The Promise of the Cloud

Two months ago at Rackspace::Solve Atlanta, I joined my colleagues, representing some of the top technology companies in the world, who like Thru, each solved problems using Rackspace as a managed cloud provider — we shared a beer or two as well. During my speaking session, I explained how Thru delivers “The Promise of the Cloud” to enable businesses like Visa easily exchange and manage massive amounts of content and files on the cloud globally, just as safely as on-premises.

I chose to debate the deltas of cloud versus on-premises based on the widely-accepted false assumption that premises-installed technology solutions are more secure and affordable than cloud solutions. Based on my 25+ years of experience delivering every flavor of deployment model, I shared with the audience the theory I call “The Promise of the Cloud” that consists of today’s must-haves you should consider when choosing a cloud provider.

But before I explain them, let’s look back at the early days of cloud migration for you to understand how these tenets were formed.


The Early Days of Cloud Migration

The migration to the cloud, now over 15 years old, went whacky around 2002. It is no coincidence Thru was founded at this time. In 2000, only 25% of the developed world used the net — by 2014 it was up to 77%. The practicality of delivering software solutions over the net hit home around 2006 with increased last-mile bandwidth speed but the true economic advantage of the cloud was yet to come. Moore’s law kicked in and hard disc densities coupled with virtual computing finally created the underpinning of scale at a reasonable cost. Concurrently, data center consolidation was rampant and the excessive bad debts of the early 2Ks were finally washed out. These factors, combined with massive software development trend leveraging the amazing power of relational databases, helped to deliver the reality of true multi-tenant applications supported by infinite scale infrastructures.

Overnight, things changed and new standards were defined &mdash what I call “The Promise of the Cloud”.

Today’s Must-Haves

  1. Cost Savings
    Cost models change daily and cloud providers react with new pricing models and customer benefits. The ROI for cloud is never realized on day one. When you factor the cost of upfront investments, i.e. housing an on-premises based install versus the subscription-based cost model of the cloud, the full economic benefits of migrating to cloud becomes clear. Inevitably, companies will run everything from the cloud very soon to realize full ROI, leaving nothing to on-premises.
  2. Infinite Scale
    Multi-tenant scale in the database, disc density and virtual computing are just part of infinite scale. Well-designed software must be given credit. We have rewritten Thru from the ground up three times to improvise. Each time we overcame scale issues in infrastructure and the administration of massive numbers of users of the system. Virtual environments have significantly improved with our partners such as VMware. Issues such as disaster recovery bottle necks have been eliminated, which is comparable to a crank well pump versus indoor plumbing. Just turn on the spigot.
  3. Fastest to Market
    The next must-have hardly needs explaining, just buy and implement. Servers and humming databases are standing at attention 24×7. Disc drives are waiting to accept mass data with open arms, like a cloud martini waiting for you at the end of a long day — just a warm, comforting feeling.
  4. Now Safe
    At Rackspace::Solve, I added “Now Safe” as a fourth tenet to the Promise. It has taken some time, but a mature security model is based on years of experience developing new hardened architectures and software frameworks coupled with partners like Microsoft improving their operating systems. In light of the false assumption that the cloud is unsecure, evidence today points to the fact that on-premises deployments undergo more breaches than the cloud. Leigh McMullen, Managing VP at Gartner, said, “The cloud is inescapable and it should be your default choice.” Since virtually all modern software is migrating to the cloud deployment model, now is the time for IT leaders to learn which vendors offer truly enterprise-grade solutions to make the best choice. In my next post, I will address the non-negotiables of an enterprise cloud vendor to set you up for success.

Therefore, “The Promise of the Cloud” has come to fruition with cost savings, infinite scalability, quick market implementation and, perhaps most importantly, security. This will enable businesses the ability to manage massive amounts of data from any global location as safely as traditional on-premises solutions.

Scroll to Top