“Hey! You! Get off of my Cloud”
I love the Stones. When you think about it, isn’t there a Mick and Keith composition for every occasion? Feeling a little jaded about something try, It’s Only Rock and Roll, time to celebrate, pop on Happy (plus it’s Keith on vocals which is always a nice change of pace), or if you’re a little down Start Me Up is always a good pick me up. Lately though, the Glimmer Twins little diddy about a lack of cloud space is becoming part of the rotation for some of our larger cloud providers.
I speak of course, about the recent defections of companies like Dropbox from their previous homes within the confines of services like AWS. In this particular instance, Dropbox determined that it was actually more cost effective for them to host their application themselves. In other words, they grew too big for the Cloud. This in itself is quite impressive since if the AWS cloud were real, and not metaphorical, “overcast” would be the regular forecast for a good piece of the globe. A situation to which the Stones may have asked, Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in the Shadow? Now Dropbox has not totally Shattered its ties with Amazon as evidenced by their recent decision to use AWS to expand their cloud presence in Germany but it does seem to indicate that no one’s cloud strategy can be considered permanent.
Before anyone starts going all “chicken little” and begins forecasting a decline in cloud utilization, let’s try and put things in perspective since, naturally, you’re probably asking yourself, “How does this affect me?” The first thing to remember is there is probably a tiny difference in scale between your corporate requirements and Dropbox. They support over 500 million customers and store petabytes of information. Your requirements are probably a little less. The key lesson to take away from Dropbox’s example is that your own cloud strategy should be multifaceted and continually evolving and not the metaphoric equivalent of Tumbling Dice.
Just like Dropbox, some corporate applications are too sensitive or important to reside anywhere but your own data center, but the Gimme Shelter requirements of others within the corporate domain can be addressed with a suitable cloud alternative. Shared public, bare metal/dedicated, hybrid and full private configurations provide you with a host of alternatives to support new or existing applications throughout their lifespans. Operating in concert with your data center, a multitude of cloud offerings enable you to migrate applications to more robust and secure platforms as elements such as their success, security considerations and scale dictate. In other words, when the boys were singing about Time is on My Side, they meant you.
Although I’m sure AWS wasn’t happy about Dropbox’s decision, Heartbreaker—the “do,do,do,do” part is my favorite—probably doesn’t aptly capture their situation since companies like Netflix have joined the fold in their stead. This is just another example, albeit on a larger scale, as to how the cloud and your data center can complement each other to provide you with more cost and resource effective alternatives to enhance your IT strategy. In other words, just as Mick, Keith, Bill, Charlie and Ronnie (along with Mick and Brian) might say, You Can’t Always Get What You Want segues nicely into Satisfaction.