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What is your Organization’s Cloud Strategy?

Few recent events have marked the public cloud market with bad press. These occurrences had me thinking about enterprise cloud strategies and the importance of being open to disruption.

The most recent events are the Microsoft Azure outage and the Amazon and Rackspace full reboots, but there are many more events like these if we do a quick news search.

The fact that public cloud services are still not able to provide highly stable, available and secure platforms is something that enterprises using those services cannot afford for the most part.

Yesterday during Oracle Open World, Intel president said that 75% of all chips sold last year were for public cloud/web-style services and 25% for private enterprises, clearly demonstrating a global tendency.

On the other hand I am starting to notice enterprise complaining about the high prices charged by public cloud services; and few of these organizations have already started moving some of their workloads back in-house. However, it’s important to notice that this time around many of these workloads migrating to enterprises datacenters have actually never been hosted in-house because they were initiated and first powered-on at public clouds. The shift is not as dramatic as some have reported, but there’s an undeniably movement towards in-housing some workloads, particularly the ones that do not require public facing Internet or are not built with web scalability in mind.

 

However, public clouds are evolving and innovating at an amazing pace; as well as dropping their prices. Microsoft Azure was not here two years ago and today it has comparable offerings to Amazon and yet is the only one of the big three players with an on-premise offering. Google has also expanded their offerings with a number of different platform services.

I recently discussed with a friend working for [[redacted]] and he explained to me how they are locked into the Amazon S3 APIs and how they wish they were unrestricted to move their service to a different public cloud without major disruption.

Users fear cloud breaches are more expensive (InfoWorld)
What’s Right For Your Business? Private, Public, or Hybrid Cloud? (Forbes)

 

All this choice, transformation and disruption in the industry can be overwhelming to many organizations that are just trying to run their core workloads while trying to figure out the best way to do so.

The gigantic problem is that enterprise workloads running on-premises today maybe better served by Amazon tomorrow, or even by a niche smaller cloud services provider in the near future. Perhaps organizations may have requirements to deploy FIPS compliant systems that will need to be accommodated in-house. Moreover, if today’s on-premise virtualization standard is VMware vSphere, tomorrow your organization may decide to adopt Hyper-V or KVM for cost savings and future direct integration with cloud services.

The reality is that we are heading towards a hybrid cloud world, where workloads shall move around for different business, technology and compliance reasons. This should not be new to anyone at this point in time.

 

Conclusion

When I think about enterprise workloads I see them confined to their walls today, be on-premises or off-premises, and this is certainly going to hinder organization’s abilities to be agile and competitive in fast evolving economies where cost and responsiveness are a fundamental factor for success.

If you are an IT or executive leader it’s time to start thinking about workload mobility and system platforms that provide methods and features to enable workload migration from on-premises to any public cloud, from any public cloud to on-premises, and even facilitate the movement between public clouds when necessary.

Systems that enable this type of workload migration (any-to-any) must streamline and facilitate data movement for most types of data transition, including backup and disaster recovery between platforms and cloud services.

From my point of view, only platforms and solutions that allow for real choice of cloud services will endure and truly enable organizations for the next cycle of cloud innovation.

 

This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net

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