Why public cloud hyperscalers are instrumental to resilient enterprise operations

As enterprises increasingly adopt cloud-based infrastructure, they need to ensure that they are resilient and robust enough to meet current and future demands. This resilience is required in areas such as network robustness, the ability to handle varying levels of demand, meet an ever-increasing expectation of user experience, cope with outage quickly and seamlessly, not to mention defending organisations from the increasing complexity of cyberattacks.

To meet these wide-ranging demands and provide a high level of resilience, many enterprises are looking towards using public cloud hyperscalers.

About the Author

Senior Account Manager, Jeffrey Magara helps Global Enterprise & SME clients to deliver consolidating, cost saving IT solutions and projects.

Public Cloud Hyperscalers

Having any level of cloud-based infrastructure for your enterprise will more than likely mean that you will already be working with a hyperscaler.

Essentially, hyperscalers provide cloud, networking, and internet services at scale, by offering enterprises access to infrastructure, via an IaaS model. A list of hyperscalers in the market today will include companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft etc. They dominate cloud services and are continuing to grow, as the demand for their services increases exponentially.

These powerful hyperscalers offer services through huge data centres that accommodate fluctuating and high demand. Indeed, their infrastructure is built on thousands of physical servers and millions of virtual machines. The end result, and advantage to their customers, is data centre resources that are easily accessible, cost effective, reliable, and scalable.

What’s more, today’s hyperscalers provide a level of performance way above traditional inhouse data centres. They also have a very clear view on the future, investing huge amounts of money, offering a level of reassurance to their customers beyond the dreams of an enterprises IT department. Microsoft alone have recently announced their investment of nearly $20bn, to build the infrastructure necessary to support its Azure cloud service. This should not only reassure Azure customers, but those of competing hyperscalers, as they are sure to be working on their own future proof projects.

With minimal level of commitment, many of today’s largest enterprises are already customers of all of the hyperscalers, allowing them to pick and choose services that best fit their business and, at the same time, avoid vendor lock-in.

Innovative Hyperscalers

Hyperscaler companies are working hard to offer their customers more reasons why cloud is the route to take. Some of the latest services offered demonstrate this and allow enterprises the opportunity to become agile and resilient without huge investment. Innovations of late include:

  • Serverless Computing
    Allowing users to write and deploy code without worrying about the required infrastructure. Key benefits include: pay for only what you need, extend and scale to full-stack apps, automatic and instant scaling with usage increase.
  • Artificial Intelligence as a service (AIaas)
    Ready-made AI services in the cloud on a pay as you go basis.
  • Containers (CaaS)
    Allows faster app deployment, optimising resource utilisation, again available on a pay as you go basis.
  • Distributed Cloud
    Expands the traditional datacentre-based cloud model to a system of cloud infrastructure components that are geographically distributed, benefiting performance, redundancy and regulations.
  • Edge Computing
    Brings computer closer to the end user, minimising long distance communication between client and server, reducing latency.
  • Cloud Portability
    Cloud portability tools that help you adopt multi-cloud strategies. Benefits include: no single vendor lock-in, easily switching clouds and inter-Cloud redundancy.

Coping with Legacy Infrastructure

One of the many challenges faced by hyperscalers and their customers, in particular, is how to integrate enterprise’ existing legacy systems with the cloud. This indeed will be a key challenge, as it will open up many enterprises who are either resisting the move to cloud, and or struggling with how they utilise their existing legacy system and indeed its applications. Aware that this is a barrier for many would-be customers, hyperscalers are investing in viable solutions.

Strategic Multi-Cloud Agility

As mentioned earlier, many larger enterprises have adopted a multi-cloud strategy in order to build up their IT resilience and continuous protection. This multi-cloud strategic approach benefits both resilience planning and overall service offering, making it highly beneficial.

Having the ability to store your data in different physical locations and different providers should ensure that you always have access to it, no matter what the circumstance is. This does of course rely on all providers to integrate with one another, allowing you to move data in the event of a problem, but having the flexibility to add and scale services in real-time.

Risk Management

Cloud deployments offer a myriad of benefits, and indeed mitigate many of the traditional data centre risks, however, cloud use does come with its own set of challenges. Further complexity and volatility is added. By their nature the public cloud involves large transactional volumes, open architecture and multiple vendors, all of which contain risk.  Also, as mentioned earlier, there is the challenge of how to synchronise with an enterprise’s legacy systems.

