Scaling growth with Landing Zones on the Cloud

By: | Surya Matte

Publish Date: March 19, 2020

The explosion of cloud-led innovations and technologies are nothing short of a supernova. With digital transformation, prospects such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, and big data on the Cloud, ‘getting to the cloud’ has become the modern-day industrial goal for competitive success.

Yet, many are drawn to the technology solely because of the rewards it potentially offers without digging deep into how exactly those rewards will get reaped in the future. Those who don’t end up taking their cloud journey in a cost-efficient and rationalized manner are the ones who suffer potentially catastrophic consequences. One such fundamental area to never ignore is a ‘landing zone.’

A landing zone is the basic building block of any cloud environment. The term refers to an environment that has been fully provisioned as well as prepared to host workloads in the cloud environment such as AWS cloud or Azure. A landing zone offers your business a baseline to get started with a diverse and complex multi-account architecture, included with I&A (identity and access) management, data security, governance, and network design.
In this blog, we will discuss how landing zones, if implemented correctly, can help scale your business success and growth on the Cloud.

Ensuring safe landing on the Cloud – long term hypothesis

Let’s get a fact out of the way at the beginning itself. A landing zone is not merely the start of your cloud journey, but a continuously evolving core element of your cloud infrastructure that needs to be well mapped out and strategized. Landing zones are codified representatives of the goals a business wants to achieve, and then they gradually continue to improve further.

It can prove to be challenging to bridge the gap between the long term ‘visionary’ targets and short-term ‘necessary’ objectives. By creating an entire business case and long-term theory about the business concerning the value chain, organizations can identify problems or gaps to solve – thereby improving upon their value creation for customers.

Scaling with best practices

Landing zone best practices – including multi-account structures, self-services with guardrails, security and access management, scalability, and extensibility – all begin with the initial landing zone environment. And hence, as the environment grows in size, it also grows in complexities. For example, in a multi-account structure, while you can start with a single account, later on, the same account can be sidestepped/overstepped due to different resource needs and responsibilities.

Similarly, the chances are that with entirely different business units or products that require separate accounts, isolation, and protection of those accounts with relevant security profiles and compliance controls is equally crucial. A few of the other best practices recommended industry-wide are:

Master account for the businessfor the provisioning and management of accounts from a centralized interface

Organizational unit core accountsto provide the essential functions common to all accounts in an organization (e.g., security management, log archives, shared services, etc.)

Group/team accounts in organizational unitsfor individual business units at a granular team level
Developer accounts – ‘sandboxes’ for experimentation and learning on an individual basis

Connectivity across data centers – between cloud and on-premise accounts and for network configurations

Automation – to automate the infrastructure building and implementing standardized policies for cost optimization, security, and governance

Work on any scale!

Landing zones are ‘scale-free’ – i.e., they work on any sized products or projects. The overall approach and structure do not alter the way a project team of 20 or even three people works. Also, paired with CI/CD (continuous integration / continuous delivery) via automation, landing zones can deliver codes faster, with security and consistency.

With a great deal of stability, security, and flexibility, your business can thus be guided through complex intricacies without losing focus.
Interested to learn how landing zone best practices from YASH can benefit your business migrate safely to the Cloud? Check out this blog on the ‘Fundamentals of Landing Zones when migrating to the cloud.’

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