Over the course of the past few years I have had an increasing number of discussions with customers and prospects, who already have hosting infrastructure but are considering moving to a real IaaS solution based on a monthly subscription fee. In most cases these customers, who are often in the SaaS industry or offer professional IT services, are interested in moving from on premise or colocation to cloud (virtualized cloud solutions), usually a private cloud due to legal, security, or performance restrictions. The intention of this change is to reduce costs and free up time to focus on their core business.
Customers looking to make the move to the cloud usually either still have racks in the basement of their office, or infrastructure hosted in a data center where the customer rents one or more colocation racks. In both cases, it is possible to make a solid business case for the shift, even it means that the infrastructure needs to be moved from the office to a data center, or from one data center to another that offers hosted services.
To make a strategic move from colocation to cloud, it’s important to have a solid business case. What always surprises me is that the first version of the business case, often only accounts for the CAPEX of the hardware, the cost for rack space, and the cost for internet traffic. As I have learned from working with hundreds of companies, this isn’t enough. To draw up a fully developed business case you need to consider the following points:
Noted cloud analyst David Linthicum recently predicted that 2017 will be the year of the “great migration”. Enterprises will begin to migrate significantly more on-premise workloads than in previous years as they search for the right infrastructure solution to fit their business needs. We at LeaseWeb and WSM International agree with this prediction, having seen for ourselves a significant increase in inquiries about cloud migration, as well as the accompanying questions which arise when businesses begin to consider what it would actually take to make the switch.
While we recognize that migration can seem daunting, we have developed a comprehensive, and proven, approach to cloud migration based on 5 distinct phases.
As more and more organizations become familiar with the cloud, they are moving towards buying software as a services (SaaS) based on actual usage. In fact, it is predicted that SaaS will become the dominant software consumption model by 2018. According to Gartner, as this occurs the steep decline in maintenance fees will translate into a total revenue loss of up to 40% for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). This means that ISV’s priorities are shifting, leading to changes in their current operating models.
Having been in the software industry for many years, I have seen first-hand what it means to transform from a traditional license and maintenance fee model to a subscription based SaaS. Through numerous discussions with ISVs with regard to transforming their business, what I’ve found is that while there is no single right approach, there a few common themes that always arise. What follow are 7 strategic considerations to keep in mind.
1. Should I build my own cloud?
Building your own cloud means that you have to invest substantially in infrastructure and in developing new capabilities. If your business has the scale to build a cloud in a cost-efficient way, including access to the technology, budgets, and the skilled resources to maintain the infrastructure, it can definitely be an opportunity. However, if you lack the scale of a larger enterprise, building a cloud solution probably won’t provide a competitive advantage, so it’s worth outsourcing to a partner who can meet your current needs and scale with you as you grow. Read the rest of this entry »
Along with NetApp, we have hosted a round table discussion around “Data Privacy and Data Sovereignty: the challenges in the Cloud”.
Special guest speaker for the evening was Sheila FitzPatrick – Global Data Governance Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at NetApp.
Sheila is one of the world’s leading experts in data privacy laws and works closely with the US Government, Council of the European Union, country-specific data protection agencies in Europe, Asia/Pacific, and America, as well as, National Works Councils, European Works Councils and Law Enforcement Agencies. She provides expertise and hands-on experience in the areas of global data protection compliance, data sovereignty, cybersecurity regulations and obligations, legal issues associated with cloud computing and big data, data breach compliance and management, and records management.
Data privacy is one of the hottest topics in all industries across the globe. Understanding the critical diligence from a data privacy and sovereignty perspective (as opposed to security) will help mitigate the risks as you embark on a cloud journey.
We would like to thank to all the attendees for their valuable contribution to the discussion. Here is where you can read more about the outcome.
The report, Enter a new era of IT flexibility with hybrid cloud, is a concise guide to the technical aspects and business benefits of developing a hybrid cloud strategy. We’re pleased to offer this as an independent report of value to anyone with an interest in the topic.
As if cloud computing wasn’t confusing enough for business leaders the IT industry is now abuzz with the term “hybrid cloud”. The good news is when you understand the hybrid cloud concept the whole idea of “cloud” makes more sense as there is no such thing as IT and business service infrastructure operating in isolation.
Hybrid cloud, as most people see it, is a combination of public and private server and storage infrastructure, however, this view can be broadened to include public cloud, private cloud, content delivery networks and bare metal servers. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest blog written by Leon Horbach of high-end VR production company Scopic.
In a world that is more characterized by global connectivity than ever before, Cloud hosting providers such as LeaseWeb play vital roles. The seamless transportation of data, in combination with rock-solid security and innovative products, are key factors when making both the private and professional world working smoothly. It was therefore no coincidence that we (Scopic, a high-end virtual reality (VR) production company), teamed up with LeaseWeb in order to accomplish a riveting VR project.
VR is hot hot hot! As the technology is becoming widely available, we see more and more customers picking it up. For example, LeaseWeb recently teamed up with Hardwell – the world’s #1 DJ – and technology partners Littlstar and VBR to pull off the first 360-degree, VR live stream of an EDM performance.
Using our private cloud, CDN, and datacenters in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, the world’s #1 DJ was able to broadcast his show to thousands of viewers in more than 25 countries. LeaseWeb served over 20 Terabytes of total traffic and accommodated 12 gigabit bandwidth spikes.
So we sent a camera team was on-site at the Miami Beach stop of Hardwell’s Revealed tour. Check out the video below to see how it all came together! And afterwards, check our 360-degree tour of one of our data centers!
Because gaming companies have so many different performance and scalability requirements for online games, it’s impossible to create a one-size-fits-all infrastructure for them. Different platforms (mobile/tablet, PC and console) and different business models (Pay-to-Play, Free-to-Play, etc) mean that every gaming company has different needs when it comes to technology, scalability and performance. This is why LeaseWeb has a targeted approach towards the gaming industry and offers a full portfolio of tailored solutions in datacenters around the globe to customers including Ubisoft, Capcom, Crytek, Hi-Rez Studios and Creative Assembly. Our approach helps gaming companies balance risks and costs in order to capitalize quickly on a successful game.
Aanand Prasad, an engineer from Docker, spoke about Abstractions Over Scale and Docker’s open-source software suite at LeaseWeb’s TechSummit in Amsterdam:
We wanted to get a little more insight into how tools like these are affecting the traditional ways of scaling technology:
LeaseWeb: A lot of times you see a gap between the engineers who manage servers and the developers who write the code. Why do you think this issue continues to exist and what are the common problems people face trying to fit two different environments?
Aanand: I think the reason it persists is two-fold: firstly they are dramatically different environments and there are very different problems with completely different concerns, at least underneath. My quixotic endeavor is to make the case that they don’t need to be. Which is an uphill struggle, because usually the job of getting something running in production and the job of getting something running in development are done by completely different people, completely different teams even who might not spend much time talking to each other. It’s nonetheless my hope that with tools like Docker and with abstractions like containers and networks and volumes, we can get to the point where the differences between those environments are minimized.