Real Flexibility: Plugging (and Unplugging) the Cloud

Now adays, moving to the cloud is simply not an aspiration. It’s an expectation, particularly since more and more enterprises and agencies have come to adopt the cloud as an integral part of their digital presence. To no surprise, they are often drawn to the siren’s call of a multicloud, which generally involves leveraging two or more public clouds (if a private cloud isn’t already in play) to take advantage of the flexibility of two highly powerful infrastructures to maximize their cloud investment.

Yet the widespread proliferation has also led to some misguided aspirations as to what “flexibility” actually means.

So… what does flexibility mean, particularly for agencies?

Most agencies confront a similar problem: Their site (and therefore server) requirements change on seemingly a daily or monthly basis, completely dependent on each individual campaign, timeline, or event that their client has. This has lead to a popular misconception that the cloud is a pluggable resource, able to be swapped in, turned on, and then right-sized seemingly on the fly.

Unfortunately, this is more pipe dream than reality. In a very loose analogy, swapping cloud services for a site/app is not that different as to upgrading or swapping engines in your favorite car. The more unique features in a car’s frame, the more limited and complex the choices become for any sort of upgrade. You can drop a V4 Corolla engine into a truck, but good luck making the inverse work.

But back to the cloud and not the world of tail pipes and cylinders. To even consider plugging/unplugging the cloud, for starters, an agency has to have built their site/app NOT on a specific cloud service (like AWS, Azure, etc) and instead on a cloud management platform. This ties the site/app to the platform and not to a native cloud service, allowing that connection to be done on an individual basis. Next, each cloud service has its own complete taxonomy and methodology to storage, power, uptime, meaning that swapping from one cloud services would be not be dissimilar from translating from Greek to Navajo. Finally, the expertise and workpower needed to make this actually happen could come at a great cost to the company. This isn’t easy lifting for even the best cloud engineers, requiring our most valuable resources (time and money) to make this remotely a possibility.

If an agency is hoping to try multiple cloud services and picking which one works the best, that’s the real pipe dream, compromising the true power of the cloud at the expense of indecision. Making a decision early and leaving it to the true experts, like a managed service provider, will unlock the real flexibility of the cloud: Pay as you use expenses, maximum uptime, and speedy experiences for all users.

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