There are many reasons why companies look to move to the public cloud. Whether your company’s primary driver is an improved security posture, increased agility or cost savings, you will want to think carefully about the reasons behind your desire to move to the cloud. Unfortunately, there are still some misconceptions, particularly around costs, related to the public cloud. Here are some of the most popular myths, and the real solutions in each situation.
Myth #1: Pure lift and shift will result in significant infrastructure cost savings.
Companies eager to recognize cost savings as soon as possible may choose a lift-and-shift approach for its relatively quick execution period. However, simply replacing your on-premises infrastructure with identical cloud IaaS offerings not only will not save you money, but it can actually end up costing you more!
Solution: There are some quick ways to avoid this. Since compute resources are notoriously underutilized, there are significant opportunities to reduce infrastructure costs simply by rightsizing your servers. And since procurement and provisioning time in the cloud can be reduced from months to minutes, it is less risky to provision compute with less overhead capacity and simply scale up if you need to. You can also look into reducing server costs by utilizing reserved or spot instances. And for non-production instances, the largest savings is often achieved by simply turning off unneeded servers overnight and on weekends.
Myth #2: Cloud is always cheaper than on-premises hardware.
While the cloud can be cheaper than physical hardware and traditional virtualization technologies, the overall technology market is becoming more and more competitive. Hardware vendors are continually dropping their prices in order to compete with the hyperscale cloud providers. In particular, we have seen that hyper-converged infrastructure, which bundles compute, networking and storage into one unit, can be cheaper than public cloud infrastructure.
Solution: Look at cloud as more than an IaaS solution, and seek opportunities to utilize PaaS services, as well as cutting edge technologies such as serverless to help further reduce your costs.
Myth #3: Once I move to the cloud, I am done, and I will save money from then on.
While the cloud can save you money, we sometimes see cloud resource sprawl, which leads to a larger-than-expected cloud bill that can far surpass what you were spending on-premises. In fact, some companies are even migrating back to on-premises data centers due to their poor financial controls and practices in the cloud.
Solution: Do not expect to migrate to the cloud and then sit back and watch the savings magically pile up. You will need to put in some work. Moving to the cloud could be a catalyst for modernizing your financial controls, such as enabling chargeback or showback models. This new cost visibility can then drive better behaviors by application teams to bring down spend. Take the time to develop an enterprise tagging strategy, and develop automation to enforce the tagging. With proper tagging, you can utilize CTP’s Continuous Cost Controls to help you understand your high cost areas and where you should focus on cost reductions.
Cloud is not a silver bullet that is going to magically reduce your IT spend. In fact, it could wind up costing you more if you do not approach it carefully. Even then, you may not save as much as you expected, but that does not mean you should not consider cloud as a viable option. To truly weigh the benefits of cloud you have to look beyond the opportunities for hard cost reductions, and acknowledge the soft cost savings that can be realized from cloud’s valuable benefits, such as greater developer agility and faster time to market, to name just a few.