Blog
migrating to the cloud / migreren naar de cloud
migrating to the cloud / migreren naar de cloud

Migrating to the Cloud, benefits and opportunities

Several of our clients are migrating to the Cloud, and some that aren’t ready for this step are reviewing their legacy systems, intending to migrate to the Cloud in the future. We’ve recently completed two migrations on behalf of multinationals, and our experience has taught us that a direct approach (simply redeploying existing databases and applications on virtual machines) is not necessarily the best route. Our blog contains several tips for others considering a migration.

Enterprises planning a migration

Many enterprises have been using proprietary relational databases (RDBMSs) in their data centres and are now considering migrating to the Cloud. These enterprises have felt constrained by the lack of flexibility in deployment and the ongoing cost of licenses, system management and maintenance. However, the default option of moving their systems wholesale to the Cloud is not always the best choice. This approach can inhibit them from taking full advantage of the flexibility and scalability of the Cloud.

As enterprises make plans to move database workloads to the Cloud, there are several essential questions they should ask:

  • Will our current DBMS meet our data management needs moving forward?
  • What new challenges will we face that our existing DBMS cannot address?
  • Would a Cloud-native DBMS make it easier to leverage all the Cloud platform features?
  • Would a new database architecture offer advantages over the existing DBMS?
  • Does our relationship with our current DBMS vendor serve our best interests?

Established relational databases will remain relevant for many applications, such as OLTP. They will continue to fulfil that role, albeit in the Cloud rather than on-premise. However, there are application areas where a transition to new architectures (such as key-value data stores or noSQL databases) can provide many benefits. A whole new world of APIs and microservices opens up by migrating to the Cloud, offering new opportunities for innovation. Developers (including BSL) are familiar with many of these technologies, as these skills make it easier to build and maintain database applications and services. In addition, these technologies can improve flexibility and performance.

New data optimisation opportunities

For the most part, traditional DBMSs used “on-premise” have been designed to serve two classes of use cases: online transaction processing (OLTP) and business intelligence (BI) analytics. However, new types of applications are emerging that also require database support. These include:

  • Customer experience applications.
  • Deep and recursive data analysis to which SQL is not suited.
  • Support for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
  • Complex relationship analysis using data graphs.
  • Streaming data capture and real-time event handling.

Such new workloads require purpose-built databases with better scalability and performance while supporting a more agile development process. These include data management systems such as document data stores, in-memory-optimised databases, key-value, graph, and other technologies. As a result, many enterprises are willing to rewrite their applications using APIs and microservices, storing data using distributed databases. For example, AWS and Azure offer hundreds of APIs and a range of data management solutions, making it easy to integrate specialist and innovative technologies without needing extensive in-house development resources.

Beware the pitfalls of open-source

Some enterprises have turned entirely to open-source as their route to the Cloud. They believe this will reduce the cost of ownership. In addition, the development community readily adopts leading open-source projects, so finding developers is generally not a problem.

However, the open-source route poses unique challenges. For example, open-source solutions frequently fail to meet the needs of many enterprises in areas such as service-level agreements (SLA), guarantees of availability, scalability, and performance, as well as data security and privacy support. What’s more, the fine print of open-source agreements is often a source of concern for legal departments, perhaps requiring developers to share their expertise with the open-source community – and indirectly – with their competition.

Most enterprises do not have staff with the technical depth needed to keep open-source systems running, so they contract with an open-source support service. But companies offering these support services are primarily commercial vendors, increasing the costs. Furthermore, to provide additional scalability, performance, security, and reliability, one frequently finds that the original open-source license agreement has expanded to include code that is not open-source. As a result, the cost can increase still further,  quickly undermining the original business case for the adoption of open-source.

Business benefits of moving to the Cloud

To take advantage of all the Cloud offers, enterprises should embrace the dynamic scalability of virtual machines and agility in the provisioning of processing or storage resources. Such provisioning must also deliver reliable performance and the means, through platform integration, of faster innovation. Platforms such as Azure and AWS provide this automatically without additional operational effort and at an affordable, predictable price.