To combat these challenges and ensure business resilience, enterprises need to create a comprehensive strategy to cover everything including, provisioning and day to day management of potential multi-cloud environments. Having a clear view of what the enterprise’s critical applications are, will help make sure resources are focussed on protecting them.

Selecting the Right Hyperscaler

When looking to choose the right hyperscaler for your enterprise, due to the very nature of what they offer and how they integrate into the very core of your enterprise, you should be looking for a partner rather than a supplier. Afterall, this should be a vital strategic move for the enterprise.
Some key areas to think about when selecting your hyperscale partner are:

  • Consider your existing architecture, technologies and operating systems when selecting a provider.
  • What are the specific needs of our enterprise in terms of cloud infrastructure? There will be some cloud hyperscalers who better suit particular industries
  • Consider using more than one cloud hyperscaler. As mentioned earlier, many enterprises have strategically spread their risk by using more than one.
  • Do you utilise the provider’s platform services or build and maintain your own?
  • Opportunities to co innovate; Hyperscalers are sometimes willing to partner with customers to build new services, in niche fields.

What is very clear, for enterprises to make the most from cloud computing, they need to understand what it is they wish to achieve, identify their critical applications and have the backing of the board.  Many organisations have suffered from an experimental mindset, stalling the project, as no clear direction has been set. Others struggle to make a clear business case.  With the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, it has been a wakeup call for many enterprises, of the importance of systems resilience, agility and scalability.

To gain the advantages of the cloud, there needs to be a high level of commitment to migrate and scale the majority of the enterprise’ workloads, this is where the true business value is.

If your enterprise is looking to take greater advantage of cloud-based infrastructure, or indeed make the first moves towards the cloud, having a partner who can help guide you through will be invaluable to making the right decisions. Pendulum offers design services for Google Cloud Platform, AWS and Microsoft Azure, along with support and expertise, to help you get the most out of your organisation’s cloud infrastructure.

About Us

Pendulum IT p logo

Pendulum is a leading IT company providing services, hardware and software across the UK and internationally. For further information on remote working, public cloud hyperscalers, cybersecurity, modernising the data centre, HCI or any other area please contact your account manager or email info@pendulum-it.com 

Controlling your AWS costs

Pendulum IT helps you control your AWS costs

Cloud is the way forward 

Cloud and a virtualised data centre are compelling for so many reasons, however, reducing infrastructure costs is one of the most significant considerations, and one that would certainly win your board members over. That said, experience suggests, alongside the substantial cost reductions that can arise from using cloud services, there comes the potential for costs to spiral if left unchecked. This is particularly true when we look at over-provisioning.

Melusi Phiri

About the Author

Melusi Phiri is a Senior Account Manager, helping clients of all sizes, across sectors to find and make best use of technology. Melusi can advise on the full technology stack, including cloud, application modernisation, security, networking and remote working solutions.

But don’t over-provision

Many organisations lose control of their cloud costs when deploying non-production instances, say for use in development, staging and testing. As you get further into the complexity of the AWS environment it becomes harder to easily identify where you are paying for unnecessary services and what can be optimised. Reserved instances are one area where it becomes a little trickier to identify when buying more will be cost effective, or indeed removing those that are redundant. Recognising that migrating your old instances, for example, may not be the best strategy; taking a new approach to carefully proportion services in this new environment could provide significant savings.

Get a clear picture of where your spend is going

Determining where most of the AWS spend is going to is a good starting point. Having this overview of charges, or rather services, you can then focus on elements that are producing the most charges. Then identifying those that can be scaled down and those that justify their spend – just bear in mind this is a moving feast. Depending on the service, there are many AWS tools that will allow you to manage services effectively, as well as set budgets. In addition, there are some third-party tools that will help you learn and analyse usage patterns and make amendments. However, as you might expect, it isn’t always as simple as that, especially when you consider pricing fluctuations. Buying in advance based on expected use may catch you out when/if AWS discount that service in the future, resulting in you paying more for something you’re not actually using.
Being armed with a good understanding of the AWS services used and their relative costs will allow you to start rationalising your overall service plan. As mentioned earlier AWS provides tools to do this; from understanding where you might be exceeding your AWS Free Tier allowances, to the AWS Cost Explorer where you are able to drill down from high-level usage to a granular level.

