Beginning of the end for OpenStack

I will give you 3 reasons why I think we are witnessing the beginnings of the end for OpenStack. These are strictly my opinions, and if you disagree, feel free to comment/tweet.

Reason 1: Competing in a new evolving market with what may have worked for a different market.

Traditional enterprise software vendors are viewing OpenStack as a way to sell more hardware, software and services. They are thinking of this as a way to lock more enterprises and offer a reason for CIOs to continue renewing their existing contracts with them.  They are failing to recognize the changing market conditions and technology progress that calls for next generation of technology. This is still competing in Market 1, but competing against vendors like VMware. This is often sign of organizations that lacks courage to ask tough questions and reorganize around function needed to succeed.

Reason #2: Competing as if it’s a zero sum game

Each major player in OpenStack ecosystem is competing against each other.  Without naming names, I would ask you to consider the following scenario – perhaps, take the foundation members that each have committed $1B or more to OpenStack.   Let’s call them Player A and Player B. There are finer details, but in my opinion, there are two coarse strategic options for these players.   Player A:

  • Choice1: Compete with all other players
  • Choice2: Collaborate with all other players.

Player B:

  • Choice1: Compete with all other players
  • Choice2: Collaborate with all other players.

There are 4 potential scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: Player A competes, Player B collaborates: A partially wins, B and OpenStack loses
  • Scenario 2: Player A collaborates, Player B collaborates: A, B and OpenStack wins
  • Scenario 3: Player A competes, Player B competes: A, B and OpenStack loses
  • Scenario 4: Player A collaborates, player B competes:  B partially wins, A and OpenStack loses

If only one player wins, the outcome is that OpenStack as an independent Open source project fails and a commercial distribution of it wins. Their dominant strategy is to make sure their version of the product is better suited for enterprise and the common products basically sucks to put other competitors at a disadvantage.

So, in this, the best option is Scenario 2.   Getting all players to Scenario 2 is the responsibility of the foundation. However, you look at what each player is doing and it is clear that they want to win and ensure that others lose. (Just read competitive reactions whenever another $1B investment is announced).

So, it’s my opinion that the options being pursued are 1, 3 and 4. Each of these scenarios, OpenStack loses.   Now, you can expand this to the G8 or the platinum members of the OpenStack foundation and you see similar behavior. Every member thinks that for them to win, rest of the 7 must lose. (Well, maybe not ATT or Nebula, but true for all others).

(ps: I did not think about this one till I saw it in a deck of someone I respect – I initially said its wrong, but the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that there is a prisoner’s dilemma at work here).

Reason 3: Embracing the cognitive convenience

People say OpenStack is like Linux. This is a lazy comparison IMHO. Different time, different complexity. Operating System is not same as a distributed cloud platform.

By framing the discussion as something we have seen and by taking a lazy answer instead of truthfully asking the question of what would it take for OpenStack to succeed, the main players are fooling themselves, their investors.

System 1 thinking is great, but OpenStack foundation really needs some System 2 thinking (please refer to Daniel Kahneman’s work). That’s all folks.  Have fun at the Summit.

Periodic Rating of Cloud Vendors

Below is a highly subjective, opinionated rating of the Cloud vendors as of end of April.  I will try to do it may be every 3 months or so.

Feel free to disagree/comment/argue why the rating is wrong. Did I miss any other prominent vendors? I did not include PAAS vendors, because I don’t know what it is.

Happy Friday!!

 

Vendor Rating Why?
AWS A- Doing well, but nothing ground breaking or interesting in last few months. May no longer be the darling of the public cloud.
Google A+ Shook up public cloud market with price cuts and innovation.
VMW C- Asleep at the wheels – clinging to past
Verizon B- Can we still hear them?
CenturyLink B+/A- Tier 3 acquisition + price cuts.
RHAT B Much ado about nothing still – seems to be struggling on execution front and trying to fight a losing perception battle. – will revise if InkTank story evolves.
MSFT A For continued momentum – but, it’s time for them to reset the rules of the game.
RAX C- All indications are they are done.

Thoughts on Competition

I have seen way too many small companies proceed cautiously; lose potential advantages because they worry about competitors learning about their plans. They withhold opportunities to share their new products with influential folks in the industry. They spend way too much time being stealth. They alter their plans because of perceived competitive moves. Unfortunately they worry about the wrong things and pay less attention to right things.

Where to watch competition carefully?

