Public cloud : they didn’t tell me !!!!

Cloud strategy gives us an excellent article on Public Clouds.

What are Public Clouds ? they are services provided by a vendor in the Cloud to all customers in the same way (or with the same standard options) . Opposite to it, you find Private Clouds where the customers defines exactly what he wants.

In short for busy people, what should we remenber from the article ?

  • Public Cloud have often been advertised as less expensive with low storage costs.
    • It may even be true …
    • BUT everything is the small print of the contract. And there are often hidden costs (transfer, additional services, …) beyond the initial announced costs. Sometimes, the final cost is far less interesting than appeared initially.
    • Don’t forget. The vendors are here to make money. And they need to if you want them to provide your services longer.
    • Our recommandation : read all small lines and simulate expected total costs. Test on a small volume of data or transactions. Then track the Cloud Deployment to verify that no new costs appear.
  • Recently, there was a bad streak of service shortages in the big Public Cloud everywhere in the world.
    • Said otherwise. Big Cloud Public don’t fall often but when they do, they have massive shortages.
    • When it happens, customers have no actions possible to restart services or even to the priority order of the restart. The customer waits for services to be available again and for a potential reimbursement, depending on what was written in the contract.
    • Don’t forget the small print
      • Contractual availability is often different from actual or advertised.
      • Performance : a service can be accessible but so slow you cannot use it. Contractual availability measure access not speed.
    • Our recommandation : set up a fall back solution in advance. What do you do if you lose the service for 5 hours, 1 day, 1 week ?

Two examples out of IT to illustrate what we say

  1. Low Cost Air Travel : you read now all that is included in your fare. Because what is not will be expensive ! You were used to the small snacks offered in classic flights. Too bad. Does it forbid you from going Low Cost ? No but open eyed (and with a sandwhich in your bag)
  2. Public transport : one urban outfit only counted late train when they were below 30 min late. Above, they disappeared from the statistics. They had a very good availability. Did it forbid people to take their train. No but open eyed (and a book to read while waiting)!

As for all external services, the relationship must be managed ! Get a service manager to follow you Public Cloud! Digital transformation is great but needs a transition period that needs monitoring.