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Why Simple Cloud Computing Architectures May Be Better

(Credit: Anna Berkut / Alamy Stock Photo)

It sometimes seems like guidance about cloud computing architectures and strategies can be summed up as follows: the harder, the better.

After all, most articles (including some that I've written) that you'll find about designing and deploying cloud workloads advocate for complex architectures and approaches. Multiple clouds are better than one, we're told. Microservices apps beat monoliths. Running your apps in containers is better than using virtual machines.

To be sure, in some cases, this advice is sage. But, on the whole, simpler cloud architectures are superior to more complex setups and services. Here's why.

What Is a Simple Cloud Architecture?

When I talk about simple cloud architectures, I'm referring to ones characterized by the following:

  • The use of just one cloud, instead of multiple clouds or a hybrid cloud model.
  • The adoption of cloud services — such as virtual machine instances — that require minimal effort to deploy and manage workloads.
  • Management practices that meet, but don't exceed, basic requirements. For example, rather than deploying workloads on multiple cloud regions to enhance availability, you stick with a single-region approach because you don't require the added availability that comes with multiple regions.

In other words, a simple cloud architecture is one where all aspects of your cloud computing strategy are as simple as possible.

The Temptation of Complex Cloud Architectures

Most people can appreciate the benefits of keeping things sweet and simple. Yet, if you look around, few organizations stick to a simple approach to cloud architectures. Or if they do, they tend to do so reluctantly, due to the belief that they can't handle more complex cloud strategies — as opposed to the belief that simple cloud strategies are actually better.

It's not hard to understand why the typical organization today is attracted to cloud architectures that are more complex than necessary. Continuous improvement and endless optimization have become key mantras of the IT industry. If you were to suggest that a simple cloud architecture meets your organization's requirements and that there's no need to invest in more complex cloud setups or services, you'd probably sound unimaginative at best, or lazy and out of touch at worst.

Read the rest of this article on ITPro Today.

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