DBM Cloud Systems

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Cloud Neutrality – Dream or Reality?


Written by: Al Basseri SVP of Field Engineering at DBM Cloud Systems

In traditional IT, a multi-vendor strategy is critical for a number of reasons which include mitigation of risk, cost minimization, improved account support, access to more services and leverage during contract negotiations.

In today’s hybrid and public Cloud ecosystems, this is a challenge. Once you select your Cloud provider, can you effectively move? The idea of migrating or dynamically Cloud hopping from one Cloud provider to another can be extremely challenging. Frankly, we have spoken to CIO’s that believed this is not practically feasible or too costly.

In Cloud economics, Cloud vendor lock-in, makes a customer dependent on a Cloud vendor for products and services and restricts the use of an alternative Cloud vendor with substantial switching costs and risk to business. We call this the Cloud Lock in Effect. You see this manifested in Cloud pricing where the cost of transferring data out of the Cloud (egress fees) can be painful.

In traditional IT, while CIO’s have the leverage to make choices based on what is best for their business, normally this is 12-48 month cycle because of CAPEX investment and OPEX spend commitments. In the Elastic Age of Cloud, prices and services change frequently and constantly changing prices and SLA’s means that today’s choice of the “best” Cloud provider may not be tomorrow’s best choice. This is particularly true as your compute resource requirements change.

What are the challenges of Cloud hopping?
  • Data migration from one Cloud provider to another costs time and money.
  • Running applications in different Clouds often creates configuration issues due to different Cloud ecosystems.
  • Security policy and rules differ with each Cloud provider.
  • Software licensing and support may vary by Cloud provider.

How do you address such issues and have the flexibility to dynamically move to your ever-changing Cloud of Choice?
  • Deploy an open software platform that delivers Cloud Neutrality.
  • Deploy a software platform that enables selective bi-directional replication to dynamically move unique workloads to your private or public Cloud of choice.
  • Deploy a software platform that captures object metadata and creates a Cloud Index that provides intelligence into your Cloud deployment including what you are storing in the Cloud, who in your organization is consuming Cloud resources and who is driving Cloud spend.
  • Deploy a software platform that provides the ability to define cross-cloud policy based on Data Geo-Sovereignty in compliance with governmental regulation.
  • Deploy a software platform that provides a simplified virtual user interface with visibility across multiple Cloud vendors.
  • Deploy a software platform that delivers predictive cost analytics so that you can assess the economic benefits of moving to alternative Clouds based on pricing that can change daily

The deployment of a software platform that provides the ability to make real-time decisions based on a multi-Cloud approach will empower your company to have the same leverage and control as you have had in traditional IT.

Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon once suggested that a better way to think of a Cloud ecosystem is to think of everything as a service. DBM agrees but cautions against Cloud vendor lock-in.

Cloud Neutrality is a critical service to reduce business risk and costs, however, the idea of Cloud Neutrality being offered as a service from any single Cloud provider is not a reality. Cloud Neutrality-as-a-Service is now available through the deployment of DBM Cloud Systems’ open software platform. Now you have true Cloud Neutrality and the ability to optimize your Cloud strategy.

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