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.