In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses are increasingly turning to cloud solutions to enhance their operations, reduce costs, and stay competitive. Cloud computing offers unparalleled scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency, making it an attractive option for organizations of all sizes.
However, effectively managing and optimizing cloud resources is a complex endeavor. That’s where Managed Services Providers (MSPs) come in, offering a lifeline to organizations seeking expert guidance in cloud management and migration.
If you are looking for more than pure infrastructure support, the best option available is to engage with a cloud native Managed Service Provider, and here’s why.
What is Cloud Native ?
Cloud Native is a modern approach to building and running applications that leverage the advantages of cloud computing models. It’s about how applications are created and deployed, not where. Depending on the need, these applications can indeed be deployed on public or private cloud, on virtualized architectures or on bare metal.
Containers and Kubernetes, Application Observability, Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) and GitOps illustrates this approach.
Why do Cloud Native Managed Services Providers make a difference ?
Service availability and Business Continuity Plan
Integrating a cloud native approach, particularly through Kubernetes (K8s), seamlessly aligns with a robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP), ensuring maximum uptime and resilient service delivery. By leveraging the following cloud native specifics, MSPs can guarantee superior managed service quality, with a focus on high service availability and comprehensive business continuity planning.
K8s highly available architecture
Kubernetes is built with high availability at its core. Its distributed architecture ensures that there is always a node (or several) ready to take on the workload if one node fails. By spreading replicas of an application across different nodes, Kubernetes makes sure services remain unaffected even if individual nodes encounter issues. This multi-node layout inherently provides a fault-tolerant system that is vital for mission-critical applications. (see OVHcloud Kubernetes here)
K8s Self-Healing Mechanisms
One of the most powerful features of Kubernetes is its inherent self-healing capabilities. In scenarios where a container (representing a running application) fails, Kubernetes swiftly intervenes to restart it. Should a node face disruptions, the applications running on that affected node are seamlessly relocated and restarted elsewhere. Through this automation, Kubernetes guarantees efficient resource utilization and continuous service availability, reducing the reliance on manual oversight and correction.
Simplified Platform Management and secure operations
Embracing the cloud native paradigm brings the notion of centralized management and logging. It provides organizations with a clear and unified overview of their platforms. Also, in the cloud native approach, the move from treating servers as unique ‘pets’ to interchangeable ‘cattle’ simplifies maintenance, reducing risks in production. For MSPs, this approach ensures more reliable and manageable operations, benefiting clients with a more efficient and stable environment.
Application deployment rollout
Organizations need to deliver updates and new features seamlessly, without impacting their service nor risking their existing user experience. For developers working with cloud native MSPs that emphasize cloud native solutions, Blue-Green and Canary deployments offer powerful tools.
With Blue-Green deployments, developers swiftly toggle between app versions. They deploy the new version alongside the old and switch traffic after validation. If problems emerge, traffic is instantly reverted, maintaining a consistent user experience. Canary deployments, meanwhile, offer a methodical approach. By first releasing the new version to a user subset, developers gauge performance and reliability, ensuring stability upon full rollout and minimizing disruptions to the broader user base.
These deployment methods, when combined with Kubernetes (K8s) rollback capabilities, grant developers unmatched control. Should an update falter, K8s enables a swift and efficient return to the last stable state. The possibility of achieving a 100% hitless upgrade becomes real.
Business Continuity Plan
A robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is vital for any organization to ensure operations remain smooth in the face of unplanned incidents or disasters. Cloud Native approaches inherently support BCP. Features like distributed storage, automated backups, and easy replication capabilities mean that data can be recovered swiftly in case of an unexpected issue. Coupled with the previously mentioned high availability and self-healing capabilities, Kubernetes offers an inherently resilient platform that underpins a solid BCP. (discover OVHcloud Back-up strategy and Business Continuity Plan)
Accelerated and flexible application deployment without production downtime
Advantages of containers and microservices architecture
The consistency that containers maintain throughout an application’s lifecycle streamlines the transition from development to production, significantly reducing potential discrepancies and inconsistencies. Furthermore, containers inherently function in isolation, ensuring that each microservice operates independently. This implies that even if one service faces an issue, the overall system remains largely unaffected. Such resilience ensures minimal disruptions for end-users. From an MSP perspective, this enables quicker rollout of updates and patches, ensuring that their clients are always equipped with the latest features and security enhancements.
Advantages of continuous integration & deployment
The continuous nature of CI/CD allow teams to frequently roll out code updates, enabling MSPs to promptly address evolving market demands and user needs. Fundamental to the CI approach is the principle of automated testing, ensuring that each code iteration undergoes rigorous quality checks. This consistent, automated vetting dramatically reduces deployment risks. Incremental changes, being smaller in scope, are easier to manage, and in the rare occurrence of issues, quicker to diagnose and resolve. Immediate feedback on code adjustments accelerates the development phase and refines the overall codebase. By minimizing manual interventions, teams can focus more on innovation and enhancing application functionalities and limit human errors which are known as the main outage factor. For MSPs, integrating a CI/CD approach ensures more streamlined operations, faster issue resolutions, and consistent provision of top-tier service quality.
Managed Service Providers are trusted with safeguarding critical business data and ensuring the uninterrupted operation of IT infrastructures. By leveraging cloud native principles, MSPs are positioned to bolster their security posture considerably.
