The often polarised arguments over the relative merits of on-premise hardware versus migration to the cloud have rumbled on for sometime – and hit high volume pitch with the latest publication of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Database Management Systems.
At face value, and in some cases, the cost of deployment of cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft’s Azure Database Management Suite (DBMS) can come in at a higher ticket price compared with legacy on premise hardware.
But, is that an argument against change? Not really – if you consider the range of short, mid and long term benefits to an organisation.
The initial changeover can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow. As with many tech investments, it will require upfront investment. Another term used to describe the phased kick-in of costs and benefits is ‘swallow the fish’ describing the shift from an asset purchase model to a subscription model.
Then, as the systems bed in, and with a proactive partner (such as InTWO) optimisation benefits will kick in. From the get-go, migrating to the cloud takes out the significant balance sheet cost of hardware as a major CAPEX item and enables pay-as-you-go costs: becoming an OPEX item.
Additionally, system efficiencies will also bring down comparative costs – including important factors such as indirect costs of personnel. If opting for a MSP solution, then in-house teams can deploy and focus software developers on innovations and enhancements, leaving systems administration to….yes, you’ve guessed it, systems administrators!
Drilling down on optimisation, Azure tools in the infrastructure enable analysis and calibration. These could include identification of capacity demands – such as seasonal trends, where the infrastructure is busy at certain months; allowing the system user to scale down or upscale when in need of extra performance.
Take, for instance, the insurance industry. Renewals peak in December; so there’s a critical pressure on the system infrastructure just for that period – compared with a steady state for the remaining months of the year.
Similarly, optimisation for high volume use during 9-5 weekdays will also provide smart use of resource and cost savings. Through diagnostics of both business and system needs, the appropriate virtual machine can be implemented. And through continuous monitoring and evaluation, other opportunities may arise – such as the offloading of static data.
Of course, when buying hardware you buy it at peak performance. This means you’ll overinvest. But, when moving infrastructure to the cloud, you access a solution that’s right for your business – and eliminate overspecification and overspending: case in point – the way a reservation discount is applied to Azure SQL Database. So, when Gartner reports that cost can be a factor, they are correct – but the whole lifecycle needs to be taken into account to get an accurate picture.
More than ever, as organisations deal with the ongoing pandemic – in which everyone’s incredibly reliant on the internet – with an eye on what’s coming after, using systems and people to best effect will require smart solutions. Cloud migration is a compelling answer to the needs of businesses seeking efficient, smart, and cost effective solutions in an increasingly competitive marketplace.