Next steps
By having an understanding of where your resource needs are at their highest and where unnecessary costs lay using the filters on the AWS Cost Explorer, you will be able to make service level changes. The following are some of the areas you will be able to concentrate on:

  • Identify Amazon EC2 instances with low-utilisation and reduce cost by stopping or right-sizing
  • Identify Amazon EBS volumes with low-utilisation and reduce cost by snapshotting then deleting them
  • Analyse Amazon S3 usage and reduce cost by leveraging lower cost storage tiers
  • Identify Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift instances with low utilisation and reduce cost by stopping (RDS) and pausing (Redshift)
  • Identify Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift instances with low utilisation and reduce cost by stopping (RDS) and pausing (Redshift)
  • Review networking and reduce costs by deleting idle load balancers
  • Review networking and reduce costs by deleting idle load balancers
  • Review and modify EC2 AutoScaling Groups configuration
  • Use Reserved Instances (RI) to reduce RDS, Redshift, ElastiCache and Elasticsearch costs
  • Use Compute Savings Plans to reduce EC2, Fargate and Lambda costs
  • Cloud Usage Policies

Usage policies provide the guidelines under which companies operate in the cloud. As well as safeguarding the integrity and privacy of company-owned information, cloud policies can also be used for performance management, financial management, network security and ultimately cost optimisation.

Performance management policies allow the organisation to specify performance thresholds for Virtual Machines and storage volumes so you can monitor for under-utilised and over-utilised assets. Under-utilised Virtual Machines and storage volumes should be downgraded for cost efficiency, while over-utilised assets should be upgraded to avoid performance issues.

To make sure that your cloud policies are effective, it is essential to have total visibility over your cloud environment, so that you fully understand what assets your company has deployed in the cloud and how they are being used. Applications such as VMware’s CloudHealth gives total visibility and the tools to analyse costs, usage, performance, and security, to help you to make informed choices when applying cloud policies. CloudHealth then automates governance of your cloud policies to provide continuous monitoring – alerting you to events that require your attention, or that may require you to revisit your policies as your presence in the cloud evolves and grows.

Through AWS’s Management Console you are able to specifically apply identity based policies, which can be set by group or indeed individual level.

The two most obvious ways of gaining discounts for your AWS service are by consolidating your business accounts to hit volume targets, or by buying Reserved Instances way in advance. The benefits of both routes are negated if you are a smaller business or if your usage concentrates in none-production resources.

Even for those organisations who do qualify for volume discount, it may well be worthwhile consulting with your cloud services partner, who should have a very good view of where discounts/cost reductions can be gained.

Finally, the automation of switching off non-production resources when not in use will result in immediate savings and is a policy that will ensure overall costs are kept to a minimum.

There’s certainly a lot to consider when looking at how you can control your overall AWS costs, and hopefully this blog has given you some insight into some of the areas where cost efficiencies can be made. As with business in general, usage and requirements will fluctuate. Some users will not ensure that services they don’t need are downgraded or switched off. This can be a daunting prospect to businesses wanting to make sure that their cloud service is the best it can be for now and in the future, without paying the earth.

One way of making sure that costs are controlled is by having an effective cloud services partner. A cloud services partner who is an approved vendor for your cloud service and provides a skilled technical team, will help optimise your cloud infrastructure, software or storage through their expertise.

When selecting a cloud services partner, you need to consider that they have a wide knowledge of different services offered by the vendor and can advise you on best practices, as well as provide you with migration support and architectural planning; all of which are scalable. With your partner in place, you can better focus on your core business, while they optimise your cloud for you.

Pendulum IT helps you control your AWS costs - moving graph

About Us

Pendulum IT p logo

Pendulum is a leading IT company providing services, hardware and software across the UK and internationally. For further information on remote working, public cloud hyperscalers, cybersecurity, modernising the data centre, HCI or any other area please contact your account manager or email info@pendulum-it.com 

Which Public Cloud Vendor’s IaaS is right for my Business?

Public cloud service, used by the enterprise sector is growing exponentially, with an expected overall spend of $304.9 billion in 2021 Gartner November 2020. There is no doubt that the Covid crisis has accelerated the move to cloud based services during 2020, however, projections for the next few years are showing that many enterprise strategies will remain and increase their reliance on such cloud infrastructures, rather than the traditional in-house server.

Man thinking about this cloud IaaS options

The benefits to cloud based services for enterprises are many; including no capital expenditure, it’s flexibility in upscaling/downscaling to fit in with fluctuating business demand and, as we have seen over the course of 2020, the flexibility over remote access. Security is also a key factor in making the decision to move cloud-ways, as the threat is indiscriminate and costly to maintain defences and continuity.

