On-Premises Workloads Require Higher Staff Investment Than Cloud - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
News
5/18/2017
08:00 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

On-Premises Workloads Require Higher Staff Investment Than Cloud

Nemertes analyst says research shows lower cost for cloud for some types of workloads; results are less clear for predictable, steady-state apps.

In pre-show comments April 19, John Burke, analyst and CIO of Nemertes Research, said it wasn't clear yet from his data whether cloud operations could be judged to be lower cost than on-premise operations. The picture is coming together now.

John Burke, Nemertes
John Burke, Nemertes

Data is still being collected and the final analysis isn't done, but Burke said he has formulated a measure that's an indicator of predictable savings in the cloud. With an IT staff person as the unit of cost, the enterprise data center workload costs $23 per IT staffer compared to $18 of IT staff expense for a workload in the cloud, said Burke, in an Interop ITX session in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The session, Not as Simple as It Seems: Evaluating Cloud TCO, sought to supply a way of looking at cloud operations versus those in the enterprise data center. Burke said the picture is complex and made more so by cloud providers' penchant for charging in different ways for varied combinations of resources. Burke said in his session at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino that he still has a few more days of data gathering and interviews before reaching his full conclusions.

Burke said he is clear that workloads that experience extremes in traffic and therefore scalability needs, or workloads that are "transitory" are more economical to run in the cloud. Workloads that are more predictable or steady state may or may not be less expensive to run in the cloud, he said. The data in their cases is less clear.

Want to learn more about comping on –premises to cloud costs? See First American: Cloud Analysis Points to Savings.

He added IT staffs will save little money by lifting and shifting a workload into the cloud and attempting to duplicate its operational characteristics there. But if it's re-engineered or "refactored" to operate as a cloud application, savings are more likely to materialize. Refactoring in the cloud might mean using a cloud database service instead of setting up a database virtual server to run 24 X 7 to serve it.

The issue of cloud savings is difficult to get at because In some cases, IT managers being interviewed haven't established clear on-premises costs and don't know their full cloud costs. "In many companies, the cloud relationshisp is still a credit card swipe," Burke noted, and the credit card being used belongs to a line-of-business manager instead of an IT manager.

Another dichotomy is Nemertes Research's overall gauge of the movement to the cloud. By its estimate, nine percent of enterprise workloads have moved into infrastructure as a service at this point, with that number rising to 19% by the end of the year. The most successful users of the cloud, often large enterprises, already have 22% of their workloads there, due to rise to 32% by the end of the year.

In the future, more clear-cut savings "will be driven by cloud-native development and re-architecting solutions to use cloud services," he said. An application can be built on a cloud's platform-as-a-service to  be deployed into its infrastructure as a service. It can also be developed to use a NoSQL system as a service, such as Microsoft Azure's Cosmos or Amazon Web Services DynamoDB. Using such cloud services not only eliminates the need to set up your own NoSQL server in the cloud. It also eliminates much of the system administration and database administrator cost from the system's use.

"Don't expect to save money with the cloud unless you're willing to change what you're doing with the cloud – re-architect applications or develop cloud-native ones," he said.

Attempts to compare cloud costs to data center costs must also take into consideration a realistic appreciation of downtime. Many data centers experience one outage or more a year when their power is temporarily lost on their grid but they don't realistically include such events in their calculations.

Consider when a squirrel gets electrocuted running around a substation. "It tends to happen twice in July, when there's an electrical storm pending and the utility can't get the substation back up before your emergency power supply has run out," he noted.

 

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll