Stephen Lewis

Making the move to public cloud: where to start

Blog Post created by Stephen Lewis Employee on Nov 2, 2018


Whatever statistics you choose to look at, there is a wealth of evidence supporting the fact that most organisations are already operating in a multi-cloud environment. Whether it’s subscribing to SaaS services, utilising public file sync and share facilities or leveraging IaaS/PaaS services spin up dev/ops environments. It is also true that public cloud providers are starting to mature their offerings, providing a range of additional services to supplement the development of new “cloud native” applications. Yet, in parallel with this, most organisations are finding that their datacentres are increasingly complex, inflexible and therefore, ultimately, expensive to run.


At Hitachi Vantara our approach to helping customers evaluate the total cost of ownership for their existing infrastructure has shown that the initial costs of a new IT solution can now be as little as 20% of the cost of ownership over a five year period. It’s no wonder, then, that CIOs are looking very carefully at what else they can move into the public cloud.


When moving existing workloads into the public cloud, different strategies have a cost/effort implication as well as an associated benefit. Gartner outlines five strategies: rehosting, refactoring, rearchitecting, rebuilding and replacing. For instance, a simple lift and shift of the existing VM (Rehost) may deliver minimal benefits, and could actually cost more than the existing datacentre solution. This is because the VM has to be paid for on a daily basis, however it may only have a low utilisation during normal operating hours. On the other hand, rearchitecting the application to better utilise cloud functionality could massively increase efficiency, but there will be an up-front cost for the work involved in rearchitecting.


Typically, we have seen that just applying a rehosting strategy can see the costs of public cloud being as much as four times the cost of a new private cloud solution. And yet, in some cases it can still be more efficient to utilise public cloud.


So, where to start? Well, the question you really need to ask is “where are you starting from”?


Hitachi Vantara offers answers to both. With new Cloud Economics offerings, we now have a service that can help our customers to understand the costs per VM of their current environment enabling them to compare this to the cost of running that VM in a public cloud service. It can even compare these prices to a new private cloud environment – showing them the return on investment of their new solution. The tool also shows the current efficiency of each VM workload in terms of CPU and memory utilisation, allowing customers to better understand how to optimise their VM environment.


Ultimately, when making the move to public cloud it is important to have a picture of where your organisation is starting from. Having an initial benchmark to start off from will help you to understand the relative costs of the various options available, enabling you to thoroughly investigate potential for re-architecting, or even replacing, existing applications to suit a public cloud environment.


Is your organisation moving to public cloud? What are some of the biggest roadblocks your facing right now?