Also, many enterprises require worldwide availability. The flexibility of deploying and moving workloads to distributed data centres will enhance performance, optimise network traffic and provide the best possible global response times.

On-premise data centres vs management in the Cloud

Enterprises with in-house data centres must purchase, provision, manage and support their systems and databases. There is no alternative other than scaling these systems to the “high-water mark” of demand when data volumes are high, even though they run at much lower capacities the rest of the time. There may also be a need for skilled (and therefore costly) personnel around-the-clock to keep the systems running and manage routine processes such as backups, database tuning and load-balancing.

In the Cloud, by contrast, resources can be dynamically allocated on an as-needed basis and can scale up and down as required, ensuring the best possible return on investment. Also, with managed services in the Cloud, tasks such as patch application, systems maintenance, and database backups are no longer your responsibility. These benefits make the drive to move in-house solutions to the Cloud inevitable.

Refactoring databases and integrating new technology

At the same time, the benefits of the architectures, APIs and alternative database technologies offered in the Cloud mean that migration should encompass more than a one to one migration from in-house data centres to the Cloud. Simply moving data and existing applications to the Cloud represents a missed opportunity.

So, why not look into the potential of the selected Cloud platform to extend and improve your existing services. For example, consider refactoring your databases using the range of available database technologies. Examine the added value of – for example – extending the functionality of your applications; perhaps adopting APIs for content translation, speech recognition, and AI / Semantic Search, all of which are easy to integrate using the APIs and microservices available on Azure or AWS platforms. Above all, take the opportunity to transform your in-house solutions into a format and mode of operation that serves the new workloads made possible in the Cloud.

BSL cloud solutions

BSL has considerable practical experience in migrating to the Cloud, working on behalf of global enterprises to migrate to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud services. Let our experts help you to make this transformation. All you need to do is get in touch.

The role of AI in Business Intelligence for multinationals

The role of AI in Business Intelligence for multinationals

BSL delivers Business Intelligence solutions to multinational organisations, integrating content from thousands of publications worldwide and delivering daily themed news alerts and briefings to business users. Recently, we’ve introduced AI technologies to these services, and our latest blog post highlights some of the benefits.

Whiteboards and the Canon of the Netherlands app

Whiteboards and the Canon of the Netherlands app

Recently, a digital whiteboard supplier called CTOUCH reached out to BSL, requesting permission to include the Canon of the Netherlands app in their store for use on their digital whiteboards in classrooms. We liked the idea and recently created a special version of our app designed specifically for the big screen.

Google Looker Studio: Making sense of big data

Google Looker Studio: Making sense of big data

In today’s fast-paced world, making quick and well-informed decisions is crucial. Google Looker Studio is a free tool that can give you a significant advantage. It can help you transform your vast amount of Analytics data into informative, easy-to-read dashboards and reports that are completely customizable.

Let BSL take care of your website maintenance updates

Let BSL take care of your website maintenance updates

We understand the importance of regular website maintenance updates for WordPress and Drupal. Hackers sometimes target popular open-source products, so keeping your CMS and any plugins up-to-date is essential. Trust BSL to keep your website up-to-date and secure while you focus on crafting persuasive content for your audience.

BSL Summer event on the water

BSL Summer event on the water

It was time for our annual summer event with the whole company. This year, Diana arranged a boat trip in a salon boat along the Vecht towards Loenen and Vreeland. After the boat trip, the summer event continued in the restaurant of Bistrotel ‘t Amsterdammertje, where everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner.

Adobe Firefly and Photoshop Beta with generative fill

Adobe Firefly and Photoshop Beta with generative fill

After the success of ChatGPT and Midjourney AI – both already in use at BSL – Adobe didn’t want to be left behind and made public their Beta releases of Adobe Firefly and Photoshop AI. With the arrival of the Adobe Betas, we’ve turned our attention to the new kids on the block, comparing them with Midjourney.

