Public Cloud is Not the ONLY Solution…

May 18, 2017 |
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“We’re not saying public cloud is not going to happen or it’s not going to grow—it is. It’s just not perfect for all workloads. And everything is not going to go to the public cloud.”

Michael Dell, Dell EMC World, May 8, 2017

If you have followed any of my writings over the past…well, ever, you would find that Michael Dell’s comments at Dell EMC World echo a sentiment that I have been preaching from the very start:

Public cloud does not meet the needs of every company for every workload, and those companies need a HYBRID cloud strategy.

Dell also claimed that companies outsourcing their workloads to the major public cloud providers can be up to twice as expensive as running those workloads on-premises (he didn’t provide any specific numbers or sources). That seems a little more difficult to believe, but I guess it would depend on the workload. There are lots of studies and figures out there that demonstrate that workloads sent to a major public cloud provider – such as Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure – are very competitive in cost when looking at the TOTAL cost of on-premises hosting (which includes computer room / data center square footage, HVAC, electric and onsite maintenance).

When formulating a cloud strategy, a company MUST take many factors into consideration: specific workloads, ease of migration, compliance considerations, risk and governance, manageability, and – of course – cost. And when talking about cost, there are dozens of factors to consider – think of all the various budget line items that can be potentially impacted by adopting a hybrid cloud strategy: FTEs, real-estate, training, compliance and audit costs, scalability and integration to name a few.

I have never claimed that a hybrid cloud strategy is an easy thing for a company to formulate. Generally, I recommend that companies take a deliberative approach to cloud – determine what workloads may benefit by moving to a cloud environment, assess the level of effort necessary to do so, create a migration schedule and method and evaluate the success of the process. Undoubtedly, there will be revisions to the strategy, and there will almost certainly be mistakes along the way. But figuring it out in smaller chunks is better (and easier to recover from) than a complete and total lift of a company’s technical infrastructure en masse.

Even then, you will still likely have some workloads that remain on-premises. Michael Dell would like you to buy Dell servers for those workloads – for the record, his job is to sell you servers. The takeaway that I want you to get is that regardless of where you get your servers from (sorry Michael), a hybrid cloud strategy is almost certainly the best strategy for your business.

The great news is that you don’t have to figure this out all on your own. Cryptzone AppGate is the perfect tool for your hybrid strategy – providing a seamless bridge between public cloud environments and on-premises workloads. And Cyxtera (Cryptzone is now part of Cyxtera – did I mention how excited I am about this?!) has many additional products that help companies address their cloud security considerations that we’ll be talking about in the coming weeks and months.

Taking advantage of all that the public cloud has to offer is the duty of any good technology leader. But it is always more important to do what is best for the technical vision of the company.

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Chris Steffen

Christopher Steffen joined Cryptzone in October 2016 as the Technical Director to educate and promote information security and regulatory compliance as it relates to network access management and cloud computing solutions. Before joining the team at Cryptzone, Chris served as the Chief Evangelist – Cloud Security for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He has also served in executive roles as the Director of Information Technology at Magpul Industries (a plastics manufacturing company) and as the Principal Technical Architect for Kroll Factual Data (a credit service provider). Steffen has presented at numerous conferences and has been interviewed by multiple online and print media sources. Steffen holds several technical certifications, including CISSP and CISA.

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