles with command-line interfaces (CLI). Users can have easy access to services and systems through the service packages and system configuration of their choice and cloud computing systems can then handle the access for users. Also, users can stop usage at will. However, the design of the cloud architecture that suits the different business models and work processes of individual organizations needs knowledge and expertise related to both business and technology. This ensures the highest efficiency of cloud computing,” Mr. Phiphat said.

Bluebik shares its principles of cloud architecture design that are in accordance with its best practices. The principles guarantee that cloud computing systems designed accordingly can be used sustainably, serve users effectively and be adjusted anytime. The five design principles are as follows.

1) Operational excellence – This refers to the designs that facilitate checks, system development and changes based on the demand and conditions of the business sector.

2) Security – Encryption keys are used to protect data from the stage of data exchange to the integration of data and data storage. Besides, cloud architecture designs must facilitate security checks and support adequate and specific authorizations in each unit of an organization. Security-related designs must comply with practices under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). 

3) Cost optimization – It focuses on easy examination and convenient cost estimation in the future. Costs can be cut with reduction in instruments to the level that is adequate for real usage.

4) Reliability – This emphasizes backups, restorations and the storage of data copies at many locations to ensure the smooth operations of cloud computing systems despite emerging problems and handle the fluctuations of usage in the long run.

5) Performance efficiency – Cloud computing must be designed to support development and tests in the virtual production environment. With such designs, it is easy to test innovations and impacts can be assessed before they are used with other systems. This can reduce the risks of failure and damage.

“Before designing cloud architecture, the organizations that need cloud computing must carefully work out other relevant plans including those concerning the personnel who will supervise, develop and use cloud computing as well as effective budgeting plans. They must also create the cloud-based infrastructures for big data that will allow data analysts and data scientists to analyze data and use them to develop artificial intelligence (AI). This is known as self-service analytics. Cooperation and knowledge from many units in an organization are necessary for the smooth and successful preparation and design of the cloud architecture that can connect to existing systems and support future operations. A consultancy with end-to-end services as well as knowledge and understanding of both business and technology will make the whole process smooth, reduce mistakes and guarantee stable functions in the long run,” Mr. Phiphat concluded.