#cloudchat Recap: Keeping IT In-House in a Cloud-Based World

As the cloud continues to be a popular destination for IT workloads, we wanted to find out how people felt about keeping IT in-house in our latest Twitter #cloudchat. Does the in-house IT data center still make sense in today’s world?

Rackspace Azure evangelist Kent Kingery and our AWS evangelist Eric Johnson joined an array of cloud and IT experts that included GreatHorn CEO Kevin O’Brien, Intermedia’s Nicole Scalese, Bluelock’s Diana Nolting and GovCloud Network’s Kevin Jackson to discuss this topic. The group discussed the following questions:

  1. What role do you see in-house infrastructure like a data center playing in the future?
  2. How are organizations managing the public-private-hybrid cloud decision?
  3. What are some of the ways you’ve seen organizations balance in-house and off-premises deployments?
  4. When does on-premises make sense?

While many of the panelists said they see the writing on the wall and that more IT workloads will be handled off-premises, there was a disagreement at how fast the shift would happen. Diana Nolting believed the need for on-premises data centers would remain, but that it would likely be for “niche/cultural” reasons.

Racker Kent Kingery said he felt the reason for keeping on-premises environments would be due to “control rather than technology advantage.” But later in the conversation, he said he felt that security and threat prevention is better in the cloud, and that much of that fear, uncertainty and doubt wouldn’t hold up in the future.

But just as a lot of legacy applications and data are stored on mainframes, veteran industry analyst Jack Gold said he felt the transition from on-premises environments would be extremely slow. Though he did point out that computation will be done in a more distributed manner in the future.

While some participants believed that on-premises environments may make sense for legacy applications, we asked the panelists to look at some future use cases for on-prem infrastructure. Racker Eric Johnson didn’t see too many avenues, pointing out that “data sovereignty and development” made up the bulk of it.

Nick Gonzalez of Vera pointed out that it may also make sense in the developing world where network connectivity is slow or unreliable. He also said he foresees on-prem environments for those companies with massive scale — such as Facebook, Apple or Google — that use computational power few of us could ever imagine.

But Kent Kingery threw in an important point when it came to on-prem infrastructure, noting that “on-premises doesn’t necessarily mean ‘your premises.’” With private cloud or even a traditional managed hosting setup, you can have that same on-site data center experience, even if it’s located in a separate facility. Furthermore, with technology like OpenStack or even Azure Stack, you could have some of those machines physically on site but managed by a third party such as Rackspace.

If you’re curious about some of the other answers we saw in the chat, be sure to explore our Twitter Moment below. Our next #cloudchat will happen on Thursday, August 10 at 11:00 a.m. Central, and we’ll be asking “What does IT Transformation mean to you?” Hope to see you there!

Garrett Heath develops content and supports customers on the Rackspace Social Media team. His previous experience includes technical project management in the cloud, content marketing and social media marketing. He enjoys writing about how the cloud is spurring innovation and telling stories about the people behind the tech. You can also read his work at MarketingBytes.io. In his free time, Garrett writes about food and local San Antonio culture at SA Flavor.

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