No way out?
15 January 2015 | 0
It is common practice when parking a car to reverse into a space to make it easier when driving away. But when it comes to getting involved in outsourcing servers, infrastructure or compute power to a cloud provider, it seems remarkable that more enterprises do not properly consider an exit strategy.
Cloud computing is maturing in both implementation and acceptance but the prospect of moving a cloud infrastructure from one platform to another is not as straightforward as it could be. While some of the major cloud operators have started to adopt transparency-is-the-best-policy practices, other providers attempt to ‘lock-in’ customers.
Practices such as using non-standard metrics to charge for services thus making it difficult to compare prices, and charging customers for large scale data downloads are common. The moral of the story is that before getting involved in a cloud-powered implementation, plan your way out.
“We have customers who have gone with one infrastructure service provider and then subsequently decided to move to another and have found roadblocks in their path,” said Jason Boyle, director of technology solutions and portfolio for PFH Technology Group.
“It’s becoming more common as cloud implementations go more mainstream. As an industry, we’re moving out of the adoption phase of these technologies because they’re now well established. The market is maturing and over the next two or three years, we’re going to see the discussion around cloud technologies move from should you or shouldn’t you, to where can you get the best deal.”
“A similar discussion life cycle has taken place around virtualisation and it’s the cloud’s turn now.”
According to Boyle, PFH has seen its customer base in the last 12 months increasingly moving basic functions into the cloud for specific functions like disaster recovery or archive data storage. As the IT community gets increasingly comfortable with the concepts and as contracts come up for renewal, he believes that issues surrounding migration will become more pressing.
“We’re seeing that at the moment. All you have to do is search Google for ‘migrate from Gmail to Office 365’ or vice versa and see what comes up. There are a host of companies that have developed tools to seamlessly move mail from one platform to another. Depending on the size of the company that could be a small project or like an organisation we’re currently working with, it could involve moving 1,000 users,” he said.