Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Harry Trott, Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

It's Called Cloud Computing Not Cheap Computing

The debate between private and public cloud is ridiculous

The debate between private and public cloud is ridiculous and we shouldn’t even be having it in the first place.

There’s a growing sector of the “cloud” market that is mobilizing to “discredit” private cloud. That ulterior motives exist behind this effort is certain (as followers of the movement would similarly claim regarding those who continue to support the private cloud) and these will certainly vary based on whom may be leading the charge at any given moment.

Reality is, however, that enterprises are going to build “cloud-like” architectural models whether the movement succeeds or not. While folks like Phil Wainewright can patiently point out that public clouds are less expensive and have a better TCO than any so-called private cloud implementation, he and others miss that it isn’t necessarily about raw dollars. It’s about a relationship between costs and benefits and risks, and analysis of the cost-risk-benefit relationship cannot be performed in a generalized, abstract manner. Such business analysis requires careful consideration of, well, the business and its needs – and that can’t be extrapolated and turned into a generalized formula without a lot of fine print, disclaimers, and caveats.

But let’s assume for a moment that no matter what the real cost-benefit analysis of private cloud versus public cloud might be for an organization that public cloud is less expensive.

So what?

If price were the only factor in IT acquisitions then a whole lot of us would be out of a job. Face it, just because a cheaper alternative to “leading brand X” exists does not mean that organizations buy into them (and vice-versa). Organizations have requirements for functionality, support, compliance with government and industry regulations and standards; they have an architecture into which such solutions must fit and integrate, interoperate and collaborate; they have needs that are both operational and business that must be balanced against costs.

Did you buy a Yugo instead of that BMW? No? Why not? The Yugo was certainly cheaper, after all, and that’s what counts, right?

IT organizations are no different. Do they want to lower their costs? Heck yeah. Do they want to do it at the expense of their business and operational requirements? Heck no. IT acquisition is always a balancing act and while there’s certainly an upper bounds for pricing it isn’t necessarily the deciding factor nor is it always a deal breaker.

It’s about the value of the solution for the cost. In some infrastructure that’s about performance and port density. In other it’s about features and flexibility. In still others it’s how well supported it is by other application infrastructure. The value of public cloud right now is in cheap compute and storage resources. For some organizations that’s enough, for others, it’s barely breaking the surface. The value of cloud is in its ability to orchestrate – to automatically manage resources according to business and operational needs. Those needs are unique to each organization and thus the cost-benefit-risk analysis of public versus private cloud must also be unique. Unilaterally declaring either public or private a “better value” is ludicrous unless you’ve factored in all the variables in the equation.

ORGANIZATIONS are not GREENFIELDS

I will, however, grant that public cloud computing offerings are almost certainly cheaper resources than private. But let’s look at the cost to integrate public cloud-deployed applications with enterprise infrastructure and supporting architectural components versus a private cloud integration effort.

Applications deployed out in the cloud still require things like application access control (a.k.a. ID management), and data stores, and remote access and analytics and monitoring and, well, you get the picture. Organizations have two options if they aren’t moving the entirety of their data center to the public cloud environment:

  1. DUPLICATION Organizations can replicate the infrastructure and supporting components necessary in the public cloud. Additional costs are incurred to synchronize, license, secure, and manage.
  2. INTEGRATION Organizations can simply integrate and leverage existing corporate-bound infrastructure through traditional means or they can acquire emerging “cloud” integration solutions. The former is going to require effort around ensuring security and performance of that connection (don’t want requests timing out on users, that’s bad for productivity) and the latter will incur capital (and ongoing operational) expenses.

Integration of public cloud-deployed applications with network and application infrastructure is going to happen because very few organizations are “green fields”. That means the organization has existing applications and organization processes and policies that must be integrated, followed, and adhered to by any new application. Applications are not silos, they are not islands, they are not the cheese that stands alone at the end of the childhood game. And because organizations are not green fields, the expense of fork-lifting an entire data center architecture and depositing it in a public cloud – which would be necessary to alleviate the additional costs in effort and solutions associated with cross-internet integration – is far greater than the “benefit” of cheaper resources.

Andi Mann twitterbird said it so well in a recent blog “Public Cloud Computing is NOT For Everyone”:

blockquote Public cloud might be logical for most smaller businesses, new businesses, or new applications like Netflix’ streaming video service, but for large enterprises, completely abandoning many millions of dollars of paid-for equipment, and an immeasurable amount of process and skill investment, is frequently unjustifiable. As much as they might want to get rid of internal IT, for large enterprises especially, it simply will not make sense – financially, or to the business.

Whether pundits and experts continue to disparage efforts by enterprise organizations will not change the reality that they are building such architectural models in their own data centers today. If the results are not as efficient, or as cheap, or as “cloudy” as a public cloud, well, as long as it offers the business and IT organization value and benefits over what they had, does it matter if it’s not “perfect” or as “inexpensive” if it provides value?

The constant “put down” of private cloud and organizations actively seeking to implement them is as bad as the constant excuse of security (or lack thereof) in public cloud as a means to avoid them. Public and private cloud computing both aim to reduce costs and increase flexibility and operational efficiency of IT organizations. If that means all public, all private, or some mix of the two then that’s what it takes.

That’s why I’m convinced that hybrid (sorry Randy) cloud computing will, in the end, be the preferred – or perhaps default - architectural model. There are applications for which public cloud computing makes sense in every organization, and applications for which private cloud computing makes sense. And then there are those applications for which cloud computing of any kind makes no sense.

Flexibility and agility is about choice; it’s about “personalization” of architectures and implementations for IT organizations such that they can build out a data center that meets the needs of the business they support. If you aren’t enabling that flexibility and choice, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that’s no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, will explore how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He wi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, will discuss th...
yperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let’s say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it....
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single-threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Dave Martin, Product owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infrastructure throu...
Cloud adoption is often driven by a desire to increase efficiency, boost agility and save money. All too often, however, the reality involves unpredictable cost spikes and lack of oversight due to resource limitations. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, tackled the question: “How do you build a fully optimized cloud?” He will examine: Why TCO is critical to achieving cloud success – and why attendees should be thinking holistically ab...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...