Melusi Phiri

About the Author

Melusi Phiri is a Senior Account Manager, helping clients of all sizes, across sectors to find and make best use of technology. Melusi can advise on the full technology stack, including cloud, application modernisation, security, networking and remote working solutions.

The public cloud market is broken into 6 main areas:

Cloud Business Process Services (BPaaS) ‘business process as a service’

Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS) ‘platform as a service’

Cloud Application Services (SaaS) ‘software as a service’

Cloud Management and Security Services

Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS) ‘infrastructure as a service’

Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

The type of cloud services we will focus on in this blog are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This particular segment of the market is expected to reach $65m in 2021 and $82m in 2022 Gartner Nov 2020.

As with any emerging market, there is an increase in cloud service providers, making it a moving feast in terms of service provision.  Currently there are 3 cloud providers who own around 59% of the IaaS market Canalys Feb 2021.  Coming in at no.1 is Amazon’s AWS, followed by Microsoft and then Google.  Another provider hot on their heels is Alibaba Cloud.  What sets these providers apart from other competitors in the market, is their completeness of service and flexibility.  However, it is important to remember that one solution does not fit all.  As with other IT solution providers, some cloud services are more suited to specific industries than others, so it is important to understand strengths and weaknesses and what suits your infrastructure needs.

Breaking it down by provider

AWS cloud logo

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud service provider that uses Amazon’s own infrastructure and experience. Rather than being a division of the company, like Microsoft’s Azure, AWS is a subsidiary company of Amazon. All the storage and computing resources come from a distributed network of data centres, spread across the globe, to facilitate less latency and a better experience for end-users.

AWS is the hosting service provider of choice for a lot of global enterprises and well-known companies, including Netflix, Facebook, and the BBC; which will no doubt give many other enterprises the confidence to use the same.

Although AWS is a force to be reckoned with there are signs of it slowing against its competitors: Microsoft, Google and Alibaba, who are growing at a much faster rate.  Plus, there is also an indicator suggesting that many companies prefer to spread their risk when it comes to cloud services and choose more than one provider.

One of the oldest in the market with over 12 years of experience, AWS offers a number of features and benefits that make up their Infrastructure-as-a-service platform. Responding to market pressures and their competitors, AWS have recently changed to on-demand billing for services used, making them a much more attractive option as IT business leaders look for more cost effective solutions.

AWS Features

There are 4 main services to its clients.

  • Storage and content delivery
  • Compute services
  • Database
  • Networking

Tried and tested Amazon products like active directory and AWS CloudHSM’s key storage, allow AWS customers to generate and use their own encryption keys via the AWS Cloud.

Benefits of AWS

A partnership with AWS will allow customers access to the following benefits:

  • Broadest range of cloud service offerings for enterprise businesses over competitors
  • Increased business agility
  • Customisable EC2 compute engine
  • A number of EC2 integrations, like Elastic Beanstalk for container service and Lambda
  • Services a number of high-profile, blue chip customers
  • Geared toward open source developers
  • Supports commonly used development languages
  • Can be deployed anywhere


  • Depending on the comfort level of enterprise businesses with AWS services, a steep learning curve may exist
  • Enterprise level support must be purchased
  • AWS was late to get on the on-demand billing for services bandwagon
  • AWS doesn’t have a strong hybrid cloud strategy for those businesses that want to keep sensitive data in a private cloud
  • The wide catalogue of offerings can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate for some users
Microsoft Azure cloud logo

Microsoft Azure

Despite Azure’s launch being sometime after AWS in 2011, it is considered to be hot on AWS’s heels, vying for top spot in the market.  Microsoft Azure has quickly built a leading reputation.

Azure Features

  • Build websites in the cloud, using common programming languages 
  • Integrations include Windows Server and Linux Virtual Machine
  • Migration assistance
  • SQL database support
  • Focal point is Virtual Machine capabilities supported by tools that include Cloud Services and Resource Manager
  • Machine learning

Benefits of Azure

  • Quick to deploy, operate, and scale
  • Increases business agility
  • Has the bandwidth to take your business global
  • Visual Studio development environment built in
  • Supports integration
  • Supported by secure login with Azure Single Sign-On
  • Microsoft is no stranger to industry compliance standards
  • Deploy anywhere


  • Outages have occurred causing experts at Gartner to suggest a good disaster recovery plan for Azure users
  • Functions seem limited when compared against AWS
  • Set up to support Windows; if you want to run something else Azure may not be the best option
  • Requires enterprise management from customers

As mentioned above, the occurrence of outages isn’t limited to Microsoft Azure. However, Microsoft has gone a long way to inspire confidence and trust in enterprise businesses, fulfilling its reputation for high quality service.