Decoupling between applications and infrastructure
One of the foundational tenets of the cloud native paradigm is the decoupling of applications from the underlying infrastructure. This abstraction not only facilitates scalability and flexibility but also introduces a layer of security. By ensuring that applications are isolated from the infrastructure, vulnerabilities within one component are less likely to compromise the other. This results in a more robust security model where potential breaches or issues in the application layer won’t directly affect the core infrastructure, and vice versa. For MSPs, this means they can assure clients of an added layer of defense against potential threats, and it also simplifies the task of updating or patching either layer without disturbing the other.
Harnessing Inherent Security in Cloud Native Architectures
Cloud Native technologies come embedded with a range of security mechanisms. For instance, containers are isolated environments, ensuring that breaches remain contained and do not propagate system-wide. Moreover, with tools like Kubernetes, security policies can be enforced at scale, and network segmentation can be applied to control inter-service communication. Additionally, the immutability principle of cloud-native deployments means that once a container image is deployed, it cannot be tampered with, adding another layer of protection against malicious attacks. Most cloud-native platforms also integrate seamlessly with leading security solutions, allowing for real-time vulnerability scanning, threat detection, and automated responses. For MSPs, these integrated mechanisms translate into a more secure environment to operate within, enabling them to provide with a higher level of assurance about the sanctity and safety of their data and applications.
Robust Disaster Recovery
With cloud native technologies, MSPs can offer first-class disaster recovery solutions that minimize downtime and data loss while maximizing service continuity.
Automated deployment is a cornerstone of the cloud native paradigm. By leveraging tools like Kubernetes, Helm, Terraform, MSPs can automate the deployment of applications and their respective environments. This automation is particularly invaluable during disaster scenarios. Instead of manually reconstructing environments, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors, automation allows for rapid re-deployment of applications and services to their last known stable configurations. The ability to programmatically define infrastructure (Infrastructure as Code) ensures consistent and repeatable deployments. For organizations, this means faster recovery times, reduced data loss, and an assurance that services can be swiftly restored, irrespective of the magnitude of the disruption.
GitOps is an operational model that harnesses the power of Git as the single source of truth for both application code and infrastructure. This means all changes – from application features to infrastructure modifications – are versioned and tracked in a Git repository. In the context of disaster recovery, GitOps tools like ArgoCD or Flux offers a two-fold advantage. Firstly, since all configurations are stored in Git, MSPs can quickly roll back to a previous, stable state if a recent change introduces issues. Secondly, in case of a complete system outage or data loss, the entire environment can be recreated with precision using the configurations stored in Git. GitOps thus provides a reliable, version-controlled foundation for disaster recovery, ensuring organizations can rebound with confidence and speed.
First-class monitoring and efficient MSP support
Modern IT operations require not just passive infrastructure monitoring but proactive, granular insights into the applications themselves. This dual focus ensures that businesses can maximize performance and swiftly address potential issues. Here’s how cloud native approaches enable MSPs to deliver top-tier monitoring and support.
Beyond Infrastructure Monitoring: Application-Level Observability
The realm of monitoring has grown beyond just keeping tabs on servers and network devices. Today, understanding the intricacies of the applications running on these infrastructures is crucial. Application observability and tracing offer deep insights into how an application behaves, interacts, and performs.
Prominent in this space is the OpenMetrics standard, as embodied by tools such as Prometheus. By leveraging Prometheus alongside Alertmanager, MSPs can capture detailed metrology data from applications. This not only helps in diagnosing performance bottlenecks but also provides insights into how the application might be affecting the infrastructure it resides on.
But it’s not just about collecting data – it’s about understanding it. Grafana comes into play here, transforming raw data into insightful visualizations that can guide troubleshooting efforts and inform business decisions. This detailed application-level observability ensures that MSPs can proactively address issues, often before they escalate into tangible problems for the end-user.
Effective alerting and reactivity on 24/7 MSP support
Potential issues don’t wait for business hours. That’s why efficient alerting and 24/7 support are the backbone of any quality MSP offering. With tools like Grafana On-call, MSPs can ensure timely notifications when predetermined thresholds are breached, allowing for swift response times.
But beyond just tools, the mode of communication plays a pivotal role. Modern MSPs now leverage tools like Slack, not just for internal coordination, but also as a bridge to their clients. This direct line of communication ensures clients feel the proximity of their MSP, experiencing them not as a distant service provider, but rather as an externalized Ops team that is an integral part of their organization.
We’ve unpacked here part of the numerous advantages of relying on a cloud native MSP. It provides the foundation for maximized service availability, facilitating faster and more flexible application deployment processes. The inherent security mechanisms, combined with robust disaster recovery plans, establish a fortified environment for operations. Beyond just infrastructure, the emphasis on application-level observability ensures also that potential issues are detected and rectified promptly. Coupled with proactive 24/7 support, organizations can count on their MSP to act as a trusted partner.
Enix is a French cloud native Managed Service Provider specialized in conceiving, deploying and operating complex and modern IT infrastructures. With a unique expertise in DevOps, Kubernetes and Cloud Native, Enix can build tailored and optimized platforms on OVHcloud solutions or hybrid with on-premise and Enix infrastructures. Specialized in 24/7 operations, Enix is committed to providing a responsive and local service and can be considered as your daily outsourced ops team. In 2024, Enix actively supports more than 100 clients in the operational management of their platforms.
Email : email@example.com
Phone : +33 1 86 76 08 08
Website : https://enix.io/fr/