When it comes to the infrastructure we are living interesting times. Big cloud providers are fighting to get a piece of the cake and make it as big as possible by bolting additional services to it. The process of mergers and acquisitions has been going on for a number of years and now that BigTech is trying to corner the market we will see more consolidation.

We estimate the end result to be a handful of players trying to focus on specific areas and gain as much market share as possible. For example, IBM focuses on AI & NLP, Google on the distribution of the workload, AWS on classical VMs, MS Azure on applications developed using Microsoft technology and Oracle on Databases.

While focusing on specific areas is the long-term strategy, the short-term strategy is to offer an as wide as possible range of services for peanuts.

That also means that now is the time to have a good look at the cloud. Now it the time to get good “bang for the buck”. The migration cost will probably vary based on the type that is envisioned, but the return on investment should be measurable in months. Many of the current cloud providers don’t shy away from doing a long-term contract with fixed cloud costs for you. This enables you to make a full cost picture.

As always, there’s nothing new. We have seen the swings of the pendulum gong from “insourcing” to “outsourcing” and back. With Cloud, it looks like this pendulum is pointing to “outsourcing” again. Obviously, pricing is not as important as the market share is. But that is certainly not the only thing. With the arrival of infrastructure virtualization workloads are more and more converted to run in a structured environment, called containers, that can be set up and phased out easily.

The number of virtualization environments has dramatically increased over the last few years. This ranges from infrastructure with products like Terraform over container driven environments such as Kubernetes and Docker to fully virtualized environments such as Cloud Foundry.

Ubi quo Vadis

Although technologists seem to think that all things already run in their cloud containers, many people have not even considered switching to the cloud. Migrating tasks into containers feels like a good next step but determining the direction is perceived as daunting. By carefully investigating what is currently in place and using this information to set up a transition plan and putting a clear time frame on it, will ensure the cloud migration success.

Many businesses focus on the cloud as a cost saver. Although one of the key features of the cloud is that you pay for what you use, the cloud is not cheap. That doesn’t mean there is a potential of cost savings but once the resources grow, you’ll end up paying accordingly. In contrast, hosting the infrastructure and maintaining it yourself it’s not only time consuming but it will also cost you. None of these scales well if you are not running at least a few dozen instances.

As the cloud infrastructure is set up to stretch and protect, your web application is protected by machines that would be too costly to be set up for your private use. Furthermore, your application is automatically build to scale and when containerized automatically comes with a form of built-in redundancy.

Add to this that once you have virtualized your workload you could even pick your cloud provider based on your needs.

The cloud providers offer a default setup and they also ensure the maintenance of the whole setup; so choosing from a diverse set of cloud offerings is a wise decision to take.

Hybrid, multi, et alia

If you think that this is the end of the line, think again. At this point, cloud providers are trying to win you over by making your choice of cloud provider simpler. They do this by providing tools sets that are cloud provider independent. It should be as easy to run your workload on AWS as it is to push it to the IBM Cloud. Even your current hardware infrastructure can be turned into a cloud setup that can be managed by the same tool. So you could decide to keep on running your workload on your own infrastructure.

From a technological perspective, it is nice to see all of these things starting to play together. You could use the best provider for the job and mix and match the other things in wherever you see fit. You no longer need expensive consultants to make sure that everything is working smoothly since you are buying these parts as a service.

The bottom line

With the current cloud offering, we have come a long way. It started out with some simple services and has grown to a full-blown service portfolio that will meet and exceed most expectations. Now is the time to take the next step and see which benefits the cloud offerings bring for you.

Nexperteam is there to assist you in describing and inventorying your infrastructure, see what it will cost to bring your workload to the cloud, plan the migration and execute it for you.