  1. Sales Positioning and Tactics – watch your competition very carefully – learn as much as you can about their tactics and vary your approaches. Whether you get into an opportunity and whether you are able to convince a prospect to become a customer will depend on perceptions and it is important that you pre-empt your competition. When it comes to positioning, philosophical differences, you should strive to have an advantage. I will illustrate with an example:

Let’s say you are selling an on-prem solution and competing against a SaaS vendor – SaaS vendor will try to position you as outdated and out of touch with reality. They may use specific talking points. If you learn what those talking points are, you can pre-empt them. You may also be able to structure the conversation differently. Instead of making the evaluation about deployment models, shift the discussion to focus on maturity of the solution, number of similar customers using the solution.  Learning your competitor tactics will help you frame the evaluation context with your prospect. (Trust me, many deal RFPs are written by vendors).

  1. Market positioning – to investors, analysts and press

Very important to know what your competition is saying.  It’s easy to learn, most analysts and press will tell you if you ask nicely and you are not considered a jerk. This is an area where relationships matter. Oh, and whatever you do, do not piss off press reporters – they are just doing a job – don’t fight them publicly or criticize them – it hurts you more. If you come back with a rational argument on why their article is wrong behind the scenes, most will correct it.

This is important because how market perceives you is critical to your future success – if they view you as a vendor on decline, you will be left out of many evaluations. You must proactively work to position your company and product in the most positive light – this task cannot be taken lightly – as the saying goes, in any social system, perception is the reality.

When not to alter your plans due to competition?

  1. Product Plans

Shielding product plans or altering them based on competition is plain stupid. Here is why. Even if your competitor learns about your product plans, trying to make a change in their plans will take herculean effort. And even if they successfully do that, they will end up working with incomplete information and as a result will build an inferior product.

Changing your product plans: you will have lot of heart burn convincing your dev team to change course midstream because a competitor is doing it. First of all, engineers are by nature suspicious of marketing driven features and when you describe what you think is competitor doing, you are doing it without understanding “the why” of the feature and engineers will detect your BS. Now, you will be negotiating for a bare minimum implementation of the feature because you want “some” competitive parity. This will hurt your product in the whole because a small crap feature can impact overall product design decisions and drag you down.

  1. Launch Plans

I will be honest here. You are an idiot if you pre-announce a product to pre-empt a competitor. First impressions of a product count. Do not ship a crappy first product under GA (Its fine to do an MVP for a small subset of users). Do not pre-announce a product – as the saying goes, you cannot build reputation on what you are going to do. No one cares, not even your mom. Are we clear?.

Even if you successfully pre-empt a competitor product by some unnatural gyrations done by your product team, your product will look inferior to your competitor product, which was built with a proper understanding of the “why” for the feature set. Your “why” is “pre-empt competition”.

This is not a comprehensive list, just few thoughts – agree/disagree? comment or tweet your thoughts.

 

 

Cloud Computing is not for us.

I had heard all the following statements in recent weeks/months.
 
“we tried cloud – it didn’t work too well for us”
“We had a policy of cloud-first, but licensing costs were bit too much”
“While we wanted to cloud, our software vendor wanted to charge per CPU and we figured it will be too expensive to buy for all virtual CPUs”
 
STOP THE MADNESS GUYS.
 
The bad guys have won – the marketers have muddied up the water. They have succeeded in re-branding their existing on-prem crap as “Cloud” – this is bad not just for the industry, but for customers too.
 
In each of the instances I had heard, they were trying to do virtualization and were under the false belief that they are doing Cloud. The perception that Cloud is not right for many organizations is spreading like wildfire, especially in mid sized IT organizations. If this perception continues for long, we as an industry will be taking several steps back. 
 
Why is this bad? Its bad because the mid-size companies will stick with their on-prem software, while their larger competitors leverage advantages of using public cloud and beat the shit out of these mid-sized companies. This is not just bad for the mid-sized companies, its also bad for competitive markets.  
 
What can you do? Simple thing really. Anytime someone refers to virtualization as “Cloud Computing”, smack them hard and explain to them that its not the same. Next time someone talks about Private Cloud, call their BS publicly. Tell your friends in IT not to believe on-prem software vendor’s marketing BS on Cloud. There is no such thing as on-prem Cloud or private cloud.
 
Thats all folks for today – gotta run, almost PBR time. 

Two Markets

Every so often a discussion erupts on whether AWS is disrupting VMware, Oracle, IBM and HP or not. Quarterly results come out and they show some weakness in hardware for Oracle, IBM and HP. Some of us declare it is the effect of Cloud. It’s hard to know if it’s because people are virtualizing more or if they are adopting Cloud. VMware seems to be doing well when it comes to quarterly earnings.

