Companies who intend to procure and deploy IT infrastructure have to decide whether they want to outsource their deployment to the cloud or handle it in-house with on-premise hardware. A decade ago, that decision wasn’t available and options were limited to collocation or an in-house data center. But the maturity and flexibility of cloud platforms means that every responsible business should give serious consideration to the cloud as part of their due diligence.
Most of us are familiar with the abstract benefits of the cloud, but how do they impact the practical issue of deciding which mode of deployment is best for a business both in the procurement phase and during the life of the deployment.
A consideration of costs gets right to the heart of the benefits of the cloud. Although, of course, cloud hardware doesn’t come for free. Payment is spread out over the lifetime of the deployment. The avoidance of capital expenditure on hardware allows companies to be less conservative in their deployment patterns, because cloud platform resources are paid for on-demand. Businesses pay for what they use, whereas on-premise deployments require a fixed up-front payment at the time of deployment when utilization patterns are impossible to predict.
Google started out on a server under a desk and scaled over the course of a decade to tens of thousands of servers, but most companies aren’t Google. By choosing minimize capital expenses by limiting hardware procurement in the initial stages of a startup or project, the likelihood of encountering scaling difficulties as demand for resources grows is significant. Infrastructure as a Service allows companies to start small and scale at will, only paying for used resources.
Most businesses don’t invest in creating a logistics operation from scratch to handle their deliveries. It requires experience and expertise that very few have, and developing that expertise would take resources away from achieving key business goals. Instead, they outsource to Fedex or a similar company.
The same principle applies to technology infrastructure. Most businesses are not technology businesses per se, they are technology users, in the same way that most businesses are not logistics businesses, but users of delivery and transport services. Providing high-performance secure cloud infrastructure is the core competence of Outscale, and it’s unlikely that most businesses can develop the expertise and leverage the economies of scale that Outscale can.
A combination of reduced cost, particularly reduced CAPEX, and the expense and distraction of creating a culture of organizational expertise equivalent to that of a cloud provider makes using a cloud vendor the logical choice for most businesses.