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Why Are People Talking About the Cloud?

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Hello and welcome to a new feature at the True Digital Security blog where we will take you through the decision-making process of a cloud adoption. My name is John Connors and I am AWS Certified Solution Architect with over three years of experience architecting in AWS for full migrations, hybrid approaches, and one-off projects for big data, data archivals, websites, and some light application development. I hope you’ll find the information enlightening, exciting and where I can, inject some nerd funny. . .

What is the "Cloud"?

Let’s first start by defining “The Cloud” or “Cloud Computing” because it is a nebulous term. In most cases, Cloud Computing effectively describes a pool of resources or services that can be provisioned and made accessible over the internet. In almost all cases, the Cloud utilizes shared resources and relies on economies of scale to deliver these resources or services at a significantly reduced cost compared to direct purchase.

This is a really fancy way of saying that there are a bunch of servers in a datacenter somewhere in the world for you and anyone else to use.

Now, I should pause here and point out that there are effectively three types of Cloud: Private, Public and Hybrid.  The above describes the Public Cloud.

The Private Cloud is a form of Cloud Computing where the Cloud resources and services are dedicated to a single organization and correspondingly, all aspects of the design, maintenance, security and risk. As resources are dedicated, there are no shared costs and the economies of scale do not apply. 

The Hybrid Cloud is a mix of Private and Public Cloud resources.

So why are they talking about the Cloud?

The conversation about the Cloud is almost always centered around the Public Cloud and the strategic advantages that come with it: Viability, persistency, availability, diversity, functionality, and perhaps most importantly, Cost. With Cloud Computing, we can provision resources on an as needed basis with no upfront cost (out of pocket), no commitment to that resource beyond immediate use (5 minutes or 500), and because it’s the public cloud with economy of scale, the cost might be as low as .10 per hour!

This approach is demonstrably less expensive than the classic capital purchase for hardware/software/labor/complexity. IT departments can get their budgets approved by the bean counters who achieve cost-clarity to report to the C-level who just wants to say their company is in the Cloud. 

To underline how this dynamic is playing out in the market, take a look at the chart below that shows a significant migration of applications from on-premises datacenters to the Cloud.

cloud graph

c/o Gartner, 2016-2017 IaaS Adoption Trends

We are witnessing a collapse in capital investments in datacenter build outs with a corresponding increase in Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud investments. 

I suspect you are hearing so much about the Cloud because of the strategic and tactical advantages it brings their organizations, and when people make good decisions, they very much want the world to know…

In the next installment, I will be expanding on the advantages of the Cloud and how to leverage them in a business case for Cloud Adoption.

 

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John Connors, Director of Cloud Strategy