Midjourney prompts – Describing your perfect image

Midjourney prompts – Describing your perfect image

In an earlier blog, we introduced Midjourney as a tool we use within BSL when designing websites and banners for blogs. To direct Midjourney to create the image you have in mind, you need to write a prompt describing the image. This new blog discusses Midjourney prompts and some of the commands and parameters you can use.

Drupal 9 development using Tailwind CSS

Drupal 9 development using Tailwind CSS

Using Drupal, BSL has developed an extensive Intranet site to which we all have access. We’re developing a new version of the site, and in this blog, one of our developers talks about some of the tools we are using, including Twig templates, the Entity and Form APIs and Tailwind CSS.

Midjourney AI – Turning your ideas into images

Midjourney AI – Turning your ideas into images

Over the past few weeks, BSL has been exploring the many possibilities offered by Artificial Intelligence. This latest blog describes the use of Midjourney AI, a web service that generates images based on natural language descriptions (“prompts”). The results are impressive. Read our blog to find out more.

The benefits of long-term partnerships

The benefits of long-term partnerships

NBD Biblion offers personalised book and media title recommendations to schools and libraries, and supplies their clients with the titles they select. BSL has had a long-term partnership with NBD Biblion for more than twenty years, delivering development teams, technical advice, and support.

ChatGPT for business information analysis

ChatGPT for business information analysis

After the initial enthusiastic response to the introduction of ChatGPT and AI, attention switched to the unreliability of many ChatGPT answers. However, using Azure OpenAI (ChatGPT) and Cognitive Search with reliable data, we can deliver reliable, high-quality business information in response to natural language queries.

Browser engine wars – Part 2 – The impact of Apple’s iOS monopoly

Browser engine wars – Part 2 – The impact of Apple’s iOS monopoly

The Apple iOS monopoly means that every app on iOS – including browsers from Apple’s competitors – must use WebKit to display web content. While it’s not uncommon for browser developers to use a third-party engine, they can usually control which engine features they use in their browser and – if needed – add custom features.

Browser engine wars – Part 1 – How did we get here?

Browser engine wars – Part 1 – How did we get here?

The Register recently reported that Google is working on an iOS version of Chromium. A few days later, a second article claimed that Mozilla is working on an iOS version of Gecko, Firefox’s browser engine. Both reports suggest that the Apple browser engine on iOS, WebKit, is in danger of losing its monopoly.

Donation on behalf of earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

Donation on behalf of earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria

On Monday, 6 February, several powerful earthquakes and aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria. This disaster affects as many as 23 million people, including many who are already in desperate need due to the conflict in Syria. If possible, please join us in making a donation on the Giro555 website.

WordPress and page-builders such as Divi and Elementor

WordPress and page-builders such as Divi and Elementor

For building websites on behalf of clients, we often use WordPress together with page-builders, making it easy to prototype and develop modern, responsive websites. With page-builders such as Divi and Elementor, you can easily and quickly design and build pages to match almost any design.

2022 and the Bright Side of Life

2022 and the Bright Side of Life

Taking the time to reflect regularly on the things we are grateful for at the Bright Side can help shift our perspective to focus on the positive aspects of our work. So, here are the things for which I’m grateful in 2022.

SEO benefits, and the power of good-quality content

SEO benefits, and the power of good-quality content

Many business owners still think their websites are merely visiting cards. Their “go-to” expression is: “our clients/audience already know where to find us…”. This may be true, but optimizing your website will reach new clients and audiences.

New Keylane Careers website

New Keylane Careers website

Keylane asked BSL to help design and build a new Careers website. The main aim is to increase the number of visitors by improving the organic search performance. To achieve this, we’re introducing a new design and adding blogs.

Cloud provider migration: What are the benefits?

Cloud provider migration: What are the benefits?

The focus of Cloud computing is to improve the efficiency of IT services. By choosing a cloud-based solution, organisations can stay up-to-date with technology innovations and benefit from higher scalability, lower expenses, and enhanced security.

