August 10, 2022

Article
3 min

Moving Application Development to the Cloud

Cost savings await organizations that successfully automate their workloads in the cloud.

Sam Samimi

The cloud is not a move-it-and-forget-it deployment model. Cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are continually innovating and improving their services. We call this the cloud development lifecycle. The CDLC is similar to the software development life cycle, or SDLC, in that it’s intended to help organizations build and maintain high-quality cloud applications that are cost-efficient and meet business needs.

Understanding this dynamic helps organizations make smart app development decisions that align with business and operational targets. This is CDW’s goal when we work with customers on their application development, aligning application goals to business outcomes.

Common App Development Scenarios

There are typically three application scenarios when organizations begin looking at the cloud:

  • In the first scenario, the organization has an older, on-premises application that does the job, but moving it to the cloud would better serve the business. The application usually would need to be retrofitted for the cloud by going through an app modernization process.
  • In the second scenario, the organization has a new business initiative that requires a new application to be built. Building a new app in the cloud is usually the best option and should follow cloud-native principals. 
  • In the third scenario, the organization is looking to do a lift-and-shift migration, transforming a locally running application into a cloud-native application that requires no local servers to support it.  This is the fastest way to move an application to cloud, but it does not take full advantage of cloud-native capabilities.

At CDW, we have worked through each of these scenarios with organizations in a variety of industries and are able to support their needs every step of the way.

The Application Journey to the Cloud

Recently, we worked with an organization that was navigating the second scenario. The company was looking to build an app that could scale up to meet the demand for hundreds of thousands of users. Our team helped build the app and set it up to run on a few virtualized local servers. 

But within a few months, the support needed for this app grew to many servers, and the company’s costs soared as a result. After some discussion, we suggested transforming the project into a containerized, cloud-native app. This movement to a containerized Kubernetes solution resulted in a 65 percent cost savings for the company when supporting this app. 

The next step was to make the app fully automated by moving the workload to a serverless Amazon Web Services environment. Because the company had to pay only for the initial startup and then the continuing consumption of resources, its ongoing costs to support this app dropped significantly.

The Value of App Automation

This example highlights the business value of pushing your application development toward a cloud-native, serverless solution. This kind of app automation makes it easier to catch errors in development and simpler to troubleshoot issues that come up. It also establishes a repeatable process that helps reduce errors going forward. And the company’s savings were in line with what most organizations can expect from a cloud-native, serverless solution — ultimately settling in at about 25 percent of the original operational costs of the virtualized server iteration of the app. There is much to like about reducing costs to roughly a quarter of your original operating expenses.

CDW Application Development Services and Support

The savings are there for organizations that can embrace a new way of doing things. CDW is well positioned to assist organizations in the pursuit of their automation goals. We can provide virtualization support, core services, containerization services and all application modernization services needed to help organizations improve the applications that drive their business results. 

Wherever you are in the development process, we have the scale, experience and expertise to help move you to the next phase of your automation journey.

Story by Sam Samimi, who has over 30 years of experience in systems, software and technology consulting. Today, Sams specializes in open-source technologies, serverless, AWS Cloud Native, application containerization, Docker Swarm and Kubernetes.