You’re obviously motivated to take advantage of the cost savings and increased performance, availability and efficiency, however it is imperative that you make well-educated decisions based on the uniqueness of your business. Making the wrong choice regarding cloud-price performance can damage your budget, productivity, and reputation. You might think it’s all up to you to wade through cloud services packages and providers to get down to what you’re really being offered.
Frost & Sullivan’s Stratecast
In an executive brief sponsored by IBM, Frost & Sullivan’s Stratecast points out the sad truth that some businesses face after making uninformed decisions about their cloud implementation.
What? You mean cloud isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Well, yes and no.
Sometimes it costs more than you would expect. Or sometimes it doesn’t perform as well as you wanted. Or sometimes it fails and you have to spend a lot of time and resources getting it back up. This happens because you—the person whose decisions will help or hurt your company—might not have an in-depth understanding of what it takes to achieve an optimal cloud environment before you make a purchasing decision.
MYTH 1: All clouds need to be off site on shared equipment.
Wait, isn’t that the very definition of the cloud, infrastructure or applications shared by millions of clients worldwide, through the internet? Nope. Some organizations, because of their organizational cultures or for security or regulatory concerns, cannot move directly into public clouds, but they have the option of private clouds.Work with a solution provider who can explain the advantages and ways to use private clouds to optimize your investments, processes, and infrastructure.
A private cloud, also called an “internal cloud” or “corporate cloud,” resides within the company environment (firewall) and its access is restricted, usually to company employees or business partners. Organizations that need greater security are more likely to consider private clouds. Private cloud is an option for many companies and should not be ignored.
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MYTH 2: Cloud is cheap.
This myth seems complex until you remember that being cheap and saving money aren’t the same. Because often, the cloud really can save you quite a lot of money in terms of its price-performance. But it can also cost you if you go about it the wrong way. Say you’re trying to order the perfect cup of coffee, only someone served it to you too strong. So you put in some creamer to cut the bitterness—but now it could do with some sugar. Except one packet of sugar isn’t quite enough because the cup was large, so you gradually add a bit at a time from a second packet. And at this point, your coffee’s lukewarm.
You see what we’re getting at, don’t you? If you don’t get the right cloud solution from the start, you’ll pour a bunch of time and money into gradual improvements, none of which will leave you with the solution that is exactly right.
MYTH 3: Cloud is easy.
Sure, cloud can be easy. A cloud services package individualized for your company’s exact needs is easy when it does what you want when you want it and includes the support you need. Also, how you are being charged for support makes a difference. Some include basic support tickets in the package, while others charge you a flat rate and still others use a fee scale.
A Frost & Sullivan survey showed IT decision-makers didn’t fully understand their choices before they implemented the cloud, a fact that cost them later.
- 31% struggled to attain additional budget to implement their cloud strategies.
- 21% struggled to gain support from senior leadership to continue executing on their cloud strategies.
Don’t let that be you! Understand how your cloud solution is packaged and what it will take to maintain it before and after implementation.
MYTH 4: All CPUs are the same.
CPU function, processor speed and bus architecture can be nuanced—different models or manufacturers, virtual or otherwise, are good for processing different workloads. Your cloud service provider should recommend the best platform and performance specs to suit your company’s needs and existing infrastructure. Don’t forget these two things:
- Efficiency can evolve substantially from generation to generation and between x86 and POWER, so know what specific processor hardware you’re getting, even if it’s not on premise.
- Performance should be taken into account just as much, if not more so than price, when comparing cloud solution providers and their recommended solutions.
Select a provider who makes it a priority to get to know your environment before making recommendations for specific solutions or strategies. There are many options to consider and it would be a mistake to shop for a solution based on price per CPU.
MYTH 5: The best value is the lowest per-unit rate.
A per-unit rate isn’t an indicator of value across cloud service providers, because each one offers its services uniquely. What you really need to investigate is how the infrastructure and service components are packaged. In bundles? Individually? And consider which ones you need. If you need four but five are included, even though the “per-unit rate” looks right, haven’t you just lost money? Be aware of how each provider prices each relevant component and know which components you need. Find out what’s included—and what isn’t—in the per-unit rate before you think you’ve found a deal.
MYTH 6: Price, not performance, is the best way to buy.
Since cloud services (and per-unit rates) aren’t identical across providers, price is a flawed way to assess the “right” purchase. The truth is that cloud is not a commodity. Cloud is a service, and in a service industry, the only way to shop is “price-per-equivalent-performance.” If you’re basing your decision on a dollar sign without considering differences in cloud configuration, infrastructure components, procedures and protocols, and other factors in a cloud service provider’s package, you risk choosing a suboptimal service for your company, one that will probably cost you a lot more than you expected in the long run. Watch out for providers that pretend the cloud is a commodity they’re offering at a bottom-barrel price, when we all know perfectly well performance is what matters more.
A cloud infrastructure is a great choice for your company, but which cloud is the best choice? To ensure your cloud is cost-effective, secure, efficient and working at optimal performance from the beginning, enlist Flagship Solutions Group to run an assessment of your infrastructure before you decide on a cloud strategy. We call this assessment, “Infralytics.” Infralytics is a methodology developed by Flagship, provided as a service. We start by collecting data about your company’s physical and virtual infrastructures, including data from servers, storage, networking, and software. We then analyze this data and present actionable insights to key stakeholders through customized, easy-to-understand dashboards. The more you know about your current and proposed environments, the better your chances of avoiding costly mistakes.
Flagship can also help facilitate the implementation phase of your private, public or hybrid cloud deployment utilizing industry best practices to ensure data integrity and effective connectivity.
Flagship’s value is our ability to be flexible and responsive to you, our customer, as well as our ability to understand the value of your time, your need for quality customer service, and your search for intelligent solutions that deliver business results efficiently.
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We’d like to get to know you better before we discuss the technology that’s the best choice for you.
Schedule a consultation so we can evaluate your company’s physical and virtual IT infrastructures to understand where you are, where you’d like to go, and the best way to get you there.