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By Justin Giardina, Chief Technology Officer, iland Internet Solutions
There was a time when cloud was about getting the fastest access to infrastructure resources. IT, and its shadow, did not hesitate to enter in their credit card numbers and spin up new environments in the hope of getting everything they’d been promised: more agility, easy scalability and reduced costs. And vendors did not hesitate to jump in on the action, leaving no shortage of cloud infrastructure options.
“An infrastructure provider should support more than just Internet connectivity and VPN, including technologies such as MPLS and OTV”
The reality, however, is that far too many cloud customers continue to struggle to achieve the returns they expected. The market is polluted by the myth of commodity cloud and messages about pricing wars and robust supporting eco systems. Companies are quickly realizing that these raw, big box cloud infrastructures suck up huge overhead as they force teams to navigate through the disparate add-on technologies that are required to satisfy their specific business needs. Failure rates are staggering, as reflected in Enterprise Management Associates recent report, “Casualties of Cloud Wars: Customers are Paying the Price.”
As a result, the market is seeing IaaS vendors starting to amend their approach to enterprise cloud with more ecosystem extensions and consulting and support services that are offered at a premium. Some providers are far ahead of others, offering more native integrations that remove major hurdles for customers.
IT and business leaders must also rethink their cloud strategies, including their methodology and criteria for choosing an infrastructure provider. There are several areas of functionality and support that teams should seriously evaluate as they begin to evolve their cloud initiatives in 2015:
Transparency: IT administrators do not want to – and cannot afford to – give up any of the visibility or control they are accustomed to getting from their local data centers. Companies continue to be surprised by unexpected cloud costs, downtime and other issues because they do not have easy access to detailed or meaningful cost, performance and usage metrics. Most public clouds offer extremely limited transparency or overwhelm users with too much complex data that is difficult to analyze. Many a times companies are left to buy additional tools or hire a third party consultant to make sense of it all. Nobody buys a car without first taking a test drive, and it should be no dif- ferent in cloud. When choosing a cloud infrastructure, customers should always request a demonstration of the native management tools to