A new website for BoekWijzer

A new website for BoekWijzer

We’ve completely revamped the BoekWijzer website! The website was built to support the BoekWijzer app, the mobile guide to the world of Dutch literature. Using the app, you can quickly and easily stay up to date with the latest literary news.

New developer / web designer at BSL

New developer / web designer at BSL

If you have any questions about your website or web design in general, then Patrick van Bennekom is ready to help you five days a week at BSL. Patrick helps to design and create websites and apps for our customers, including the design of logos and house styles to deliver a professional end product.

Beleev: Controlled Multisensory Environments

Beleev: Controlled Multisensory Environments

Perhaps you have never heard of snoezelen, a Dutch term that describes controlled multisensory environments (MSE) that stimulate various senses within a custom environment – a so-called “Snoezel” room. On behalf of St. John the Baptist special education school in Kerkrade, we’ve created custom software to create and manage so-called “Snoezel” rooms, controlling, lights, audio, switches and a video projector.

Goodbye 2021 and COVID-19 lockdowns – It’s time to look back

Goodbye 2021 and COVID-19 lockdowns – It’s time to look back

So who, in early 2020, thought that we’d still be operating under COVID-19 lockdown measures in January 2022? Luckily, my skill set has given me a better understanding of software development and technology than catering or hospitality. As director of an IT company, I’m happy to say that Bright Side of Life has taken to remote working as a fish to water. Let me tell you about our year.

Canon of the Netherlands apps now available in stores

Canon of the Netherlands apps now available in stores

The Dutch Canon of the Netherlands (2007) tells the story of how the Netherlands was formed. Using the Canon, BSL developed the popular EnToen Nu apps for iOS and Android a few years later. In 2020, the Canon was extensively revised, so we’ve completely rewritten the Canon apps, bringing them up-to-date, making them faster and even more fun to use. They’re now available in the app stores.

Integrating powerful AI search capabilities within apps and web-services

Integrating powerful AI search capabilities within apps and web-services

Search technology is continually evolving, so we’re always ready to adopt new technologies to meet specific client needs. This blog outlines our recent experiences with Azure Cognitive Search and Cognitive Search AI services – classifying thousands of new documents each day, delivering customised briefings to subscribers. Using Machine Learning and AI we can create intelligent search prototypes in just a few weeks.

Canon of the Netherlands apps coming soon!

Canon of the Netherlands apps coming soon!

The Committee on the Development of the Dutch Canon developed the Canon of the Netherlands in 2007. BSL developed the EnToen app a few years later, and since its launch in 2013, it has been a top-rated school app. In 2020, a new Canon Committee updated the Canon. We’re now busy working on new Canon Apps, with a modern look, and using the latest technical know-how.

Drupal 9 replaces Drupal 8. Long live Drupal 7!

Drupal 9 replaces Drupal 8. Long live Drupal 7!

Drupal 9 arrived last year, and Drupal 8 is end-of-life in November 2021. Nothing strange about this. But did you know that Drupal 7’s life has been extended to November 2022? Due to the high number of active users, it will remain in use longer than Drupal 8! Nevertheless, if you’re still using Drupal 7, you’re drinking in the last chance saloon, and it’s time to plan your transition to Drupal 9.

BSL delivers a new Pulse importer using the Forrester API

BSL delivers a new Pulse importer using the Forrester API

We developed our “Pulse” Business Intelligence Software for PwC. It’s a global service, maintained and supported by BSL. Pulse imports thousands of documents daily from commercial content providers and website feeds, delivering personal briefings to PwC subscribers throughout the PwC organisation. At the request of PwC, we recently created a new importer for Forrester using their API.

Outsourcing, retainers and long-term development partnerships

Outsourcing, retainers and long-term development partnerships

It’s not always straightforward for even large companies to create cutting edge development teams, as their core business may not be related to IT. Moreover, even when IT is a significant part of their business, there is frequently a wide gap between delivering core services and innovating with new technologies. BSL offers development services that can help fill the gap.

4

Previous

5

Next

Contact BSL