After being a buzzword widely used, many are now widely using the Cloud! In almost every domain, there are many Cloud-based applications penetrating our daily life. This article aims to review several drivers of the Cloud adoption. We will also detail the main Cloud infrastructure and its business models. The purpose is not to elaborate on the technology but to understand how and why the cloud is becoming more and more successful.
We can classify into four main categories the reasons to migrate to the Cloud:
- The technical reasons. All you need is an IP connection! Working 24x7x365, the cloud is available almost from everywhere & every time for everyone. Also, the cloud provides a flexible path to scale up and down at every moment the required number of resources. The operational teams used to size their infrastructure based on the marketing predictions which lead to oversize (waste of €€€) or to a lack of resources (not monetising correctly your service.
- Related to the previous technical behaviour (just the right resources at the right time), the cloud enables de deliver the requested infrastructure and enable cloud users to take more risks in their business. Indeed, it reduces the economic impact if your service isn’t successful thank to the business models.
- From the 2 above items, the cloud is eco-friendly as it just uses resources when required. With Quortex solution (you knew I had to go there ;-), there is Zero CO2 emitted when there are no active OTT players thanks to its Pull mode technology. The Cloud capacity is mutualised between a number of users which induces huge electrical savings.
Of course, we can develop many other reasons and we just want to jump into the various Clouds architecture, which offer thanks to their variety a prefect match to the various topology.
This following section helps understanding the migration mechanism towards the cloud(s).
- We are already familiar with the first one: the private Cloud is 100% dedicated to a single company which can share its capacity as a self-service within the various departments. The IT department can dynamically allocate the resources, managed the data access and its security.
- The public Cloud offers exactly the same services than the private cloud. These services are supported by third parties (AWS, Azure, GCP, OVH…) through several business models, mostly based on consumptions of a tryptic CPU cycle, storage & bandwidth.
- The third alternative is the hybrid Cloud which is a mix of the private and the public. Most of the time, companies start with their own private Cloud and migrate smoothly to the Public for scalability purposes. The technical environment is perfectly similar between both Clouds to ease transitioning from one to the other. Some appreciates the hybrid Clouds as it enables companies to insource their Cloud whenever they want, so they feel keeping full control.
About the business, here again, the Cloud is a game changer introducing a Pay-Per-Use models. Agree with you, you need to get your driving license to correctly use the right acronyms : PaaS, SaaS, PAYG, PaaS…. Let’s try to distinguish the most popular ones :
- Infrastructure-As-A-Service, aka IaaS relies on providing all physical layers (racking, wiring, servers, etc…). Infrastructure providers (eg AWS, Google Cloud, OVH…) offer as a service VM & storage capacity and people can operate through many APIs so they can start, pause, resume, stop their operations.
- Another famous model is known as Platform-As-A-Service (or PaaS) which worldwide turnover exceed by far 100 billion USD with giants like SalesForce. The PaaS is going one step further as it provides the SW also most of the time hosted in their own data centres. Customers access to the PaaS either using APIs, a web portal or a specific gateway.
- A third common model, SW-As-A-Service (or SaaS). Microsoft replaced its traditional CAPEX on the Office Pack by their Office365. Users are paying on a monthly fee.
In essence, all these models enable companies to just focus on their applications. There is no more investment in the HW which helps to only focus forces on your core business. Innovations and creativity are superior. To illustrate Airlines Companies don’t own their fleet and their core business is to sell tickets, bring passengers from city A to B.
As a matter of fact, Cloud industry has developed multiple ways to ease the migration from legacy infrastructure to the adequate clouds (private, public & hybrid), lowering the technical risks, improving the reliability and the security. Financially, companies discover simple means to avoid wasting CAPEX and increasing treasury. No more pressure to replace every 3 years all the infrastructure that became obsolete. Once companies have understood that the Cloud is an incredible opportunity to lower the time to market whilst reducing investment, it is a matter of time to find the most adequate path.