Cloud vs Datacentre – what you need to know before moving your solution or company into the cloud

Is a datacentre provider cheaper or better than a cloud provider?

Speaking without a clue about your solutions, more you are cloud-friendly, and much more you save costs. On IaaS your solution is completely hosted in VM, in that case, a datacentre option “could be” cheaper than the cloud.

I said, could be, because there is also another factor to consider like support and related services provided by the cloud solution which maybe not provided by the datacentre, so you need to evaluate very carefully with the datacentre provider. Never do estimation for single assets like virtual machine or database or web site, we need to evaluate the solution and the entire scenario, especially in enterprise solutions and for long term strategies.

Being cloud-friendly means your solution joins the cloud architecture, which can be Microsoft Azure, AWS or even Google, and to achieve that you need to consider what the specific cloud solution can offer you in respect of your solution architecture.

When we decide to push our solution in the Cloud, we need to consider one very important aspect, which is the long term investment. In the 90% cases we will be able to migrate many of the technologies we are using into Cloud assets, like for example SQL Server database into SQL Azure or Internet information Server into Azure App Service hosting and much more.

A lift and shift with a gradual rollover is always the best option, which means move your solution into the cloud-like that and start reengineering pieces one by one and moving the responsibility from you to the Cloud provider. I said responsibility because the costs in our solution are almost depended on responsibilities zones.

The diagram below will show you how it works:

The blue area is our domain as a customer, what we need to manage by our self.

  • SaaS (Software as a Service) is completely managed by the provider, see Office 365 for example;
  • PaaS (Platform as a service) is partially managed by the provider, like App Services or SQL Azure;
  • and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is almost managed by the customer.

I can put a datacentre solution in the IaaS level, so if we need to evaluate a pricing offering from a datacentre provider, we also need to be sure they include all missing responsibilities between the layers.

A most important aspect is also the security, which in term of responsibility, defines how much we can define and design a secure perimeter around our solution.

And another big aspect is governance, don’t move into the cloud without a clear idea about how a cloud environment works. Each cloud provider is different, and they have different rules and governance strategies, a cloud environment provides many features and ways to manage costs, security, resources and more.

In my opinion, the technology part is a very easy aspect; today we almost have everything we need to solve any problem; it is just a matter of googling and be smart….

The most complex area is the governance, how to define our business strategy, how to organize our entire cloud infrastructure, the security, the networking, the support, the costs and a lot more.

If you are thinking to move your company or your solution into the cloud, my best recommendation is to work with a cloud expert able to provide you with the best solution for your governance and strategies, and most importantly, a person with experience in the field.

The cloud is a very complex topic, especially governance, and the experience is the real key value for any person working on it.

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