How to avoid the Four Cloud Infrastructure Mistakes Companies Make

Cloud infrastructure as a service will exceed traditional Data Center outsourcing spend in India during 2017 and spending will total $677 million this year, according to Gartner, Inc.

We concur with this forecast, seeing the number of existing customers running mission critical applications like, main stream Core Banking Applications, ERPs, etc. on the Netdatavault Enterprise Grade CloudFactory, powered by the HP Matrix Operating Environment. Even more surprising is the number of new prospects who have approached us in the last 6-8 months, being referred to, by our existing customers. This clearly shows that cloud adoption is on the rise and will surpass traditional Data Center spending

Based on our interaction with existing customers and new prospects, we have been able to identify a unique trend in terms of the mistakes made by start-ups and established businesses alike, when it comes to adopting the Cloud and would like to ensure that your Company is not the next one to fall prey to these pitfalls.

The Four Mistakes

End up in a Cloud Mouse Trap

Get deluded by “Big Names” and “Tailored Solutions”

Overlooking Skills and Expertise

We will tell you the last mistake at the end.

Enter the Cloud Mouse Trap

This is something we came across at every start-up event (NASSCOM10000, ASE, ETPOI, etc) and see it happening repeatedly. Hyperscale Cloud Providers offer Start-ups and Enterprises, as part of a well thought out strategy, a US$ 100K-150K credit to setup their infrastructure on their Cloud platform. It’s all rosy and great for the start-up to get infrastructure for free, supported by a big name in the business. But, then there are no free lunches. How fast the start-up consumes its credits depends on the start-up in question and while they start at a pace of $5K-$10K per month initially, with growth in the business their cloud spend could end up at $50K – $80K per month. And before they realise, they are out of credit and get reprimanded by their investors for Cloud infrastructure becoming their biggest cost driver. Now the start-ups scurry and scramble trying to optimise workloads, reorganizing instance type and killing utilised instances or resources. finally settling for a tightly squeezed $50K or higher spend that is continuously growing.

Going forward, with growth in business, comes growth in infrastructure cost that does not justify its self anymore and there is not much scope for any further optimization that is left.

A typical example is of a customer who was looking for Azure alternatives and AWS alternatives, migrated to the NDV CloudFactory from the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform as he had no visibility on the monthly bill he would end up with and was required to invest in additional hardware and software for getting VPN access to his servers. They had signed up for a typical server to be billed at approx. INR 15,000 per month and would get monthly bills in excess of INR 24,000 based on one peak that happened for a few hours during the month. Also the learning curve was said to be “insanely crazy” in the words of this customer and required reliance on a partner that could manage the setup and running for them, which led to additional cost. Needless to mention these Cloud platforms are so sticky that it’s not easy to migrate out of them.

Don’t get me wrong when I say “sticky” as the stickiness comes from these platforms also being very sexy and addictive, just has been windows for decades. You get hooked on to the platform, build skills and resources around usingit and it can get fabulously daunting and expensive to migrate. This results in rising costs rather than them being driven down as the infrastructure grows.

The secret sauce of these platforms is the resistance people have migrating out, despite mounting costs as users can’t think of infrastructure without these platforms.

The learning or the take away here was to opt for a balanced mix of self-owned infrastructure (in a colocation) and Cloud as migrating when you need burstability to cloud is easier than vice versa. So, a hybrid or multi cloud strategy cloud be the way out of this mouse trap.

“Organizations that adopt hybrid infrastructure will optimize costs and increase efficiency. However, it increases the complexity of selecting the right toolset to deliver end-to-end services in a multi-sourced environment.” Pointed out DD Mishra, research director at Gartner.

For internet companies, whose revenues depend on services / products delivered over the internet it can be imperative to run hybrid/ multi cloud environments in order to control cost and still be able to deliver a great end user experience.

How Can you avoid the Cloud Mouse Trap?

