How To Decide If Building Cloud Works For You

If public cloud isn’t right for your organisation, building out your own capacity can be tempting. But if you can’t answer ‘yes’ to every one of these questions, you shouldn’t be constructing your own data centre for any private or hybrid cloud initiatives you’re planning.

Data centre picture from Shutterstock

These questions came up during a fantastically entertaining presentation by HP Cloud VP and cloud evangelist Margaret Dawson and Switch executive VP Mark Thiele at Data Center World in Las Vegas. If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to all of them, then building your own data centre doesn’t make sense.

  • Do you have the budget?
  • Do you have previous experience in data centre construction?
  • Can you match what’s on offer from existing providers?
  • Will the investment have a long enough lifespan to pay itself off?
  • Can you specify how a cloud-centric data centre will differ from your existing centres?
  • Are your planned workloads suitable for the cloud?
  • What business or technical challenge are you trying to solve?

Dawson pointed out that cloud often appears on executive buzzword lists even when it isn’t a logical choice: “If you’re running around the neighbourhood trying to work out what to use the cloud for, that’s the wrong approach,” she said. “The cloud is not just virtualisation on steroids.”

Not being able to build doesn’t mean a hybrid cloud strategy won’t make sense — merely that you’ll need to look at colocation for the non-public elements.

Lifehacker’s World Of Servers sees me travelling to conferences around Australia and around the globe in search of fresh insights into how server and infrastructure deployment is changing in the cloud era. This week, I’m in Las Vegas for Data Center World, looking at how the role of the data centre is changing and evolving.

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