There is also a sense that AWS is disrupting mainstream vendors. I asserted that as well. However, the signals in the market do not conclusively prove that. This, I believe is the beauty of disruption – while it’s happening, you get all kinds of conflicting signals.

When it comes to infrastructure software, this may well be the peak time. They are exceeding their goals, they are firing on all cylinders, and strategy is working well. The perceived threat of public cloud seems to be going slower than feared. Perhaps, it was just a Fad. Right? Wrong.

I thought about this a bit and think I have arrived at an explanation of what is happening that seems to answer my questions.

I believe what we are witnessing is two markets in motion. A maturing market that is ether at the peak or has just crossed the peak. A Second market that is emerging.

What are these markets?

Market 1: On-prem Infrastructure Software

Market 2: Public Cloud

These markets have different characteristics. I listed few of them below:

Characteristic On-prem Infrastructure Software Public Cloud
Consumption Model Enterprise Licensing ( discount fake subscription models here) Subscription
Business Model Enterprise model – well understood margins Emerging, low margins
Speed of initial & ongoing implementation Days/Weeks/Months Minutes
Innovation Long list of Innovations Still newer tech
Rate of Innovation Moderate High
Customer Commitment Commit to a platform long-term Short term commitment
Rate of Change Too much change is bad Change is expected
Current Market Size Large Small

 

The players in these markets are different.  The discussion becomes confusing when we mix these players and start comparing them.

In On-premInfrastructure Software market, the players are VMware, RedHat, HP, MSFT, IBM, RAX ( w/OpenStack) and few others.

In Public Cloud market, the players are Amazon, Google, Microsoft and few others such as CenturyLink. (Could argue, IBM and HP has some here, but not significant enough to be of consideration).

If you look at these markets together, it looks as below:

 

Image

As you can see, the players in first market race will look healthy in the short term. The players in second market race will look to be growing rapidly, but overall numbers are still small.

Assuming current trajectory continues, the first market will start stagnating and the second market will start growing rapidly. And before any of the on-prem infrastructure software players can realize it, they find themselves in an unfortunate situation of having been disrupted and become zombies. The best they can hope for is the strong players in the new market to acquire them.

One note on Microsoft – these guys seem to have made a jump to second market and are competing effectively against AWS and GCP. They also have healthy business in the first market. This is not an easy thing to do as first market forces will exert enormous pressure to innovate in it rather than investing in the second market. For ex: VMware has yielded to these pressures and all you hear from them is how tiny and irrelevant the public infrastructure market is. Microsoft on the other hand has discipline. I tip my hat to them.

Agree/Disagree? Comment or tweet away.

 

A letter from the real world

Recently, I had the fortune of stepping outside of our carefully constructed tech bubble and step into real world for few days. You know a world outside of clouds, VMs, Software Defined Stuff etc.

I sat next to people outside of tech industry; I watched them do their work. I was not a mere tourist sitting in a conference room, I tried connecting with them. I went in there expecting to find technology novices that are not very smart, resigned to their fate of using computers to keep their jobs and generally hating software. I was also told to lower my expectations and these people do not know how to use computers and they are tired and old. I am talking about end users of enterprise software, not IT folks. These are also mid-sized companies, not Fortune 1000 companies.

What I found was different. I found people full of energy, curiosity and a willingness to learn. They were not afraid of computers, but were afraid of making a mistake that breaks a computer. Whenever an hourglass was present they kept saying “Its thinking, its thinking – sometimes it thinks hard” – they accepted that computers are smart and they generally work. When software is slow, they think it’s doing some complex thing.  These people are trying to do the important work that keeps America running. They work in industries that are seen by technology folks as being outdated, stale and seriously in need of disruption.

 

They are supported by an IT staff that is short on budget and juggling multiple balls in the air to keep lights on. They have outdated servers that are over capacity, server rooms that are overflowing and client server software that is harder to maintain. Given past experiences of changing their software or upgrading it, they are bit gun shy. They would rather apply band aid to the problem than undertake a new software implementation. The tech industry have screwed them and left deep wounds. We can blame majority of large vendors that built crappy software in the 90s and nickeled and dimed customers with professional services. I am sure there are also some success stories, but current state is that majority of these systems have become useless for future.

