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By Darren Wishman, Senior Solutions Engineer
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The cloud can be highly beneficial, but it can also be very complex.

Recently David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of the Ruby on Rails and CTO of 37signals (makers of Basecamp and HEY), made a surprising announcement… they were leaving the cloud.

Hansson sings the praises of cloud computing when the application is simple and low traffic, or when the load is highly irregular. The first eliminates complexity with fully managed services; the second provides flexibility only offered by the cloud when there is uncertainty about whether ten servers or a hundred are needed.

“Renting computers is (mostly) a bad deal for medium-sized companies like ours with stable growth,” Hansson said. “The savings promised in reduced complexity never materialized.”

Recently Veritas Technologies commissioned independent research about this very thing. Of the 1,500 technology and IT decision-makers surveyed from 12 countries, 100% agreed that using public cloud services benefited their organizations. However, 94% also reported failing to stay within their cloud budgets, overspending by a whopping 43% on average.

The Cloud Promise and What Makes It Complicated

Marketing around the cloud promotes the idea that it reduces the necessary amount of hardware needed, thereby lowering initial capital investment and avoiding the need to hire very expensive IT staff. The assurance is that generalists can manage these new environments. The result should be monitored, resilient data centers, forever running on modern hardware.

But no cloud service provider can claim to be perfect. And the features normally associated with the cloud services, such as site redundancy, automated backups, and high bandwidth networks, typically don’t come without additional costs.

The cloud is famous for its instant gratification. On-demand resources are more costly than the alternatives, but they are sometimes necessary. There are several ways to mitigate these costs, such as discounts if you can use Reserved Instances, which are upfront commitments to use a certain amount of capacity over one or three years. Then, there are Spot instances that take advantage of unused capacity from all the major providers for a deeply discounted price. However, these instances are subject to abrupt cutoffs and are really only suited for stateless workloads that can tolerate disruption. You can even rent Dedicated Hosts, or you can choose to utilize Virtual Private Data Centers that avoid the hyper-scalers and leverage VMware to maintain consistency within the current environment.

Given all the factors and choices, you can see how complicated the cloud can quickly become. Implementing backup and recovery strategies, choosing the appropriate storage, managing data access, unaccounted egress fees, coping with varying performance, and dealing with auto-scaling benefits and the accompanying hazards… the skills to take advantage of these capabilities and navigate the risks are not innate.

How Our Expert Cloud Services Help Ease Your Burden

We can start with a Cloud Assessment to gauge your readiness to migrate. This helps you determine when, what, and how much to move to the cloud. Once migrated, we can monitor and proactively manage your workloads and resource utilization. We can implement best practices, conduct capacity planning, and help standardize and streamline your operations through enterprise-grade tools.

By leveraging our cloud services, you benefit from the experience required to balance your workloads through the flexibility of On-Demand, versus the long-term commitments of Reserved Instances, and the stability of Dedicated Hosts. Additionally, we can help with tools to buy and sell excess reservations to ensure maximum ROI on your cloud purchases.

In conclusion, many items surrounding the cloud need to be considered and evaluated. Working with a knowledgeable, trusted, credible, and neutral party to optimize your environment and mitigate risk is key to a cost-effective and efficient cloud strategy.

Are you confident in your cloud strategy?

Let’s talk

The cloud is complex. We have experts who can assess, advise, and monitor your cloud plan, devising best practices and easing your burden. Contact us today at (800) 544-8877.

“Darren Wishman serves as Senior Solutions Engineer at MicroAge. With years of proven experience in IT, Darren has extensive experience designing IT solutions, communicating and implementing IT strategies, and managing high-visibility initiatives. He is also a member of the MicroAge Data Center Solutions Team which includes highly specialized and experienced team members with extensive training, certification, and knowledge in all facets of data center technologies, design, and implementation.”

Darren WishmanSenior Solutions Engineer

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