Getting started with cloud computing can be a huge undertaking. From choosing a provider to deciphering cloud delivery models, or considering migration options and choosing a backend architecture, it can feel overwhelming and — dare we say it — downright scary.
It doesn’t have to be. As you think about what’s next for that great idea you have — whether you’re just getting started, migrating from one provider to another, or transitioning from physical hardware to the cloud— you can break down your decision-making process into three simple steps.
Why are you researching cloud offerings? What are your short and long-term goals for your idea or application? Are you building a complex application or a static website? What are your plans for scaling and growing? As you think through these questions, start documenting what you need to achieve these goals.
Document the capabilities that are essential for a provider to have, and any additional considerations that are important to you. Write down things like storage and bandwidth expectations and any additional requirements related to data and security. Consider your needs for now and how they will change in the future. Make sure your provider can support all stages of your application, from proof of concept to rapid growth and beyond.
By outlining your goals and the demands associated with those goals, you’ll be able to get a sense of your cloud computing requirements. As you’re researching cloud providers, you can compare offerings, SLAs, price points, and more in greater detail.
How big and knowledgeable is your team? Are costs a significant factor? How much time do you want to spend managing infrastructure yourself? Cloud providers have options and resources for teams of all sizes and experiences, although those offerings will vary in terms of cost and complexity. Pricing models for cloud computing can be complex. If cost is a concern, find a cloud provider that offers simple, predictable pricing so you never get a surprise bill — especially in your early days.
Getting started with a virtual machine (VM) doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Keeping your long and short-term goals in mind will help you decide your initial and future configurations, and user-friendly interfaces simplify the setup, so it’s nothing to fear. For example, developers can get started with DigitalOcean’s Droplets in just a few clicks. Simply choose the type and size of machine, storage options, and datacenter region that will best suit your goals (usually the one closest to you and the users you will be serving), and the VM will be ready in minutes.
If spinning up a Droplet is a bit too complicated for you, try a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering like DigitalOcean’s App Platform. PaaS offerings are fully managed, offer flexible options for building all kinds of applications, and allow you to easily scale as your business grows without having to manage infrastructure yourself.
PaaS isn’t the only option for a little extra help. Managed services allow you to focus on your core business while they take care of the rest. Offerings like DigitalOcean’s Managed Kubernetes enable you to scale your application as-needed, saving time and money, and DigitalOcean’s Managed Databases takes the complexity out of database administration.
Many cloud providers have marketplaces where you can find apps to easily deploy on your application, sometimes with as little as one click. There are many developer tools that make it easier for you to manage your application, and there’s even a way to deploy WordPress on your DigitalOcean Droplet with one click.
There’s a huge developer community that’s inclusive and supportive. Individuals from all over the world often come together to collaborate, share knowledge, and even work on open source projects together. As you wade into the world of cloud computing, consider becoming a part of this wonderful community. Take advantage of resources like DigitalOcean’s community, where you can find tutorials of all kinds written by developers and for developers.
Choose a cloud provider with an excellent support team who quickly answers when you need a little extra help and can provide helpful documentation when there’s a simple solution.
You can also be a part of many events and conferences, like Hacktoberfest, deploy, or KubeCon. Engage with your fellow developers and entrepreneurs while learning from each other and other experts in the field.
Cloud computing is a wonderful asset, allowing startups and enterprises alike to build and deploy products that change the world. While it can be a bit intimidating in the beginning, you’ll soon find there’s nothing to fear!
Interested in keeping it simple? DigitalOcean is here to help. Sign up for an account today and you can create your first virtual machine in just minutes.