There are plenty of benefits from moving suitable workloads to public cloud: flexibility, scalability, availability and resilience among them. Reducing CapEx and OpEx should be right up there too. However, unless you carefully assess the true costs of on-premises or private cloud infrastructure, cost savings might not be immediately apparent.
Here are three important considerations in building a positive business case for migration.
1. TCO of legacy infrastructure
Calculating total cost of ownership over, say, three years, is a complex process. Just comparing the costs of owning compute and storage equipment versus renting it on a pay-for-use basis is deceptive. One common mistake is not considering the ’soft’ costs around operating a datacentre environment.
To get an accurate assessment of what it really costs to own your own infrastructure you must consider not just the physical hardware but the electricity that runs and cools it, the real estate it occupies. Add in the costs of the infrastructure containing it – racks, UPS, cabling and cooling systems. Backup is another considerable cost – storage arrays, tape systems and off-site tape storage. And then there’s the cost of maintenance contracts on all of the above… And that’s before you start estimating the human cost of ICT operations.
Another hard-to-calculate factor is the true cost of downtime. The fact is, many organisations never recover lost data or revenues from system failure – not to mention brand reputation. Azure provides built-in resiliency and back-up systems which effectively take system failures out of the equation – offering significantly better Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) than you could afford to build into your own on-premises infrastructure.
2. The human cost of operations
Too many IT teams put significantly more effort into keeping their legacy technology working than on innovating for business advantage. Offloading the effort to specialists who can expertly manage a public cloud environment like Azure makes good commercial sense.
There has been a massive shift to the cloud over the past decade. Virtual Machines (VMs) are now losing favour with technologies including PaaS, containers and native web services giving you the ability to not have to patch or update systems – it’s all done by your cloud service provider.
This results in less time spent provisioning, configuring, monitoring and management effort required of your people. Research suggests that IT staff spend around 80% of their time doing these mundane tasks. This means moving from a tactical to a strategic approach and – importantly – a focus on new initiatives offering competitive difference.
3. Leverage your software investment
One advantage of the Azure public cloud is that you can take advantage of investments you’ve already made in on-prem software such as the Windows Operating System, Windows Server and SQL Server. Public clouds typically charge for compute power plus use of software licences per minute. However, if you have already paid for eligible Software Assurance benefits under your current licensing agreement, you can apply Azure Hybrid Use Benefits (AHUB) to your virtual machines and some database services. This means you can reduce the operating cost of a VM by not having to pay for the licenses.
Further savings can also be made by implementing Reserved Instances. You can reduce the overall running cost of a virtual machine or storage account, but committing to either a one-year or three-year reservation of that compute or storage capacity. This coupled with AHUB could see an overall reduction of 82% in running costs of a VM.
How we help
Having managed Australia’s largest private cloud for over a decade – and with extensive experience of public cloud environments – we’re well placed to assist you. From business case development to ongoing cloud management services, our cloud experts have the deep experience necessary for you to experience the full benefits of cloud.
We’ve developed rigorous methodologies for every phase of cloud migration – from assessments of the resources you want to move and strategies for achieving migration through to post-migration audits and optimisation services.
If you’d like to understand how our Cloud and Managed Services experts can help you with a no-obligation, complimentary Readiness Assessment and an Azure Cloud Strategy and Roadmap, visit our website.
Public Cloud Product Marketing Manager
Leon heads up the strategy and development of Interactive’s Public Cloud offerings. Having lived and breathed the Australian IT industry for over 15 years, he’s held sales, service and technical roles on both sides of the cloud channel. Leon is intimately familiar with the challenge’s businesses face when it comes to cost optimisation, productivity improvements and increasing operational efficiencies. This customer focus is always the starting point as he develops repeatable, scalable, and cost-effective solutions to help businesses meet the full potential of their hybrid, public or multi-cloud environments.