This real world I speak of is now at a breaking point – the band aids are not holding things together and very few large competitors are eating into their business. These guys have a risk of going out of business in next decade or two unless they catch up and improve their workflows, modernize their systems and remove inefficiencies. The IT guys are frustrated and business guys have had it with IT not delivering. The blamestorming is not happening within IT as we vendors love to talk about, it’s happening between IT and business.

A person who is not familiar with the real world and who haven’t spent time with these people may conclude that doing a full stack startup and disrupting these industries wholesale is the right approach. This may work for few, but doing full stack startups for core industries that run US is simply not going to happen in near term. Entrepreneurs shouting full stack do not have the patience to build solid foundations for replacing these businesses. They are not willing to wait 15 years to build a company; they want to flip a company in 4-5 years for few billion dollars. Full Stack craze will die down in an year or two is my guess.

What do we need to do?

We need to offer these organizations upgrade to solutions that take away responsibility of physical systems and software away from resource constrained IT folks. We need to provide them with software that is delivered as a service. We should stop selling them yet another server that will work as a band aid for just couple more years. Instead, provide them with elastic unlimited capacity. Provide them with software that will be upgraded by the Devops team that developed the software in the first place. Give them SaaS, give them public cloud. Make them efficient and they will show the world that they have in them to be leaders again. These organizations have smart business folks that are put in a constrained box by IT systems that tech industry had delivered them in last 2 decades.

In their greed to preserve margins, software vendors will try to sell them on expensive on-prem software and get them again on a road of frustration. This will be a bad thing. We need to educate the IT folks that buying on-prem software is not a smart thing to do and they are harming their organization and end users that work there.  Why? Because, on-prem software will always be inefficient to maintain, upgrade, scale properly and keep it in sync with advances in software.

Secondly, no matter what you do, do not tell these IT folks that they should do private cloud – do not do a smoke and mirrors show and try to sell same old crappy on-prem solutions as Cloud. Do not do it.

We created the problem of crappy on-prem software and systems in the first place; it is our responsibility to solve it the right way using a public cloud that is designed for long term, scale and maintenance. It doesn’t have to be AWS, it doesn’t have to GCP, it can be Verizon, it can be CenturyLink, it can be SoftLayer, it can be Profitbricks, but it cannot be same old software recompiled and packaged and relabeled ‘cloud’. I am not unrealistic to expect this to happen overnight, but if every replacement when needed going forward is with public cloud and SaaS, with interim Interop between on-prem systems and public cloud using something like Eucalyptus, that is a good journey for these organizations.

Now I have nothing against selling on-prem private cloud to Fortune 50 – they have  money and I view that as distribution of wealth. Heck, sell them few mainframes and 8″ tapes or even a 10000 pack floppy disks. Who cares, they got money to spend to keep their budgets growing.

Agree/Disagree/Have a Comment? Share your experiences from the real world. Tweet away or comment below.

 

Few more questions to ask your SaaS vendor

As you are evaluating new SaaS products from smaller vendors, you want to make sure you do good due diligence. You may already have a good process in place. Below are some additional questions you may want to consider adding to your list.

- Where does your infrastructure reside? ( dig into this, it may be in their mom’s basement too :) ).

- Is your infrastructure ready for High Availability? Is it geographically distributed?

- Do you build your own infrastructure or do you leverage an IAAS solution?

- How does your infra costs compare to AWS/GCE costs?

- Do you expect to pass on your infra cost savings to customers?

 – How many dedicated infrastructure staff do you currently employ?

- Which standards do you comply with?  See list here: http://aws.amazon.com/compliance/

Why are these questions important?

If the vendor you choose is building their own infrastructure and they are small, they are not getting full leverage that can come from scale that leading IAAS products offer. Secondly, they are at risk of getting out-competed by other startups that leverage IAAS and invest all their resources into their core product vs. investing on the infrastructure.  

While these questions are not the sole factors for making a selection, asking these questions would help you uncover if the SaaS vendor is using Cloud as a term in sales or if they are indeed truly believes cloud can offer real cost savings and leverage from numbers. For ex: if one of the large customer requires them to be compliant with a standard, they may re-focus product resources from innovation to meeting infrastructure audit. Compare this to a vendor that uses public IAAS and compliance request is a smaller effort for them than someone building their own infrastructure. 

 

I love Private Cloud

I had a revelation – a revelation that was so powerful, it had changed my opinions overnight. I realized I love private cloud and there are several reasons for it. I have outlined them below:

  1. It is powerful showing your infrastructure to prospects and customers

We grow up taking our potential and current customers around our data center and showing them the infrastructure on which we run our operations. In anticipation of these visits, we often decorated the data centers, asked sys admins to dress up nicely and even gave them coffee. Public cloud makes all of this disappear. So, what are we going to do when customers show up? Show them our Macbook Air and iPads? That’s not that impressive guys compared to massive Iron we could be showing. Public Cloud makes selling software harder.

