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Don’t Become Captive to the Cloud; Choose the Right Cloud for the App

Posted by Ellen Rubin on 7/26/17 10:00 AM

As enterprises continue their march toward the cloud, the questions IT leaders are asking about the path ahead are getting more nuanced. “Should we go to the cloud?” has given way to “Which cloud should we adopt?” and “What are the hidden cloud pitfalls we’ll face along the way?” CIOs are grappling with how best to move their organizations from traditional CAPEX mindsets to OPEX-oriented futures. To make that shift, there’s one more question they must ask: “Which cloud is right for each of our apps?”

Happily, the public cloud is no longer a one-size-fits-all marketplace. AWS had been the sole game in town for years, but Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM SoftLayer, Oracle, Virtustream and other clouds are now as compelling for some companies and some applications.

This multi-cloud landscape lets IT stick with one of its core principles: avoid vendor lock-in. RightScale says nearly 70 percent of organizations are reporting hybrid cloud use. Hybrid includes public and private cloud offerings. Today’s hybrid environments often involve a distribution of data among custom and legacy applications, private clouds, virtualized data on-prem and in more than one public cloud.

Respondents Adopting Cloud 2017 vs. 2016

“Hybrid cloud” has become the launching pad to “multi-cloud.” A cloud-agnostic approach can be the best way to capture the efficiencies and economic benefits of public clouds, but the mix of cloud providers from which companies choose should be driven first and foremost by the needs of their apps.

There is no guidebook for easy lifts and shifts to the cloud. Which app should go to which cloud depends on its needs for availability, performance and latency. Does the app demand on-prem-level high availability? How much compute does it require every day? Will its performance SLA match up with the cloud? These are among the questions teams should ask BEFORE they ask, “Which cloud?”

As hybrid cloud transformation progresses, enterprise IT leaders must think beyond the physical or virtual limitations of their apps and make sure the data is accessible wherever it’s needed. To do that, teams must evaluate their own environments, benchmarks and cloud choices. Then they can make the best decisions in a landscape where hybrid cloud is a necessity that includes multiple, compelling public cloud options.

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Topics: Bringing the Cloud to Primary Data , Founder's Perspective

About the Author

Ellen Rubin

Ellen Rubin is an experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to-market for fast-growing companies. Most recently she was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud enablement software company that was successfully acquired by Verizon in 2011. At Verizon, Ellen ran the cloud products group and was responsible for the strategy and roadmap for all cloud offerings.

Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was Vice President of Marketing at Netezza (NYSE: NZ), the pioneer and global leader in data warehouse appliances that power business intelligence and analytics at over 200 enterprises worldwide. As a member of the early management team at Netezza, Ellen helped grow the company to $130 million in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Ellen defined and created broad market acceptance of a new category, “data warehouse appliances,” and led market strategy, product marketing, complementary technology relationships and marketing communications.

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