Five Myths of Cloud Adoption

When confronted with complexity and uncertainty, we humans create myths to help us cope. This tendency has been evident from the time of the Greek epic poets to the present day, as writers who struggle with the complications of modern IT frequently respond with oversimplified myths about cloud technologies.

I work every day with companies that are navigating the fast-changing marketplace for cloud solutions. Here are the five misconceptions that they, and I, hear and read most often — along with the facts as understood by smart cloud adopters.

Myth #1: Moving to “the cloud” means moving everything to the public cloud.

The facts: Some providers offer only public cloud solutions so, not surprisingly, they argue that their one size fits all. The truth is that it is important to select the optimal platform for each application, so it can deliver what the enterprise needs in terms of cost, performance, reliability and security. In an enterprise application portfolio, one size does not fit all. For some applications, public cloud can be the most cost-effective platform. For other applications, it can be the most expensive.

The most successful cloud adopters seek out an experienced partner who can assess their business needs and plans and help them identify the right cloud platform for each workload. The best such partners have developed expertise across all the leading public and private cloud technologies, so that they can offer unbiased advice, rather than pushing solutions that serve their interests but not necessarily those of the customer.

Myth #2: Public cloud always delivers better performance at lower cost.

The facts: As I noted above, public cloud can offer significant savings versus legacy infrastructure, when used for the appropriate workloads. Private cloud can offer better economics for many other workloads. The experience of our customers, along with detailed analyses of pricing and usage patterns, shows that for many enterprise applications, private cloud as a service (PCaaS) can save 30 percent to 59 percent when compared to public-cloud options. PCaaS is an innovative method of delivering private cloud capabilities on demand, through cloud APIs, and with options for flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing. It thus combines many of the advantages of public cloud and private cloud. Its cost efficiencies can manifest themselves in both fixed-price and pay-as-you-go models.

[Read more: Understanding Rackspace Private Cloud as a Service]

Myth #3: The only way to get IT on demand is through the public cloud.

The facts: This statement was true for a while, but today Rackspace can deliver IT on demand with a private cloud or multiple clouds in a variety of configurations —on-premise or hosted, with annual or pay-as-you-go billing. With these configurations, central IT retains control over the enterprise architecture, ensuring the optimum mix of cost savings, performance, reliability and security, while making it easier to integrate applications and their data. This approach allows companies to avoid the duplication, expense, and security risks of having multiple departments running shadow-IT deployments across siloed public and internal clouds.

Myth #4: Enterprises with large data-center commitments and hardware investments will incur large write-offs if they move to the cloud.

The facts: By taking a balanced approach to cloud adoption, across public and private clouds and colocation, established companies can achieve immediate ROI while wringing the maximum value from their data center investments. Smart cloud adopters are partnering with managed service providers who can help them figure out which applications will run most cost-efficiently on which platforms in which facilities. Among the most attractive solutions for companies with data center commitments is to create private clouds as a service within those DCs, delivering modern cloud capabilities as a turn-key, fully managed service. This gives organizations the benefits of a cloud while delivering a great return on their data center investments.

Myth #5: Public cloud is where all the IT innovation is happening.

The facts: The major public cloud providers are indeed innovating rapidly, releasing new proprietary services and features on a daily basis. Still, more innovation comes from the open source community than from any one proprietary cloud provider. Taking a snapshot from recent filings, we can see that approximately two million developers work on open-source projects with an estimated R&D value of more than $400 billion, versus, as one example, 115,000 developers working for a large public cloud provider, on projects worth about $23 billion. Popular and powerful management systems for unstructured data and frameworks for big data, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things frameworks — all are available on a wide range of private and public clouds.

The bottom line is that smart cloud adopters are choosing the optimal platform for each of their applications based on facts, not myths. If you’d like to learn more about how leading companies are managing multiple clouds, and achieving the highest performance for the lowest cost, click to chat with a Rackspace expert. Rackspace is the world’s leading provider of modern IT as a service, with expertise across all the major private and public clouds, along with bare-metal servers and colocation. We pioneered the PCaaS market.

[Read more: How Private Cloud as a Service Enables a Successful Multi-Cloud Strategy]

The breadth of our service portfolio allows our experts to deliver unbiased advice, informed by 20 years of experience serving companies of all sizes, including a majority of the Fortune 100. Many of us like to read legends and myths in our spare time. But at work, we make it our business to puncture them.

As Executive Vice President, Private Clouds at Rackspace, Scott Crenshaw oversees the company’s global business unit focused on providing managed services for leading private clouds such as OpenStack and Microsoft. Prior to joining Rackspace, Scott was Senior Vice President, Products, at VeriSign, Inc., where he led the development of the company’s new products and services. Before Verisign, Scott served in executive positions at such companies as Red Hat, Inc., NTRU Cryptosystems, Inc., and Datawatch Corporation. At Red Hat, he was Vice President and General Manager of their Linux business unit, and Vice President and General Manger of their virtualization and cloud business unit. He was on the founding team of two startups. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Sloan Fellow.

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