Microsoft’s culture and position as a long-time leader in technology means Azure, by design, caters to the needs of various industries and their unique specifications.

Google cloud platform GCP logo

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

An industry trailblazer in web based services and internet, Google dominates in the deployment of web-based services. Does it offer something different from the top 2?  It’s innovation and open source background would suggest Google Cloud Platform (GCP) might have an edge.

GCP Features

Google’s cloud suite of tools includes:

  • Google App Engine to build apps within the cloud
  • Supports common coding languages
  • Open source cloud environment
  • Offers robust data analysis
  • Google Cloud Bigtable no SQL database supported
  • Emphasis on big data tool suites
  • Allows users to create single-purpose functions that decrease the need for management
  • CloudKMS offers security via encryption
  • Cloud storage is a RESTful service for storing and retrieving data
  • Migration assistance

Benefits of GCP

Google Cloud offers the following benefits to customers:

  • Quick deployment and access to updates and functionality
  • Increased business agility
  • Continuous improvement allows Google to update the cloud without disruption to users
  • Primed to facilitate collaboration
  • Ownership of data
  • Scalable
  • Deploy anywhere


  • Supporting large, enterprise projects has not been a focus for Google, unlike companies such as Microsoft
  • Outages have made some wonder if the product is reliable
  • Range of functions lacks innovation
  • Google is a forward-thinking company with a lot to offer enterprise businesses. However, they have their hands in so many small project innovations, which means limited options for larger companies.

Reassuringly Google Cloud’s policy for users to extract their own data in Google apps should they decide to move providers in the future may well help potential users make a decision. This is not the case with other providers, where it can become very expensive to extract data, should you choose to move providers.

Industry Specific Cloud

Optimised and customised ‘Industry-specific Cloud’

In recognition of the differing needs of businesses when it comes to infrastructure, industry-specific clouds have been tailored to fit the typical requirements and specific needs that customers will experience in daily operations inside a vertical market, where a general cloud offering does not.

These tailored clouds are engineered to be delivered with specific performance optimisations, but also with customised functions that are tuned to specific operational, legal, regulatory, commercial considerations found in a customer’s specialised market.

Among mainstream providers, investment is increasing in industry specific cloud, as growth in the market for general-purpose cloud computing has lessened, prompting public cloud vendors to address industry-specific needs in order to maintain growth.

Industry specific cloud solutions from the ‘leading three’ public cloud providers act as a bridge to their fully matured cloud solutions for businesses requiring additional options or features. 

Summing up

Today, the clear market leader in functionality depth and breadth is AWS. This is partly because they have the maturity in the market and the experience to deliver, but competitors like Microsoft and Google aren’t too far behind.

In particular, Microsoft continues to gain headway on AWS. This is especially true because they are a trusted name in enterprise computing with a reliable model for those that already use Microsoft products or languages across the enterprise organisation. Google also has a lot to offer in terms of innovation and might be a good fit for those in the open-source cloud community, that focus on smaller projects.

The public cloud market is still developing, and the last twelve months has certainly given it a boost – and indeed an indicator as to where enterprise infrastructure provision is going.

The main 3 competitors in the market offer solid provision and that is borne out by their client lists and their increasing market share.  What is also apparent are the risks of getting tied in with the wrong provider, especially if you require a greater level of support or your business no longer fits the service provision you’ve signed up to and you wish to extract yourself. 

Reassuringly, it appears that industry specific cloud is well on its ascendency, making the choice of provider a little easier.  However, when it comes to cloud technology, it’s one thing to choose your provider and another actually making it happen. We would advise businesses considering the move to cloud to have a third party who understands your business needs and can map those needs to your technical environment. With AWS and the larger providers, even if you get someone on the phone, they will likely not know your environment or your business. This causes delays in fixing any issues you have and more often than not will lead to business consequences. 

Pendulum IT works with leading public cloud providers including AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and is well positioned to help customers plan, migrate, optimise and manage their cloud infrastructure over the full lifecycle of IT projects and business requirements.

About Us

Pendulum IT p logo

Pendulum is a leading IT company providing services, hardware and software across the UK and internationally. For further information on remote working, public cloud hyperscalers, cybersecurity, modernising the data centre, HCI or any other area please contact your account manager or email info@pendulum-it.com