This is a pretty broad category, but when I talk about maintenance, I talk about things like Configuration Management, Backup/Restore, Disaster Recovery, and Automation. This covers a lot of different systems that you probably have in place for your On-Prem environment, but I will tell you right now, that none of them will work as well in the Cloud as what the Cloud Providers have natively, with one exception and that is around configuration management.
Let’s start with something easy and that is Backup/Restore and DR features. Most Cloud Architects agree that there is no reason to maintain your third-party tools for these functions. They are too hard and expensive to maintain and there are not that many of them that are designed well to work in the Cloud. All of the major Cloud Providers provide native services that are extremely inexpensive in comparison and you don’t have to worry about maintaining storage, because the Cloud is infinite in that regard.
With respect to Configuration Management and Automation, I am a little torn on how to talk about this. Although the major Cloud Providers all have the capability, none of them do it as well as Chef, Puppet, or Red Hat’s Ansible do it natively. In fact, AWS provides both Chef and Puppet as a service to try and get customers to user their native services rather than brining your own Virtual Appliances into the environment. The other Cloud Providers do have their own services, but they aren’t as good in my humble opinion and not a full featured as the third parties I already mentioned.
All of the Cloud Providers have automation capabilities, some of them are built-in where as others just allow for you to build CLI scripts that can be run from a Cronjob server or Windows Scheduler service. Make sure that you read up on what they do provide, because you can probably move your own scripts directly into your Cloud so that they work the same in the Cloud as they do On-Prem.