  1. It was a place to get away from it all

When things get boring, or working late, we often found Data Center floor to be perfect place to take a nap. This was a benefit that those folks in IT had. Public Cloud threatens to take this away from us. What, can’t we not even have a place to sleep for a bit with the white noise coming from the servers? If this does not bother you guys, you need to examine your belief systems.

  1. It was the basement

Private Cloud forces us to have a basement. I am not talking about some lame colo. I am talking about a full basement with large screen TVs and servers humming and disks spinning in the basement. It was kind of Man Cave for us.  It was the basement we couldn’t afford to build at our houses. We were even allowed to take a 6 pack there and it was tacitly accepted as a normal thing. Public cloud takes this away.

In addition to this, we were dealing in seven figures and we had status. The hardware salesmen took us to nice dinners. Imagine what would happen to the nice steakhouse across the street from the office if we stop buying multi-million dollar hardware?. Imagine the impact to local economy. Do we want to shift all our spending to some remote location in Virginia, Portland or Ireland?. I say No.

How wrong I have been to push public cloud guys. Private Cloud is the last link to our past and I say we fight hard to preserve it.

Happy April Fools Day.

Let a thousand public clouds bloom

As the world is admiring how well Google Cloud has caught up and how they are offering an immense competition to AWS, I cannot but lament the golden opportunity that was wasted by OpenStack community.

As you know, I am a public cloud proponent.  But, I am not a fan of centralized power between just two players in the industry – it is bad for customers and innovation. Unfortunately, we are headed down that path for foreseeable future. We have Amazon, Google and mostly also-rans lagging far behind. (Expect next IAAS MQ to have these two guys in upper quadrant and rest in the lower middle).

Where has OpenStack gone wrong? It tried to be an Uber solution. It failed to make choices. It let time pass and hoped inaction will somehow fix things. It lacked decisiveness. It spent more time arguing and preventing good people from furthering their case than making progress. It refused to listen to good outside people.  I get it is an open source project. I get that there are too many cooks in the kitchen. For all the millions spent by companies working on it, if they stepped back and considered the market dynamics, they perhaps could have made different choices. All I see is every player mapping how OpenStack be a supplement to their existing business. Their resources, processes and values are optimized for status quo.

There are many hosting companies. These guys were the innovators in the 90s. They dropped out of schools to start these hosting companies (and I am not just talking about RAX, there are many others that fit this profile). They moved to virtualization when VMware innovated in the space. They were rewarded well for that choice.

After virtualization, Amazon came around with AWS. It was new innovation. Amazon is a closed and greedy company – they would not share neither their technology nor let these hosting companies play in the ecosystem well. VMware fell into classic Innovator’s dilemma and is digging a deeper hole that it cannot get out of. VMware is not the solution these hosting companies need.

This was an opening OpenStack had. When AWS gained ground, it gained ground with developers.  AWS smartly went beyond developers and started appealing to production workloads. It was either you do AWS or you refuse to go public cloud. In many companies, VP of App development often wins against VP of Operations in arguments. So, whether they liked it or not, VP of Ops had allowed use of AWS. Amazon is winning this war. Google will take its share as well.

What could OpenStack do? Instead of scratching the itch of its backers to make enterprise sales, they should have focused on the hosting companies. They should have made OpenStack the default choice for the operators. They should have made it stupidly simple to co-exist and interoperate with AWS. They should have embraced AWS for dev usage with open arms. Instead, they viewed AWS as an enemy before they were the enemy. They could have removed the friction of moving to public cloud. Moving production workloads to AWS is still a disruptive process for many companies. Migrating to public cloud without changing out your vendors and giving up owned infrastructure is less friction than outright moving to AWS/GCE ( contracts, getting used to support model, relationships are just few examples of friction ).

I believe OpenStack still has a small choice to become an attractive choice for operators. But, first they need to stop talking about private cloud for end customers. Private cloud is a fool’s errand, they are not only fooling themselves, they are screwing their customers too, because 100% of private cloud deployments will fail.  They have same problems of owned infrastructure that IT wastes millions of dollars on.

OpenStack needs to be laser focused on cloud operators and let many public clouds come to market that can play nicely with each other and embrace AWS and GCE as part of the ecosystem. You may say, but some operators already use OpenStack – the question is whether its possible or not, its whether they are focused on it or not.

