Multi-Cloud Purchases Driven by Price - Not Performance
August 25, 2016

Eric Senunas
Turbonomic

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Despite organizations pursuing multi-cloud strategies to ensure business continuity, resilience and performance, research conducted by Turbonomic and Verizon found that cloud purchasing decisions are still almost entirely focused on pricing.

In a survey of 1,821 IT decision makers, the most important business drivers for adoption of multi-cloud included the:

■ need to ensure business continuity across multiple sites (77 percent of respondents)

■ need to increase resilience (74 percent)

■ need to reduce operational expenditure (70 percent)

■ need to reduce capital expenditure (69 percent)

However, when selecting multi-cloud vendors, economic considerations take over: 70 percent chose pricing as a primary consideration, while only 51 percent chose service level agreements or quality of service. Compliance, service and support, and data sovereignty were all reported by less than half of respondents. With all of these considerations, major factors in ensuring business continuity, resilience and consistent performance, organizations’ purchasing priorities do not support their business needs.

“Cost is, quite rightly, a significant business concern. Yet cloud success depends on much more than pricing,” said Charles Crouchman, CTO, Turbonomic. “For example, an inexpensive car may not be an economic choice if it guzzles fuel and needs constant servicing and repair. Similarly, multi-cloud success relies on factors such as quality of service, compliance and support to reduce costs – far more than price alone.”

“Moving to the cloud isn’t a silver bullet that will automatically meet all of a business’s needs,” Crouchman continued. “Indeed, businesses likely will not completely abandon on-premises infrastructure for the public cloud, and will also likely have different vendors for those resources. Whether the ultimate goal is improved resiliency, or the best performance at the best cost, such a multi-cloud still needs to be managed properly to be successful. Without this, organizations will be entirely dependent on their cloud vendors to ensure they receive the service they need.”

Respondents identified a significant number of management challenges with multi-cloud. Over 80 percent of organizations cited 12 different management challenges that they were facing. These included:

■ balancing performance and cost (90 percent of respondents)

■ delivering IT services on a budget (89 percent)

■ ensuring consistent application performance (86 percent)

■ adhering to Service Level Agreement and Quality of Service commitments (86 percent)

In fact, 85 percent of organizations see having the skills in-house to manage the cloud as a challenge in itself.

“Only solving one or two challenges is not enough: organizations need to ensure they can overcome all the obstacles they face,” Crouchman argued. “However, without the right skills in place, solving these challenges will be a near-impossible task. The ideal multi-cloud environment should act as an autonomic system: regulating processes and resources in response to changes in the environment, with no manual intervention necessary to ensure that the system itself is always performing in the most effective and economic manner possible. The less enterprises have to do to manage their multi-cloud directly, the more they can focus on ensuring business drivers are satisfied.”

When actually comparing offerings from different cloud vendors, organizations’ biggest differentiators were security (67 percent of respondents) and performance (60 percent).

However, it’s not clear that enterprises are confident they are choosing the correct vendors. 81 percent of respondents said that choosing which workloads to place in which clouds was challenging; while 84 and 85 percent respectively cited evaluating different cloud vendors to meet business and technical requirements. This is another area where a more autonomic approach, where the tradeoffs between cost, performance, quality of service and budget discipline could greatly help businesses.

The research also showed that many organizations do not see the public cloud completely replacing private data center infrastructure. 45 percent of respondents said that public cloud would never completely replace private data centers, while 34 percent said there would be no change until the next decade at the earliest.

Eric Senunas is VP of Marketing at Turbonomic.

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