Cloud migration can be complicated, especially when a company has insufficient cloud expertise or does not have enough manpower to set up a cloud environment correctly and effectively. In addition, an environment can contain hundreds of accounts (AWS) or subscriptions (Azure), making its management awkward. The cloud landing zone is used to solve this problem quickly. But what is a cloud landing zone, and why do companies need it? Let’s find the answers below.
What Is A Cloud Landing Zone?
In simple words, a cloud landing zone is a cloud adoption framework, by using that organizations can perform large-scale cloud migration in an efficient and streamlined manner. The benefit of a cloud landing zone is that a number of parameters are established initially, which determine how applications and data are used in a cloud environment. A cloud environment with a landing zone is created automatically while following best practices in the areas of security and compliance.
For example, you can set up guardrails concerning the compliance or rights of users. A setting like this can be made in such a way that specific datasets are accessible only to certain departments or to users with specific privileges of access. Your cloud migration takes very little time since such protocols and roles are predefined within the cloud landing-zone environment.
A landing zone is prepared differently for each organization. Each company uses different applications, has to meet different compliance requirements, and operates with its specific IT infrastructure. Therefore, organizations need to set up the landing zone accurately from the start to achieve the bespoke solution that requires the necessary expertise. For this, organizations are required to collaborate with the cloud providers that have this expertise in-house.
Cloud Landing Zone lifecycle (Day 0/Day 1/Day 2)
Everyone wants to ‘go-to-the-cloud,’ but the road to the cloud is not always clear. That you don’t move to the cloud in the dark or get blindfolded with too much information, build a cohesive strategy first. You can build a strategy that works for your business by giving attention to the cloud landing zone lifecycle. The lifecycle of a cloud landing zone revolves around three factors such as:
Here is a brief description of each three factors that help us understand their importance in building the right cloud landing zone strategy.
Design (Day 0)
As landing zones put the foundation for cloud environment, it is important that you think well and strategize all requirements before stepping into the cloud journey such as security & compliance, workload management, performance, identity and access management, networking & configurations, high availability as well as cost optimization. You can spend Day 0 deciding and creating a roadmap to avoid hazards that may show up on your cloud journey, hamper your efforts and make it tough to roll back.
Deployment (Day 1)
Once you are done collecting and creating design and specifications, use Day 1 to decide your cloud landing zone deployment to CSP. Every CSP (cloud service provider) handles the landing zone concept differently as their cloud adoption framework. Based on your specific business needs, you can select cloud landing zone services provided by top vendors such as AWS, Azure, and GCP.
Operations (Day 2)
Cloud environments are continuously evolving. That means ongoing effort needs to be put into the management and operations of the established cloud landing zones. With time when all aspects of cloud environments evolve, you must keep landing zones well-maintained and updated based on cloud providers’ best practices by using innovative tools. Adopting the AWS Control Tower for your landing zone management presents a good example of it. The AWS Control Tower is now operational and available for use for AWS users.
Why Does A Company Need Cloud Landing Zone Adoption?
A company could avail of many advantages of adopting a cloud landing zone. As a cloud adoption framework, it helps you evaluate where you are in your path to the cloud world and strategies to get there. It guides you through a framework to utilize as the cornerstone for your transition to the cloud. It allows identifying critical actions and goals that will consistently enhance your cloud journey. Here are some of the ways landing zone helps you beyond developing a cloud migration strategy or cloud adoption journey, including:
1. Compliant With Cloud Architecture Policy
Given that established parameters apply, developers operate within a well-defined field. This means that companies do not risk developing cloud environments that differ from their compliance policy. Similarly, the IT manager is less concerned about compliance as it is embedded in the foundation of the IT infrastructure.
2. Speed And Scalability
As mentioned above, cloud migration can happen very quickly with the help of the landing zone. Preparation time is significantly reduced: while this used to take at least a day, the time is cut down to a few minutes with the landing zone. This leads to considerable cost savings as well as a shorter time-to-market for new applications, resulting in a more quickly and more efficiently establishing of DevOps processes. Another key feature inherent in landing zones is scalability, as it is easy to expand to new environments. It allows the development of standard profiles easily for new users.
3. Security And Compliance
Thanks to guardrails, compliance is an integral part of a landing zone, meaning developers and engineers can safely operate in a landing-zone environment and in observance of compliance regulations. What’s more, organizations don’t spend that much time implementing complex rules within their public cloud, and the risk of shadow IT is substantially reduced. This especially applies to the operational phase. But it doesn’t stop with a one-off setting of the environment. It is also about keeping all environments up to date in an ongoing and consistent way.
A landing zone stands for high-degree standardization, which means that engineers only work with environments that others have developed. In addition, a good landing zone is API-driven to simplify the implementation of new applications. This flexibility saves time when the landing-zone environment is scaled up or extended.
5. A Better Understanding Of Costs
Organizations quickly lose control of their cloud expenses because they don’t have a clear overview of the solutions being used and their costs. The landing zone provides a framework within which engineers are free to develop new initiatives without incurring unexpected and unnecessary expenses. Furthermore, the process can be set up in such a way that each account/subscription is visible. This avoids situations in which accounts remain under the radar, hence better cost optimization.
6. Standardized Tenancy For Multi-account?
In a multi-tenant architecture, standardizing tenancy allows you to enforce tagging policies to a group of users. It helps you set up different security profiles and share access to the software instances with users having specific privileges.
Who Should Be Using Cloud Landing Zone?
The benefits of the landing zone are many. But which landing zone offers the most potential to developers, and which organizations make the most of it? Two aspects play a significant role when it comes to answering this question.
The first thing to consider is an organization’s current cloud environment. It is primarily developers working with organizations that do not understand their cloud spending, or where there is no transparent model for DevOps at hand or insufficient central IT architecture, who can benefit from a landing zone.
Speed also plays an important role. Due to the short migration time, the possibility of quickly deploying new applications in landing-zone environments, faster time-to-market for new applications, and optimization of DevOps processes, a cloud landing zone is a solution for developers working in organizations where speed does matter. And changes like scaling up or new employees can also be assimilated quickly and efficiently to landing zone intelligence.
The cloud landing zone provides a well-defined operating model that helps organizations improve the quality and speed of service delivery. Whether you want to speed up your cloud migration or first time trying cloud for your business, a landing zone provides you the right cloud foundation by providing you complete control on cost while increasing network resilience and enhanced governance.