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Building a Cloud Tech Stack: Why Do I Need Beacon if I Already Have _______?

As we meet with companies who are looking to move applications and capabilities to the cloud, one of the most common questions that we get is: “Why do I need Beacon if I already have [insert cloud stack component]?”

What’s in a Tech Stack?

At its simplest, a cloud tech stack includes your applications, the development resources used to build them, the data required by the applications, and the computing resources to process it all.

However, as you assemble your cloud stack you will find that there are many options to add on to and extend these core capabilities to meet your specific needs. Cloud computing benefits from resource management and scheduling. The myriad of data sources quickly create demands for multiple connectors and interfaces. Developers want access to a wide range of libraries, use different versions and packages, and need project management systems. Application users start asking for prototyping and ‘no-code’ tools to speed up their research and experimentation. Before long you find that your ‘simple’ tech stack has grown substantially and is consuming an ever-increasing percentage of your IT resources.

How Beacon Helps

Adding Beacon Core to your tech stack acts as the glue or mortar that eases the resource burdens of managing and integrating all of these essential components. The result is an end-to-end cloud platform that significantly reduces your infrastructure management overhead, boosts developer productivity, and accelerates your rate of innovation, without sacrificing security and control.

Here’s how Beacon enhances the common components of a cloud-native tech stack.

Compute + Beacon

Many organizations begin their stack by selecting a cloud provider. Beacon is cloud agnostic, which not only enables you to choose the cloud providers most suited to your needs, but also reduces the risk of cloud vendor lock-in. Then, Beacon takes care of most of the configuration and management functions, setting up your secure and segregated cloud environment and providing you with comprehensive administrative dashboards. You get full transparency into the operating state of your cloud workloads, the ability to scale up quickly for urgent or complex calculations, and cost management tooling with compute scheduling and automated workflows.

Data + Beacon

One of the biggest challenges with data is that there is so much of it, stored in a range of different formats and databases. Beacon facilitates use of all types of data with a comprehensive set of data warehouse tools. This set of plug-and-play data capabilities and a broad range of data adapters and connectors means you can choose the best way to integrate or migrate your data. Perhaps more important, Beacon abstracts the underlying access methods, making it easier for developers to use the data without having to worry about where it is coming from or how it is being ingested. In addition, Beacon includes a dependency graph, which enables more efficient processing of large calculations and easier debugging of complex analytics.

Development + Beacon

Agile and cloud-native development processes provide a lot of benefits but can place a heavy load on developers to incorporate different languages and libraries, use different packages, maintain appropriate version control, and automate their workflow. It is not uncommon for IT teams to end up with a sizable percentage of their resources managing all of the underlying infrastructure required, instead of working on areas of competitive advantage. Beacon’s integrated development environment, based on Visual Studio, empowers developers to rapidly build, test, and deploy applications and is tightly coupled with software development life cycle and workflow automation to ease the path through code reviews and testing frameworks. Git-based version control is built in, providing the code stability and governance controls that you need without all of the overhead. And sophisticated package management combined with a layered container architecture makes it easier and safer for developers to experiment with different environments, languages, libraries, and compute resources.

Applications + Beacon

Ultimately, the goal of any technology solution is to get functionality and applications to users as quickly as possible without jeopardizing stability or controls. In many organizations, this process is too slow, even with cloud-native tools because application development is siloed from the business. Beacon’s web application framework helps accelerate app development by abstracting popular browser tools, so that developers can focus on the core business logic and deployment. In addition to Beacon’s native apps, you can also use your choice of data visualization and business intelligence tools for reports and dashboards. 

Security + Beacon

Cloud security is a shared responsibility model between you and the cloud provider. While providers are generally responsible for protecting the hardware, software, and network, you are responsible for securing your identities, applications, and data. Beacon makes it easier for you to control your own secure and fully segregated cloud environment. Security and identity dashboards and access controls enable automatic enforcement of the user roles, groups, authorizations, and entitlements that you create and manage. You manage your own encryption keys and they are used to encrypt all external data transfers with SSL, internal data between core services, and at rest data. Integrated secrets management stores service and API credentials so that developers do not need to access them directly. Layered containers follow a least privilege model and ensure that workloads are isolated from the underlying infrastructure and from each other.

The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts

There is a better way to adopt a cloud tech stack than trying to glue all of these pieces together and manage them yourself. As a cloud and data agnostic service that abstracts vendor-specific functionality into more consistent operations, Beacon makes it easier and less resource-intensive to reap the full benefits of a modern, cloud-native tech stack. Because Beacon can interface with any data set and integrate a wide range of internal and external libraries, it makes it faster and easier to get commercial value from your data and analytics. Whether you’re new to cloud adoption or have started to run into the challenges of doing it all yourself, Beacon can help.