Are you considering moving to the Public Cloud? Cloud Computing has been an enabler for digital transformations for quite some time now, but the “new” flavor, Public Cloud, seems to get more attraction every day. If you – or your organization – is considering to the Public Cloud, you may hear the following one-liners to support this change:
Public Cloud has the best market-prices
Uhm no… a state-of-the-art Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) can provide the same – or even better – prices with more flexibility. Public Cloud prices can be beneficial if you have the right use-cases, the appropriate contract, and a clear server (instance) duration.
Everything can go in the Public Cloud
Yes and no… Yes, if your entire application landscape is running on the latest software versions as the Public Cloud has clear restrictions when it comes to supported versions. If your application landscape runs also some older versions – which is quite common in the marketplace – you need to update or upgrade before moving to the Public Cloud.
Public Cloud offers flexible prices which allow no vendor lock-in
Uhm no…Public Cloud prices are only competitive with a three-year reserved instance commitment. Meaning, you are locked-in for this period. Another way to get better prices is to sign an Enterprise License Agreement (ELA), although this implies you commit to x m€ per annum with or without consumption, which is another lock-in.
No hidden costs anymore
Uploading data to the Public Cloud is in general free of charge but did you know that downloading data has a price? Don’t be surprised when your first bill comes. Validate this beforehand, and, depending on the application and use case, those costs can easily increment when an application is scaling up. The costs also fluctuate for data transfers between regions and zones. Ultimately, ensure you read and understand the data possibilities and costs ensuring you are not astonished by those ‘hidden costs’ on your first bill.
Everything gets simplified
Depends, as all popular Public Cloud providers only provide a Service to Operation System (OS) level, the application component has to managed by either yourself or another party. Most likely this implies that another party gets involved in the service-chain which can result in more management, complexity, and overhead. Ultimately this can lead to a higher total cost of ownership (TCO) for the business case but easily overseen when only focussing on the infrastructure part.
Switch-off means no charge
Unfortunately, this is not valid. For example, you can switch off an instance, but if you considered reserved instances – due to the better prices – you still pay for the provisioned network and compute resources. You have to precisely plan the future mode of operations (FMO) to leverage the price position and not run into the situation you have to switch-off instances.
Migration is a piece of cake
Most Public Cloud providers don’t offer an end-2-end migration service. Instead, provide different tooling, analytics or a cash injection for the migration. Although limited support or cash at forehand is at least something, the migration itself can become a challenging exercise due to the previous points above. Most organizations oversee the big challenges when it comes to legacy application migration or version updates when considering moving to the Public Cloud.
In no means, I am saying that Public Cloud is a ‘bad strategy’ – more important – organizations should not only concentrate on the benefits but also understand the implications. Conclusively, I highly recommend using a hybrid- or multi-cloud strategy that ensures the benefits from all platforms, instead of only one cloud solution.