You want to select a provider that can offer you hybrid infrastructure and more so one that allows you to Bring your own hardware, allowing you to combine your existing hardware with dedicated servers and cloud servers leased from the service provider, thereby allowing you to get complete ROI on your investments.

You only need to lease the colocation space for your hardware and move applications that need bursting to the Cloud or migrate from owned hardware to the Cloud when your business is ready for it. You will agree that a one-time investment on hardware is far lower in cost as compared to always running everything on Cloud. Look for a provider who can also offer you CDN (Content Delivery Network) services, especially if you are a SaaS or internet company, as performance and quality of experience becomes a key ask and is always better served from Dedicated/Hybrid infrastructure.

Evaluate the providers billing options and select ones that offer flat monthly rates and don’t charge you based on a single peak or spike in compute utilization to avoid unexpected bills at the end of the month.

Get deluded by “Big Names” and “Tailored Solutions”

Technologist and engineers love new technology and tools, and even more when they come from a trusted big name offering a tailored solution and industry leading use case. Many times, we engineers just want to get hold of new technology because we are bored of the mundane tools that we have been using or just because it’s the new fad everyone is talking about. You need to remember that the new set of tools or features that you want to get your hands on, that look to be a solution to your problem or just make it more convenient for you to carry out your daily activities might be performing best given the conditions that existed during showcasing of the use case. You might not have the same inputs, outputs and environments and might not get the same result.

Tailored solutions can seem to be very well deserved but might inhibit agility and flexibility. “As the demand for agility and flexibility grows, organizations will shift toward more industrialized, less-tailored options,” says DD Mishra, research director at Gartner.

How not to get deluded?

What you need to ensure is that when it comes to selecting a VPS or cloud platform go for simplicity and chose less complex platforms that meet your requirements, be vary of the bells and whistles. Ensure that the learning curve is minimal and you don’t need to take courses to learn to use the platform or hire companies to run them for you!

Overlooking Skills and Expertise

According to The Next Web, which reported on some of the biggest issues facing cloud computing, the right expertise is often “difficult – and expensive – to find. You don’t want to end up hiring popular cloud platform architects that are actually, only, people who know how to use the platform and are expensive for that reason.

What do you actually need?

You want to invest in an infrastructure specialist, early on in your start-up or if you are a company that is considering physical to virtual migration. Look for resources who have run infrastructure before and all the better if you can get hold of guys who can run and manage hybrid environments as moving steady-state workloads to the cloud only leads to your cloud bills running into absurd amounts. You want to move only burstable workloads to the Cloud. Look for data centers in India who can deliver and manage the hybrid solution for you, if you can’t find the right resources yourself.

And now for the last mistake… Not Contacting NetDataVault!

We are NOT telling you this to brag by any means. The intention is just demonstrating our ability to help you.

Don’t take our word for it and feel free to talk to our customers. NetDatavault is a popular choice for Start-ups in the Fintech, Cloud and eCommerce space. We also boast of enterprise customers in the BFSI, NBFC, IT/ITeS and Manufacturing sectors as we guarantee the following:

Vendor agnostic Cloud Platform: Concerns with respect to over-dependence on vendors and vendor lock-in are a thing of the past. You have the complete freedom of moving workloads to and from the NDV Cloud as per your needs and convenience.

Access to latest technology: Constant investment in feature enhancements and maturity of its ANSI/ TIA-942, Tier-3 certified infrastructure, (Tier-3 Data Center in India) multi-environment operating system, pay per use and hardware vendor neutral policies have made NetDataVault the clear choice instilling trust and recognition among enterprises today.

Skills, scalability and savings: Skilled to support any operating environment, be it Microsoft or Linux the NetDataVault team supports its customers with wider integration, scope of applications, scale and maturity of solutions thus bringing savings on license costs, etc.

High availability: NetDataVault offers industry leading SLAs which have been designed to meet the requirements of organizations like yours and wherever required these can be customized to meet your expectations completely.

Faster Learning curve: Learn to use the platform in a few hours and not months. No need to hire sophisticated resources for running the platform. In person support is available 24/7