As digital transformation in oil and gas accelerates, industry players pivot towards newer, more efficient ways to ensure market competitiveness, profitability, and environmental sustainability. Moving to the cloud becomes more critical than ever. However, it’s not just about shifting to the cloud anymore; for these enterprises, the future seems to be pointing towards a distributed cloud framework.
What is Distributed Cloud?
Distributed cloud is a model where cloud services are distributed to different physical locations, but the operation, governance, and evolution remain the responsibility of the public cloud provider. Unlike traditional cloud models that currently propel the digital transformation in the oil and gas sector, the distributed cloud spans across multiple locales, sometimes even at the edge, closer to where data is generated and consumed.
Why is Distributed Cloud Appealing to Oil & Gas?
According to Gartner, nearly 90% of oil and gas CIOs look to implement a distributed cloud framework within their organization by 2025.
Below are several benefits of distributed cloud that make it vital to the digitalization of oil and gas industry.
Localized Data Processing
Oil and gas operations often span vast geographical expanses, from remote drilling sites to pipelines crossing continents. With distributed cloud, data can be processed closer to its source, enabling faster insights and responses.
In a distributed cloud model, cloud applications aren’t hosted in a single centralized data center. Instead, they are distributed and deployed across multiple geographical locations or nodes. This can range from regional data centers to edge locations closer to the end-users or data sources.
With the software closer to the source of data (e.g., IoT devices in an industrial setup), processing can happen locally. By positioning software closer to the end-users, distributed cloud setups can offer faster load times and improved user experience, especially for applications sensitive to latency. As real-time data analysis becomes increasingly crucial in monitoring and decision-making, reduced latency offered by distributed cloud can make a tangible difference in operations.
Distributed architectures can potentially offer better security, as data breaches at one site won’t necessarily compromise the entire system. Even though the software is distributed, updates, patches, and maintenance activities are centrally coordinated. This ensures that all nodes run the same software version and receive updates simultaneously or in a phased manner.
In some regions, data residency regulations require that certain types of data remain within national or regional borders. Distributed cloud can help businesses comply with these regulations more easily.
Flexibility and Scalability
Distributing software across multiple nodes naturally introduces redundancy. If one node fails, traffic or tasks can be rerouted to another active node, ensuring continuous availability. With resources closer to data sources, companies can more easily scale up or down based on operational needs without overhauling the entire infrastructure.
Given the increasing pressure on oil and gas companies to adopt sustainable practices, the distributed cloud also has an environmental angle. By processing data locally, there’s reduced need for extensive data transmission, which in turn can lead to lower energy consumption. It’s a small step, but in an industry under scrutiny for its environmental impact, every little bit helps.
Cost Challenges in the Distributed Cloud
While the distributed cloud model brings about many benefits, it doesn’t automatically translate to reduced costs. The distributed nature of this setup introduces unique challenges that can drive up expenses if not managed efficiently. This is where cloud cost optimization and software license management become pivotal.
Multiple Deployment Sites
Unlike traditional centralized cloud models, distributed cloud implies deploying infrastructure and software across multiple locations. Each of these locations comes with its own set of costs, from infrastructure setup and maintenance to local regulatory compliance.
Data Transfer and Synchronization
The distributed cloud requires frequent data transfers between nodes to ensure consistency and data integrity. These transfers, especially when done across large distances or between numerous nodes, can lead to substantial data transfer costs.
While redundancy ensures high availability and resilience, it can also mean that resources are occasionally underutilized. Paying for idle resources can significantly increase operational costs.
Given these potential cost implications, the focus on cloud cost optimization and software license management becomes clear.
Cloud Cost Optimization in Distributed Cloud
Cloud cost optimization is the process of adjusting your cloud resource usage, ensuring that you get the maximum value for your spend. In a distributed cloud context, this means:
Right-Sizing Resources: Ensuring that each node or location has just the right number of resources – neither too much nor too little – based on its workload.
Monitoring and Analysis: Using monitoring tools to track usage and expenses across all nodes, understanding where costs are incurred, and identifying potential savings.
Automated Scaling: Implementing tools that can automatically scale resources up or down based on demand, ensuring that you’re only paying for what you use.
Data Transfer Management: Strategically scheduling and managing data transfers to avoid peak pricing times or leveraging dedicated connections that might offer better rates.
Software License Management: An Integral Piece of the Puzzle
As distributed cloud frameworks become more intricate, the software running on them follows suit. Software license management for cloud-based applications is essential for several reasons:
Avoid Overprovisioning: Purchasing more licenses than necessary or opting for premium licenses when basic ones would suffice can lead to unnecessary costs.
Stay Compliant: In a distributed setup, ensuring that all software is correctly licensed becomes more complex. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and legal repercussions.
Monitor Usage: By understanding which software is being used, where, and how often, companies can make informed decisions about renewals, upgrades, or potential downgrades.
Negotiate Better Deals: Armed with accurate usage data, companies can negotiate better terms or bulk deals with software vendors.
The Ultimate Goal: An Optimized Distributed Cloud Ecosystem
The distributed cloud offers a range of benefits, but it’s not without its challenges. When left unchecked, costs can spiral. However, with a keen strategic focus on cloud cost optimization and diligent software license management, oil and gas companies can unlock its immense potential without denting their finances. The key lies in understanding the nuances of the distributed cloud, monitoring continuously, and making informed decisions.
Rely on Open iT for advanced software license management solutions tailored for cloud applications in the oil and gas arena. With a rich legacy of aiding oil and gas firms in optimizing their software license assets and fostering digital transformations, Open iT is primed to bolster your distributed cloud endeavors.
Get an Open iT Representative to contact you today.