Hey there, DK here.
Everything is relative, you know. I felt it after I attended full-blown MS Ignite and then went to a small community event called TechUnplugged in Amsterdam.
Microsoft’s marketing machine can sell a bottle of water to a drowning man, especially when it comes to the cloud. During Ignite I’ve heard a lot about how impressive and disruptive the cloud is. And you know what, I was sold. And I’m not even saying they are lying or anything, it is in fact very promising technology.
The things get worse when it comes to a real-world implementation.
Unlike Ignite, TechUnplugged is a small event that attracts IT pros to talk about their environments. Even their official hashtag is #RealWorldIT instead of #TechUnplugged or something else. And that’s what I heard from these people:
Actual businesses are not ready for the cloud.
So what are they promising us?
“You move your workloads to the cloud and forget about maintenance,” tells us %cloud_vendor_name%. Well, that is true until something breaks. If you have a problem in your on-premises datacenter, you send your team in, and it becomes their home for the days and nights until it’s fixed. If something happens to your cloud provider, you pick up the phone and find out that you are #3067 on the line for help.
You save the monies!
The first dose of drugs is always free. And Microsoft wants you to become a junky, so they let you try for free. Many people underestimate how much cloud will cost you. For example, you may think: “I wanna keep my backups in Azure, the storage is freakin’ cheap!”. And you’d be right. But then if you need to pull out one email that you’ve accidentally deleted, you have to download a full 600Gb backup which will take you 5 full days. “But I just can run a machine in Azure, start Veeam Explorer for Exchange and pull out that email!” you’ll say. Tru dat, but once you start using the compute, you also start seeing the Azure bill skyrocketing.
A lot of people are more willing to pay X amount of dollars every month, rather than invest in the costly appliances. But in the end, there’s no guarantee you’ll save by migrating.
You can migrate right now!
Some managers will go to their IT department and say “I’ve seen Azure/AWS/Whatever presentations, they are so cool, we need to migrate our infrastructure right now”. Well, not so fast, bro. The headcount is the third problem a real-world IT department will encounter. On-premises and cloud workloads are operated differently. The cloud specialists simply require a different skill-set than your current employees. Until there’s no common ground and consistency between those two, businesses will stay out of moving to the cloud. Azure Stack might be the way to go, but we’ll see about that in the future.
It is safe!
Azure and other cloud service providers claim that their infrastructures are much safer than any on-prem ones. And that is true; they are investing tons of money into security. But then my colleague Mike Resseler brought up a good point: If you wanna steal some good money, you wouldn’t rob individual people, you’ll go to the bank. If you wanna highjack private info, you wouldn’t be breaking individual companies’ networks; you’ll break into the cloud provider storing the data from thousands of companies. The providers should ensure businesses they can protect their customers’ data.
Instead of conclusion
After all, I’m not saying cloud is bad. There are a lot of ways companies can benefit from it. I’m just saying, businesses want to be confident in a number of things about the cloud before migrating. Is it cost-effective? Is it safe? How do I keep consistency between cloud and on-prem? Do I need to sacrifice anything?
From what I’ve seen so far, at least in a backup world, people prefer to use their local Veeam Cloud Connect providers rather than send their backups somewhere unknown. And by local I mean like 10 miles away, so if anything happens a support guy will literally drive to your datacenter with a box of USB 3 disks containing your backups and help you get everything back. None of AAA players can do that.
I don’t really think we can avoid the cloud in the future, even the nearest future. The next 5 years or so would be very interesting. “Time will decide for us”.