The Plexiglass tower and the Cloud When is the cloud not the best choice?

So many companies today have corporate initiatives to move to the cloud, and while that’s awesome in many ways, it can also be a poor choice for many reasons. In this posting, I’d like to discuss some of the reasons in which the choice can be deemed less than ideal.

In so many ways, moving applications, workloads, and even just storage to the cloud can facilitate business process, and reduce IT spend significantly. For many companies, the quickest onroad to cloud presence is that of backup, and DR. Such a powerful argument can be made for storing backups of your storage, in an off-premises mode, but again, what are the goals of the project? For example, how much data will be stored? How much will be moved on a daily basis?

What about data egress? Are you aware of the costs, and the cost differentials on different providers for these things? Caveat Emptor!

Data Sovereignty and compliance: This is an issue regardless of your purpose of function for cloud use.

Are you subject to certain guidelines for compliance? Can your data flow across borders? Does that data full under HIPAA, MPAA, PCI, and other compliance regulations? If so, does that cloud provider give you the understanding before you implement your platform onto their environment, of whether you’ll ever breach those variables? Break these rules, and the potential could cost millions in levied fines.

As you can see, these issues can certainly cause consternation, and should be addressed before migrating an app to the cloud, building a new application platform in the cloud, or even backing up to it.

What can a company do to protect itself? How should they approach this concept prior to implementation?

Ensure that you’ve got all your questions answered prior to implementing. Do you draw a list of questions? Do you borrow what CIO magazine has defined? (CIO Magazine’s 50 Questions ) Do you lean on your consultant to get you where you need to go? Or, is there some platform you may be able to leverage that will give you the full rundown on all of these things, with the inclusion of costs as parameters?

In my opinion, the best solution is either/or. Either an application designed to clearly give a picture of what these things look like, and compare them to each other, include the storage, the ingress/egress, the compliance, the alternatives to (for example S3 versus Glacier), etc. Or, alternatively, you may find yourself a consulting firm that has access to an application like this that solves the same series of questions.

These applications are complex to build. It would be, in my opinion, quite rare to find a consulting firm that has something home-grown, with regularly updated parameters (such that pricing remains accurate, and compliance regulations which our cloud vendors are consistently tying down further are also accurate). This application likely has hooks into the pricing modules, compliance changes, etc. More likely than not, the application would be cloud based, rather than a physical installation, as updates can take place almost in real-time.

I believe CloudGenera is that application. A cloud based application into which you can add as many of answers to the variable’s toward which you have answers. Remember, GIGO. Garbage In/Garbage out. Answer as much as possible, and allow the application to generate a report. That report will tell you the best solution as to where you should house the application. Should it be in the cloud or in your data center? Should it be a cloud app on Amazon, Google Cloud Platform, Softlayer, or Azure? Well, the advice given to you from CloudGenera will grant you not only the advice, but the rationale behind why that advice has been given.

Using this, you can easily approach your C Suite with the feedback of where you ought to place the app, and why the Cloud may or may not be the appropriate place.

 

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