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Public Cloud Strategy: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!

With all due respect to the Eagles, your Public Cloud strategy should not resemble the lyrics from Hotel California.  But yet, many early adopters have found that to be the case.  They’ve built applications to run on the Public Cloud and as those applications have become mission critical, they have found the cost to move those applications in to the data center prohibitively expensive.  And although many have learned their lesson, still others see the relatively inexpensive upfront cost of some Public Cloud providers to attractive to resist.  The hotel is sexy and just what they need for now.

 Now, a new breed of cloud services is gaining traction – Storage as a Service (STaaS).  We are starting to see STaaS offerings that provide for cheap storage for archival and back-up purposes.  Cheap that is till you want to retrieve that information.  That’s when the true cost becomes apparent.

 It’s imperative that as you develop out your cloud strategy, you consider both the cost to enter, and the cost to leave (or retrieve).  Or you might wind up living the lyrics to one of the greatest Eagles songs.


About Michael Elliott

Michael Elliott is a thought leader, cloud strategist and enterprise data center evangelist focusing on data center evolution with particular emphasis on private and hybrid clouds. Michael previously worked as Dell’s Cloud Evangelist representing Dell’s cloud portfolio and vision at customer meetings, media briefings, and industry conferences. Prior to that, Michael held marketing and consulting roles in the storage and telecom industry. Michael currently works for NetApp as their cloud strategist and evangelist. Michael started his career as a mainframe programmer for General Electric and held the role of adjunct professor of marketing at the University of Akron. Michael has a mathematics degree from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University. Michael’s recent work includes: • Participation in cloud industry panels and private equity discussions relating to the vision of cloud. • Business development activities with a focus on the enterprise data center. • Sales enablement and training on cloud positioning and how cloud impacts hardware and software sales. • Industry conference presentations including the Consumer Electronics Show, Cloud Computing East, Educause, and the Cloud Computing Association. • Presentation at the International Forum on Innovation and Emerging Industries Development in Shanghai, China


5 thoughts on “Public Cloud Strategy: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!

  1. Michel,
    It happend to read your white paper in dell website and landed to your blog.
    I want to know your opinion on the feasibility of work load movement. I believe companies can leverage hybrid cloud environment to increase ROI and high scalability. But is it possible in reality? Does it really bring the ROI.

    a) Where are we in terms of automation? Today is it possible for me to move my workload dynamically to public cloud without manual intervention?

    b) If above point holds true, then does it really bring the ROI? Because moving work load involves copying the vApp from on premises to cloud. It is very costly operation and consumes high bandwidth. Considering this point does it bring ROI to me?

    I believe Dell also launched public cloud. How is Dell addressing this? Can you elaborate?

    Thank You,

    Posted by Hari | September 6, 2012, 8:32 AM
    • Hari,
      Thank you for the excellent questions.

      To your request of can I move my workload dynamically to public cloud without manual intervention; my response is that you can dynamically move workloads with minimal intervention in a hybrid scenario. Please take a look at the following video to understand how this works. Understand that not all public clouds are alike and therefore will work differently.

      Does it bring ROI? Cloud is not necessarily about ROI. Cloud is about efficiency and agility. In financial terms, it can be considered a shift from CapEx to OpEx. However, ROI savings are possible. Instead of building a data center for the highest compute load necessary, you can build the data center for the average compute load, and burst into public for those times when compute need outweighs your infrastructure. Clearly, moving large databases back and forth would not be optimal from a bandwidth perspective so you have to look at your applications to best understand which are optimal for building into a hybrid scenario.
      You are correct that Dell launched a Public Cloud. It actually occurred in 2011.

      Posted by elliottmichael | September 6, 2012, 10:17 AM
      • Michael,
        Thanks for the good explanation and the video. I agree with you that cloud is about efficiency and agility than ROI. If on premises and cloud are using VMWare products then workload movement is easier with little manual intervention(I guess we can automate this process with VCO work flows).
        But most of the datacenter contains combinatio of vmware, hyper V and zen servers. In that case what are the steps involved to move the work load. And is it possible to automate these steps?

        Thank You,

        Posted by Hari | September 6, 2012, 11:39 AM
  2. That would truly require an assessment to understand the data center and what makes sense to move to cloud, and what doesn’t. Feel free to email me via michael_t_elliott@dell.com and we can discuss further. Each hypervisor works differently (as you know) and would require different integration tools to work within the public cloud.

    Posted by elliottmichael | September 6, 2012, 1:11 PM
    • Actually I am exploring & evaluating different ways & tools to automate the work load movement process in hybrid environment. If you can provide me any integration tool name/technical links in these lines, that will be the great help to me.

      Posted by Hari | September 6, 2012, 1:52 PM

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