Oh, and for not a minute, do not think OpenStack can move into ill-defined PAAS space or a container is going to be their savior. Case in point, we are currently witnessing the slow painful death of Solum.

You know, I keep thinking perhaps, it’s not OpenStack, but CloudStack that may enable this, but I am not too familiar with them. Perhaps, should take a closer look.

Industry needs robust set of competitors – a two vendor market is not a good future for IAAS. We need more.

Let a thousand public clouds bloom.

Do not do Private Cloud

As you know, I am not a fan of private cloud. To me private cloud is nothing but virtualization with some smoke and mirrors on top of it. It is the early 2000s technology and trying to build your own private cloud is both ill-advised and expensive. Not only that, building a private cloud may also be a career limiting move for CIOs as more and more CFOs and CEOs are becoming aware of advantages of public cloud and are demanding IT budget reductions. Below are some of the reasons why you should go 100% public cloud.

  •          Elasticity to match the seasonality of your business

-      Scale up and down as your business needs change for ex: based on seasonality, a special marketing campaign or Reddit talks about your app. Do not make capacity planning a huge deal – deal with it as part of your day to day operations.

  •         (Practically) Infinite capacity

-      It is unlikely that you would ever hit the limits of public cloud capacity; you can assume to have access to unlimited infrastructure resource – do not let IT capacity be a limiting factor for your business growth.

  •         Rate of innovation

-      For most part, AWS and IAAS can innovate faster than your team ever can. IAAS is their core business, not yours. You do not want to enter a horse race in building infrastructure; you will put your app developers and company at a huge disadvantage compared to your competition. Your innovation should be in your core business and applications and leverage the scale of larger IAAS vendors. This is one reason you should move off of colo data centers and move to IAAS as soon as possible.

  •         World class SREs

-      The best Site Reliability Engineers now work for Google and Amazon. These are the experts in building scalable, highly available infrastructure – your current budget may not even come close to being assemble an excellent team of SREs if you maintain your own infrastructure. It is a fool’s errand, do not pursue it.

  •         Falling prices

-      Granted, IAAS prices are still bit more expensive than what you pay to hardware upgrades on what you already own, but IAAS vendors are dropping prices faster than Wal-Mart is dropping prices on Candy. Signing up with either Google or AWS would ensure that you will get the best price possible. Google does have slight advantage here because you don’t have to pre-commit to a reserved Instance as in the case of AWS. Unless there is a strong reason to go AWS, I would recommend Google here. If you build your own private cloud, not only you are spending CAPEX, which is a sunk cost and also you risk your infrastructure being outdated when compared to your competition.

  •         Space reduction

-      Data Centers are not cheap and renting space there is both expensive and painful. By going public cloud, you reduce this pain, and you may never have to set your foot into an ugly data center again.

  •         OPEX instead of CAPEX

-      Lower CAPEX means more CFO love. Yes, you can’t take advantage of depreciation on capital equipment for tax write off, but reducing CAPEX requirements will bring your IT in-line with rest of the industry and you will look good in the eyes of your CFO and CEO.

  •         No need for Data Center engineers

-      If you own and run your own data centers, you have to hire data center engineers to manage physical stuff and power. This used to be cute in the mid-90s and it stopped being so lately. You also have to buy insurance on your data center and concerns because data centers tend to get hot and often not the safest places to work in with wires dangling around. Would it not be better to cut off this expense? Now, you can mitigate some by going with Co-lo, but why go half way when you can fully get rid of all risk by going public cloud.

  •         Faster provisioning of resources – time to market

-      Your app development team wants servers and storage as fast as possible and instead of hiring an army of IT provisioning engineers, you would be better off enabling self-service cloud resource provisioning for your app development team. They would think you are cool and you also reduce the load on your team, so they can focus on value added tasks. Yes, you can give them a lab manager, but you will be having a different mess on your hand. Just say no to managing more infrastructure software.

  •         Security & Compliance

-      The balance has shifted – it can be argued that public cloud is more secure and you can demonstrate infrastructure compliance easily on public cloud than your owned infrastructure. The public cloud vendors have the best staff, tools, processes and resources to ensure that the infrastructure you rely on is both secure and compliant with whatever standard you need to meet. For ex: PCI, FedRamp and other compliance mandates are already supported by AWS.

So, when it comes time to refresh your technology infrastructure, trash it, and leverage public cloud – you would thank me later.

Disagree? Comment below or tweet away.