The public cloud offers a some benefits over on-premises virtualization for some types of businesses. including cost savings with hardware; faster deployments; better performance, scalability and flexibility, all of which is including in the marketing for cloud services.
If you follow the hype, you’d think that every business but yours has migrated all of their IT to the cloud. But the truth is, only a few small percentage of organizations are entirely in the cloud with all of their data.
Most business computer networks and at least some of their data remains tucked in closets and data centers, where they’re owned and operated by traditional IT staffs.
A recent Bain and Company survey concluded that companies put only about 18 percent of their workloads in the cloud.
The first issue is getting there. The fact is, most IT departments and Managed Service Providers have a generation of experience in understanding hardware; it’s what the staff knows, it’s how they’ve been trained, and where they have experience.
Recent projects with virtualization technologies and email (such as Microsoft Office 365) as a service have been first steps to the cloud. But when an aging piece of equipment needs to be replaced, the IT support staff knows what specs to consider and how to compare pricing. They know what different boxes will offer and what makes each of them unique.
The cloud, however, is far more complicated with many confusing options and bundles. Is there a way to set up a firewall or a network that’s not connected to the Internet? What sizes are going to ensure that the legacy programs will run without the help desk receiving 10 calls an hour because of crashes or slowdowns?
Cloud migrations are painful—there’s no doubt about it. So much so that a cottage industry has emerged around the idea. As soon as you think about migrating to the cloud, consultants show up at your door offering advice and help to make the move a smooth one, all for $500 an hour. It’s no wonder that many companies have chosen to put off the pain and wait for a better solution.
Today the cloud is undergoing the same transition as smartphones and similar technologies before it. Many early adopters were brand new companies that were able to move right in and extol its virtues.
Most of those are organizations that rely on a public-facing Internet presence for all their business, sales, support, etc. They’re what we like to call “cloud natives. These cloud natives have never ordered a physical server or set up a hardware firewall. Their particular industry can operate without the local presence.
We’re entering a generation in which migration is becoming more about matching existing physical infrastructure with something in the cloud. It’s something that looks and feels just like it does when it’s in the server closet: cloud infrastructure that meets complex networking or storage replication requirements but masks the complexity with elegant user interfaces.
Making something simple is actually very hard. We’re just beginning to find the point in which the complexities of the cloud have become simple and painless. For now, a “hybrid” solution seems to work best for most small companies and organizations having some data, like email and backups in the cloud while keeping critical operations data on an in-house server.
Hook Systems of Wilmington, NC offers our customers a complete range of solutions from traditional to the latest in cloud services.
Bain & Company