Running Apps On Google Cloud Enhances Accessibility
Nearly all businesses who have server-based applications, whether consumer-facing or for internal use only, have dealt with dreaded crashes. When the server goes down or some other bug surfaces, the part of the operations reliant upon that application comes to a standstill.
There’s a way to eliminate those issues forever, while at the same time enhancing accessibility for everyone who uses the applications. Google’s Cloud platform is the solution.
Businesses becoming victims of their own successes
For consumer-facing apps, downtime is a bigger issue than just the lost potential revenue while the issues are ongoing. The resulting negative experience can deter customers from ever returning and also lead to poor reviews, turning the power of social media and word of mouth against businesses.
Server-based apps accentuate these negatives because all their components are wholly dependent on the server’s function. Additionally, there’s a limit to how much traffic server-based apps can handle at one time.
In this way, success for businesses using server-based apps is inherently limited. They can expand their servers and hire more IT professionals to maintain them, but that eventually proves very costly.
Similar problems bog down internal operations. While server-based apps meant for internal usage are unavailable, employees have two options: await restoration or revert to less-efficient practices.
Either choice represents a risk of delays to the fulfillment of obligations and denigrates employee confidence in the application. If the problem becomes a long-term issue, the return on the investment business has already put into the app starts to diminish.
Migrating server-based apps to Google’s Cloud platform enhances reliability. That’s actually one of the cornerstones of the technology.
Google Cloud’s constant “fire drills”
A hallmark of the Google Cloud platform is its Site Reliability Engine. Google now employs thousands of people in its SRE department.
The mantra of SRE at Google is hope for the best but prepare for the worst. The SRE engineers do exactly that by running disaster recovery testing.In that interest, Google intentionally brings parts of its Cloud platform down to test its processes, staff, and technical equipment. Google even goes to the extent of simulating natural disasters. That testing provides two benefits.
First, it allows Google’s engineers and virtual machines in the cloud to learn. Each time a test exposes a weakness, it’s an opportunity to improve the processes to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself. This can include an addition or alteration to code as well as moving certain processes to new containers so they are less dependent on other functions.
The second benefit is readiness for the real thing. Just like how a fire drill cuts down on response time and clarifies procedures for an actual emergency, this testing ensures Google has clear, efficient protocols for when real issues arise.
While reliability can definitely enhance accessibility in eliminating downtime alone, there is another way that the Google Cloud platform can make business’ products and services more accessible. That’s in terms of the ability to handle new volumes.
Room for growth with GCP
One of the greatest features of cloud-based apps is their scalability. It’s possible to do this very simply on a horizontal level by adding more nodes to a cluster.
That, in turn, also minimizes the number of scripts software developers have to write for functions like configuration, deployment, management, and monitoring. Both of these advantages of cloud computing lend to consistent performance despite increased demands.
Even better, the cost of growing businesses is far less on the cloud than relying upon servers because businesses only pay for the bandwidth they actually need. The need to tie up resources in capacity to prepare for unpredictable spikes and idle servers becomes obsolete.
Another cost-saving feature is instead of having to build processes from scratch on bigger servers, the Cloud allows developers to build standardized components. Virtual machines can then simply replicate the scripts attached to those components for additional volume, automating growth to meet demand with minimal human labor.
That enhances access by giving businesses the confidence they need to blaze forward with their marketing. Business owners can focus their consumer education efforts on all their products and services instead of worrying about whether opening their businesses up to new markets will result in downtime and poor performance.
One business has used the benefits of Google’s Cloud in scaling its localized product for massive distribution. It’s a model that it plans to replicate.
How a national news organization used Google’s Cloud to scale reliably
Gannett owns 260 local news outlets across the country, making it the largest such organization in the US. Despite its broad operations, it sought to deliver highly-localized content in a way that not only appealed widely to those consumer bases but that it could also easily replicate in each of its markets.
Gannett started building that application on Google’s Cloud for sports content in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. The app, Cincy Sports Catchup, has delivered on the goals in both of the aforementioned ways.
One of the primary features of the app is users’ ability to customize their experiences. Because of all the data points involved in that process, using the Cloud was a vastly superior choice.
Each time a new user registers a response to a customization query, it affects several processes in the app. Those include content delivery schedules and how the app ranks which pieces of content to deliver.
If this app ran on servers instead of the Cloud, each data point would bring that server closer to its capacity, if not a crash. Because Google’s Cloud not only responds to but prepares for new demand, Cincy Sports Catchup can do the same.
Google’s Cloud delivers enhanced reliability for Cincy Sports Catchup as well. Instead of having to deliver a static product to reduce the potential for bugs, Gannett can not only build different-sized bundles but also manipulate positions within those bundles without having to worry about corrupting the very static scripts that server-based apps very often deploy.
Gannett says that return engagement with Cincy Sports Catchup increased 10% and users consumed four-to-five more articles per visit because of the improvements associated with building the app on Google’s Cloud. Cloudmatos can help businesses of all sizes in all industries replicate those kinds of results.