After writing my first post I began reading around the internet, mostly “real user” blogs of those that have experienced the cloud first-hand and left and what I found was quite surprising, generally those leaving cited one or more of my original “topics” around the cloud: its cost, scalability/performance, security and uptime.
Some very interesting reads can be found at the following blogs/sites, notice the trend that many either left or moved due to cost, performance, security or uptime concerns:
Ran across Bryan on Twitter and it sounds like his company will be making a move back to in-house after issues with a cloud provider, would love to get more details on who/why.
These examples offer some good “real data” beyond the positive-rosey pictures the cloud providers paint of the real cloud experience and some of the things you should be aware of. I find it most interesting a lot of the posts focus on the “unknown” expenses of the cloud such as bandwidth/transfer fees, additional development/programmers time to re-write applications to embrace cloud concepts/technologies (especially when going to Amazon to really have a redundant/highly-available app across zones), ongoing monthly expenses and more.
We recently moved to an Enterprise Content Management system (ECM for short) from Xerox called DocuShare. We initially looked at cloud options in terms of ECM SaaS solutions, hosting the DocuShare instance in IaaS, the costs were outrageous. To put a 2 VM medium/large instance in Azure would have cost almost $2,000 per month, leading to around $24,000 worth of just hosting costs per year for my company, even after purchasing the software the solution will pay for itself in less than 1 year. Our ongoing maintenance costs are less than 3 months of Azure service.
Hopefully my posts have helped those of you considering a move to the cloud either for some apps/services or a full IaaS solution to sit down and really get into the data of what it costs you to provide this and what it costs a cloud provider to do this. Minus very specific instances (cloud SPAM filtering, short-term spikes, etc.) I have yet to see a cloud project in my company or in others provide cost-savings, better uptime and the full range of security/performance that in-house can provide. Some further great reading on this topic: