Cloud computing

Apps move rapidly to the cloud, though data less so

(Image: Stockfresh)

31 October 2017

While the public cloud continues to grow at the expense of on-premises data centres, not everything that moves to the cloud stays there. Some data comes back, for a variety of reasons. And while apps are moving to the cloud at a rapid clip, data is not.

That is a finding from a recent report by 451 Research, for Schneider Electric, entitled “Customer Insight: Future-Proofing Your Colocation Business.” It found that global operational square footage hosting cloud infrastructure will grow at a 16% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 2020, while the amount of on-premises enterprise data centre capacity will drop four percentage points, from 77 to 73% in the same time period.

That is not a major, all things considered, which would hint that rumours of the on-premises data centre’s demise are greatly exaggerated. It would mean a lot of workloads are remaining on-premises while others move to the cloud, and in some cases, workloads move back on premises.

For example, in the survey of 454 colocation customers, 62% said they moved applications from colocation to the public cloud in the past two years, but over the same period, 41% moved applications from the public cloud back to colocation facilities.

Why companies leave the cloud
The reasons for the return? Forty-seven percent said latency or performance issues, 45% said colocation was less expensive, 39% said they wanted more predictable costs, 37% said security concerns, 34% said a change from app dev/test to production, and 13% said regulatory compliance.

So, there is no one reason, and the reasons given shows people are still refining their cloud strategy over time as they work things out.

“These repatriation trends, and the reasons behind them, underscore the relative immaturity of the shift underway to hybrid IT and datacentre environments,” the report said. “At 451 Research, we talk about the ‘best execution venue’ (BEV), which is specific to the individual organisation, use case and business need, rather than a simple ‘best’ option for data centre capacity.

“The challenge for colocation providers is to understand the ‘mega trends’ driving BEV decisions and to effectively meet customers’ key colocation needs—cost-effectively and over the long term,” the report added.

Enhanced options
For those who moved to the cloud, 63% said the public cloud was cheaper, 59% said it increased functionality of cloud-based software, 39% said capacity requirements are unpredictable, and 32% said it enhanced back-up options.

While more than half of those surveyed said cloud was cheaper than colocation, cost is also a big reason many colocation customers migrate applications from cloud back to colocation facilities. Of those that switched back, 45% believed colocation providers are less expensive, and 39% said costs are more predictable than in the public cloud.

From previous reports on this subject, companies move to the cloud, sometimes wholesale, end up doing a U-turn and moving back on premises. The move to the cloud is not a fire-and-forget deal. You must constantly monitor things for cost and efficiency. The fact that the single biggest issue is latency should tell you something. Latency impacts performance, and no one wants to slow their business down. It is why a move to the cloud needs to be slow, gradual and constantly evaluated.


IDG News Service



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