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First Five Things To Consider When Starting A Cloud Project

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Whenever you start up a Cloud Server project, there are a lot of things that you need to consider. At Rackspace, we wrote a Knowledge Center article called “The First 48” which goes into detail of everything you need to do when you get started using the Cloud Servers platform. However, I thought I would shrink it down a little bit and give you what I think are the first five things you should consider.

1. Plan
The first thing you need to do when creating a cloud configuration is to plan it out. You should consider who your audience is, determine what the scaling needs are going to be and try to forecast out the traffic demands. Planning up front helps you know what type of infrastructure and configuration you will need to set up. Furthermore, be sure to use a common naming convention for the servers in your environment. While it might be fun to name your servers after Simpsons characters, it is best practice to assign names such as Web1 or DB2 that anyone can understand.

2. Backups And Monitoring
With Cloud Servers we let you decide how and when to backup your server and whether or not to monitor it. Even though backups and monitoring are not setup by default, it is best practice for you to configure these things from the very beginning through our Control Panel. Be sure to verify that your backups are running properly and that you can restore your website from them.

3. Local Configuration
Another thing that you should do when you begin a cloud project is to setup your local configuration, or the computer that will connect with your cloud environment. This means doing several different things, including generating SSH keys, establishing aliases to connect to that server and configuring FTP clients or MySQL clients to help you program on that server.

4. Server Security
After you have your local configuration setup, it is a good idea to do implement some basic server security measures. The bottom line is to make sure that all the users have the correct access to your environment and also make sure that you have changed the passwords.

5. External Services
Rackspace Cloud Servers are like building blocks that help you create some really cool things. In addition, there are some third party companies that offer services that can bring a lot of value to your project. Some of these include New Relic for application performance management, SendGrid for email or Cloudability to monitor utilization. Be sure to check out the Cloud Tools Marketplace for more information on these and other external services.

These are the first five things that we like to do when setting up a cloud project here at Rackspace. If you have any other questions, be sure to leave a comment or give us a call.

Check out Joseph’s previous blog post where he discussed how Rackspace Managed Cloud can become an extension to your IT team. You can also watch the next video where he talks about the important cloud features that you need to configure. Learn more about how the Managed Cloud offering can support your business.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Joseph Palumbo.

As a founding member of Rackspace's Managed Cloud Support Team, Joseph spends half of his time teaching customers about the Cloud and the other half learning about the Cloud from them. When he's not in meetings, he can be found presiding over cultural happenings around the Rackspace office, discussing support innovation with other 'Fanatics' and wishing paper documents had a built-in search function.


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2 Comments

This is truly helpful. Thanks for this. Awesome!

avatar Jwen on September 25, 2012 | Reply

This was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much!

avatar Jeff Moro on September 25, 2012 | Reply

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