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When Do You Know Public Cloud Isn’t Enough for Your Workloads?

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Financial Mindsets When It Comes to the Cloud

There are a number of companies who may start out with public cloud and eventually find that it makes more sense to shift to a hosted private cloud. Which will work for you is entirely use-case based, but the first consideration is typically budget-related. Businesses who may be more price-conscious and prefer the OPEX financial model are more likely to benefit from a public cloud.

The opposite is true from a CAPEX perspective. If a particular business has access to a considerable amount of capital, purchasing hardware and managing the environment internally might actually be cheaper—not significantly, but generally it will be at least slightly more cost-effective.

Overall, cost and how a business operates from a financial perspective are key in determining cloud usage and the possible need to make the switch from public to private cloud.

Considering Workloads and Applications

Workloads are another important consideration.

When looking at workloads it is imperative to understand how the application was designed to support heavy workloads. Legacy application stacks were typically designed to support vertical growth (scale up). As the workload continues to grow and demand additional resources you simply add more (RAM, CPU and disk).  More recent application designs now support an optimal resource footprint per server to support the application.   So when the workload increases you simply add servers of the same footprint to the farm.  When the workload decreases, you can then remove servers which are no longer needed.  This works extremely well for most cloud providers, however, when the optimal footprint of the single server goes beyond what is supported by a multi-tenant provider, then hosted private cloud becomes the next platform of choice to keep the flexibility of a cloud service with the benefit of hyperscale VMs.

Another consideration is the applications pricing and licensing standpoint. There are a few applications out there with a licensing model that pushes you away from public cloud—Oracle is a good example. If a customer wants to license an Oracle database server in a public cloud environment, they have to license for every processor that the virtual machine could potentially run on. So, if we had a customer that had an Oracle database sitting in our cloud, they would have to pay for licensing on every single processor within that cluster, which could be millions of dollars. So, the licensing model is another indicator that public cloud isn’t enough for your workloads.

Public Cloud Versus Hosted Private Cloud

There are two main schools of thought as far as going to the hosted private cloud versus public cloud.

Environment Isolation (Multitenant)

  • Isolation of compute workloads
  • Predictable performance
  • Larger-scale VM deployments

Environmental Control (Hosted Private Cloud)

  • Control of resource allocation and oversubscription
  • Control over maintenance cycles for infrastructure

Multitenant vs. Hosted Private Cloud Considerations

If most of your needs fit within considerations for a hosted private cloud environment, it’s a good indication that you need more than a public cloud. Assessing your cost considerations and preferred financial model, resource separation needs, and performance requirements is a good place to start when trying to determine if public cloud can no longer support your needs.


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