There are deep-rooted misconceptions about what the cloud is and where it is headed. This article corrects some of these common misconceptions.
Misconception No. 1: The Cloud Is A Place In The Sky
Most people associate the word “cloud” with the services provided by public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, but actually, this is not the case. The best way to think about the cloud is as an experience. It can be from the public cloud or from private clouds in your own data center or a hosted data center. The cloud experience includes:
• Elimination of IT staff for infrastructure management
• Paying only for what you use
• Multiclient support
Misconception No. 2: Public Clouds Are For Modern Workloads; Private Clouds Are For Legacy Workloads
Customers are running modern workloads on both public and private clouds today. Some modern workloads are better in private clouds, and some better in public clouds.
From personal analysis and confirmed elsewhere, I know that predictable workloads, whose infrastructure needs are well understood, are cheaper to run on private clouds than public clouds. The economics have not changed much over the two years I have been doing this analysis. Additionally, laws or corporate policies that require enterprise data to be in certain locations may make private cloud the only choice.
On the other hand, if the workload is dynamic and elasticity is important, the public cloud is superior. Also, if developers need to rapidly integrate voice recognition, natural language processing or other such services, the public cloud is the better choice. Finally, the public cloud is the fastest way to launch a new project.
The notion that most workloads will eventually migrate to the public cloud is incorrect. If this were true, we would not see public cloud vendors get into the private cloud business, as Microsoft is doing with Azure Stack or IBM is with IBM Cloud Private.
Misconception No. 3: Public Clouds Are Adding Capability So Fast That Private Clouds Will Be Left Behind
Private clouds have also evolved rapidly in recent years. They are easy to use, cost-effective, often come in appliance form and reduce or eliminate the need for the customer to manage infrastructure and support capabilities such as platform as a service (PaaS) and serverless that were first associated with public clouds.
There is no question that public clouds are adding new services faster than private clouds. AWS, the public cloud leader, introduced 1,300 new features in 2017, or 3.5 new features a day! However, it is also well documented that 85% of AWS public cloud revenue comes from fewer than five of these services, out of the thousands available. It is my view that these popular services will always be available on private clouds.
One of the most popular new features that AWS introduced to benefit developers is a new way of programming called serverless — AWS Lambda.