Understanding the nuances of modern cloud options can be overwhelming without the right expertise and guidance, and it can often seem as though there’s too many choices. On-prem, off-prem, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, private cloud—the vocabulary list is long, and navigating the landscape is complex. Before you settle on a solution—and make a “down payment”—take time to visualize the pros and cons of each cloud solution so you can find the ideal fit for your business…before you “move in”!
The Real Estate Analogy: Finding a Home for Your Applications and Infrastructure
Applications need to “live” somewhere, just like we as people need to live somewhere. That’s why I like to use a helpful analogy to explain the pros and cons of primary application-hosting cloud options. Using familiar structures like hotels, private homes, rental properties, and apartment complexes to represent an IT solution, we can explore how each has different benefits and challenges depending on an individual business’s needs. Applications are valuable in a similar way that humans are. Where they “live” matters a great deal.
The Hotel (aka the Public Cloud)
Like a hotel, public cloud options are perfect for those needing multiple rooms at different times and intervals without any cost of physical ownership. This is a great option if you have applications with dynamic needs, such as the need to scale up or down frequently or only needing the cloud in short bursts. But, also like hotels, this option can get very expensive if you need a place to live long term. Further, if you sold all your “furniture” to move into the “hotel,” “checking out” can be very difficult. In the cloud industry, we call this issue “vendor lock-in.”
The Apartment/Condo Complex (aka Managed Private Cloud)
With apartment living, you get the luxury of being a resident but can leave the maintenance and upkeep to the building’s super. This is comparable to a managed cloud solution, available for the public and private cloud, and is an ideal option for applications that will grow or reduce in a more linear fashion over an extended time. Like the varying units in an apartment building, as your “family” grows or the “kids” move out, you can easily move up to the “three bedroom” or down to the “studio” in the same complex. When you have too much “stuff,” like mission-critical data or application loads, you can get a convenient “storage” unit. This option also works well for in-house teams that want to focus on their application, not on infrastructure upkeep, allowing management to handle the maintenance.
Rental Property (aka Colocation)
When renting, the entire property is yours to occupy, but you still don’t own it. For IT solutions, that is known as colocation. This is a great option for organizations who want near total control of their “house,” but don’t want to fully commit to staying there forever. With a rental property, you move in, use the space as you wish, and are responsible for your own “security.” This option gives you the freedom of a residence with monthly rent rather than hefty upfront costs; however, you must purchase and maintain all the “furniture and belongings,” which can make moving out more difficult if the need arises.
The Private Home (aka On-Prem, DIY)
As a homeowner, you have complete control and are responsible for all the upkeep costs that come with owning your own dwelling space. Just like a brick-and-mortar private residence, on-premise and private, self-managed IT gives you full control of how you use the space and amenities in a physical data center. For those who are “handy,” have a solid “tool set” and enjoy working on their own property, this option is ideal. Like a private home, there is initial capital required and on-going, sometimes unforeseen expenses that must be handled by the in-house team. Yet, unlike a true private home, on-premise private data centers value will depreciate overtime.
By comparing each method of application hosting to places where people live, we can easily see how important it is to ensure that each residence is the right size, meeting the right expectations at the right price—it just all depends on the needs and resources of your business.
Discover the Right Residence for Your Enterprise IT
Every cloud solution provides value, just like each building puts a roof over your head. But a truly valuable investment needs to provide more than just the basics for your business. With 20+ years of experience, Ntirety is the trusted expert to guide enterprises to the most beneficial cloud solution. Ntirety helps build the architecture that reduces risk and optimizes IT spend to create future-ready, agile organizations.