Head in the Cloud(s)? | ET Works
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Head in the Cloud(s)?

Written by: Jon Moore

Head in the Cloud(s)? – Maybe it’s time to put your feet back on the floor.

If I say cloud and your first thought is Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or even your local MSP’s as-a-service platform, then I’ll ask you to think about that.

The cloud is a concept, a new way to deploy and manage, not a single vendor or product. Ironically, of course, that’s not how marketing works, and in the case of the majority of customers I speak with have convinced me that the more of the single vendor product we buy, the less cloud-like we get!

This shouldn’t be confused with ecosystem providers like Nutanix who adopt an overlay and control plane to take advantage of true multi-cloud with cost control, availability, a single security/network, and governance profile from a single pane of glass that’s letting you use all clouds as equal, not just the one you were thinking of at the start of this. These ecosystem vendors offer the freedom to use the cloud as it was proposed.

I write this on the eve of ET Works signing on as a partner with OVH Cloud, a Cloud provider that specializes in IaaS and PaaS services, runs on its own hardware, and provides a solid platform for customers to consume just like any other cloud – I would say in all of the Nutanix/Public Cloud conversations I have had in the last few months, this option allows customers to move away from a ‘single cloud’ mentality and has often provided a more cost-effective platform with the same flexibility.

When cloud computing first emerged, it was touted as a game-changer that would revolutionize the way businesses operate. The idea was simple: by allowing companies to access computing resources on demand, the cloud would break down traditional barriers and make it easier for businesses to grow and innovate. This simple idea has exploded over the last couple of years with IT Directors and CTOs harboring board direction to move to the cloud, “Cloud First”- I hear them cry!

However, as cloud computing has evolved and the C-Suite support widened, many companies have fallen into the trap of relying on a single cloud vendor (just like iTunes became the ‘single’ music platform). While this may seem like a straightforward solution, it betrays the vision that the industry had for cloud computing. Here’s why:

1. Vendor lock-in: One of the key benefits of cloud computing was the ability to switch between providers easily and quickly. By relying on a single vendor, we increase businesses’ risk by becoming locked into that vendor’s platform, making it difficult and expensive to switch to a different provider in the future. This limits the flexibility and choice that cloud computing was designed to provide as well as create a new silo in IT (as my sysadmin who is an expert in Azure, is not an expert in AWS or GCloud).

2. Limited-service offerings: Each cloud vendor has its own strengths (often it has to be said really great killer products that make life much easier) and weaknesses and relying on a single provider means you are limited to the services and products that provider offers. This may not provide the full range of services and technologies available in the market or at the price point required.

3. Dependence on a single company: Relying on a single vendor means you are putting all your eggs in one basket albeit in multiple availability domains in multiple global locations. This means that your business becomes vulnerable to their financial stability, security, and regulatory compliance – and of course a global 9% price increase with little notice from one of those public cloud vendors last month.

4. Higher pricing: Single cloud vendors may charge higher prices for their services, particularly for customers who become heavily dependent on their platform and often there are better options on competitors. Cloud should allow us to consume to our advantage, not the suppliers.

5. Risk of downtime: No cloud vendor can guarantee 100% uptime, and relying on a single provider means you are vulnerable to downtime in the event of an outage, natural disaster, or other issue affecting that provider.

The vision for cloud computing was to provide businesses with greater flexibility, choice, and cost savings. By relying on a single vendor, businesses risk losing these benefits and betraying not only the vision that the industry had for cloud computing but the very advantages that it affords.

The solution to these challenges is to adopt a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy. This means leveraging the strengths of multiple cloud providers (including your on-premises workloads) while avoiding the risks associated with relying on a single vendor. Enjoy the full benefits of cloud computing, while maintaining the flexibility and choice that the industry envisioned, and your Board thought they were getting when they signed up to ‘Cloud First’.

It’s no mistake that companies like Nutanix position themselves as a true Enterprise Cloud. While most would see them as a leading provider of hyper-converged infrastructure solutions that allow companies to adopt a multi-cloud strategy, the key difference is that Nutanix provides a single platform that integrates public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, with private clouds and on-premises infrastructure. This enables companies to manage their entire IT infrastructure from a single platform while taking advantage of the benefits of multiple cloud providers.

One of the key benefits of that single platform is that it allows companies to manage their multi-cloud environment with a unified management and automation platform. This makes it easier to deploy and manage applications and data across multiple cloud environments and to automate processes such as backup and disaster recovery.

It provides advanced data management capabilities, including data protection and migration, that enable companies to move their data and applications between cloud environments with ease. This provides the flexibility to choose the best cloud environment for each workload, based on factors such as cost, performance, and security.

Let’s not forget in the world of the cloud one of the most important elements that this allows is a single, unified security model that covers both public and private clouds, helping ensure that your data and applications are secure and compliant, regardless of the cloud environment they are running in.

In simple terms, when I say cloud, you say anywhere

Stop thinking product, adopt a multi-cloud strategy by using and creating a single platform that integrates public clouds, private clouds, and on-premises infrastructure. This enables companies to manage their entire IT infrastructure from a single platform while taking advantage of the benefits of multiple cloud providers.

………Now that’s the Cloud vision we all signed up to!

About the author

Jon Moore

Senior Technical Account Manager

Experienced cross-discipline IT solutions and delivery consultant, specialising in Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure solutions (Nutanix, Rubrik, HYCU, Citrix, AWS, Azure, Acronis, Scale). Ex-IT Manager/Infrastructure Manager/Cloud Architect who has deployed most of what he gets excited about. Loves the water (I’m a swimming teacher, powerboat and sailing instructor)…who loves to drown in technology!

Show all articles by Jon Moore

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