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The Three Rules of “Cloud Club”

The Three Rules of “Cloud Club”

The Three Rules of “Cloud Club”

March 28, 2016 – That’s it!  It’s time.  That legacy server stalled again, and this time it didn’t come back up on reboot. He’s dead, Jim.

While the reasons for moving to the cloud differ from user to user, everybody struggles with the same thing:  How do I choose what cloud to go to?  To answer this, there are two things you must do:  1) Know yourself, and 2) Know your Cloud Service Providers (CSPs).  It sounds easy, but anybody who has tried can tell you just how difficult it is to accomplish one, let alone both of these.  Today’s blog post focuses in on the second of these two critical aspects, and reviews the KPS Cloud Profiling methodology.

The first rule of cloud club: accept that every CSP and every Cloud Service is different.  Some CSPs focus on being price competitive and providing self-service, others focus on providing very secure resources, while still others focus on customer interactions and value-add services.  Even those competing for the same customer segment use different pricing models, and have different strengths and weaknesses…

Comparing CSPs in an “apples to apples” way is extremely difficult.  Often times, customers give up!  They just end up comparing prices and going with cheapest, hoping it’ll “just work out”.  While a practical approach, the fact is:  cloud pricing inherently makes it hard to figure out that “total cost” number.  Knowing your exact usage per system is an extremely hard benchmark to get to.  What’s more, even with the right tools to benchmark systems, you can never guarantee exactly how the system will be used over time.  The second rule of cloud club:  don’t assume your usage estimates are right.

Don’t get me wrong, pricing is important… and yes, you will have to come up with some kind of usage estimate for calculating it…  But it’s just not as important as folks make it out to be.  News flash:  if you are moving to the cloud for purely “price-related” reasons, you’ll see the same benefits (albeit maybe to differing degrees) no matter which cloud you go to.  All of them move CapEx to OpEx; all of them avoid maintenance/servicing fees on hardware; and all of them free up floor space in your data center.  Compared to your traditional equipment, you literally can’t lose.  What does that mean?  It means The third rule of cloud club:  Consider non-pricing factors BEFORE looking at the price tag.

Comparing on price alone can be misleading when not considered in tandem with the other factors that make up a cloud service.  Through our experience working in the cloud, KPS has developed a methodology to create “CSP Profiles”, which can be used to make better decisions on which cloud is right for you.  The CSP Profile considers five (5) key factors:

  • Performance – How well does the cloud service perform compared to others? How well does it perform at scale?
  • Security – How secure is the service?
  • Functionality – What functionality does a cloud service provide? How do those functions align with what you need to do?  How easy is it to use the cloud service?
  • Service Level – What level of services do you get with a particular cloud service? Are there uptime or availability SLAs?  Are there any guarantees or disincentives for the CSP?
  • Price – (Finally!) How much will it cost to use the cloud service for the functions I need? How much will it cost to use the cloud service for the functions I want?

By comparing CSP Profiles to your unique requirements and goals for moving to the cloud, you will be up and running in no time.
For a free example of how to create CSP Profiles, take a look at our AWS vs. Horizon comparison located here: KPS Cloud Comparison Report