Last week, we discussed some cloud computing untruths you should understand before making any cloud decisions. Our first blog on the series touched on the first three of our five untruths:
- Untruth #1 – There is only one way to do cloud computing
- Untruth #2 – Your data is exposed to the public
- Untruth #3 – Cloud computing is a fad with no real long-term value
Here are our last two …
Untruth #4 – Cloud computing is cheap and inexpensive
While cloud computing solutions may be cheap initially, they can become quite expensive. Cloud pricing models and the prices themselves can be deceiving, so you need to understand the various cloud pricing approaches.
For example, a SaaS provider might charge 17 cents per GB for the first 10 TB of data—although the price can drop as low as 10 cents per GB if customer moves over 150 TB per month. For the organization using hundreds of terabytes or even petabytes of storage, those pennies can add up to a very big number. And this vendor’s per GB cost doesn’t include load balancing, dedicated VLANs and firewalls, role-based permissions, and tech support.
Another organization may have a data warehouse but only need to use it a few hours a week for updates and some analytics. For them, the cost-benefit calculus would be entirely different.
At this point, cloud computing solutions are neither expensive nor cheap. It depends on the provider, the resources you use, and the additional bells and whistles you need. A matrix of the offerings from different cloud providers can look like a Chinese restaurant menu of options and prices.
But one thing is certain: a well-managed, efficient IT operation can beat cloud costs in many instances. For most organizations, cloud computing solutions in some form will be just another component in the overall IT strategy and used where it is most cost-effective. Check out a past blog we wrote titled Private vs. Public Cloud Computing Solutions – Financial Comparison for some insights on ROI models from various cloud deployment options.
Untruth #5 – Any project can benefit from cloud computing solutions
You’ll hear this mostly from cloud vendors. At this point in the maturity of cloud computing, several types of projects appear to benefit more than others:
- Backup and recovery
- Data archiving
- Content distribution
- Supplemental IT resources
In general, compute-intensive projects involving interprocess communication and I/O demands are good candidates for IaaS clouds. Another good candidate for the cloud infrastructure is one that processes data for projects that are dormant or no longer generating revenue.
Cloud computing solutions are destined to become part of almost every organization’s IT strategy – if they haven’t already. Over time users won’t even differentiate between what comes from the cloud and what doesn’t. Computing infrastructure will become transparent.