It has been all out war at the White House lately. Tweets have been flying fast and furious about Amazon, the subsidies it received from the U.S. Postal Service while dodging sales taxes and, most importantly to all of us in the IT industry, the $10 billion Pentagon cloud services contract, the largest in U.S. government history.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon released requirements to revamp its IT network known as “Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure.” The main sticking point in the Department of Defense’s cloud services RFP was that they are pursuing a single cloud solution. This means that one, and only one, cloud service provider will be awarded the contract. Since Amazon Web Services is the largest public cloud provider, ahead of Microsoft and Google, and the only one that could support the massive contract, it has been assumed by many that AWS was certain to win. That is, until now. President Trump’s anger toward Amazon in general has caused some White House advisors to recommend that he cancel any possible Amazon contract.
At Evocative, we believe that this war on Amazon Web Services is just the beginning of a backlash against the public cloud which is sure to grow deeper and spread across the corporate landscape. Over the last few years, IT service providers have extolled the benefits of the public cloud, many of them impressing on their clients that they need to move their entire network infrastructure to the cloud.
Today, government interference is causing businesses large and small to question their decision to go all in with Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, among others. Companies can now see a future in which they could be prevented from running their businesses the way they see fit.
It is time to step back and reevaluate the “all cloud all the time” message and take a more hybrid approach – actually locating applications and data where they work best.
Why Are Companies Leaving the Public Cloud?
Dropbox was the first well known company to leave the Amazon cloud two years ago, deciding to build their own IT infrastructure, and President Trump’s attack on Amazon is reigniting industry tensions. The top four concerns of IT professionals in adopting a public cloud computing strategy are:
- achieving governance and compliance goals
- overcoming the challenge of an inexperienced public cloud staff
- vendor lock-in which hinders agility and flexibility
In addition, greater control over applications and infrastructure, increased costs as workloads grow, always-on availability, and centralization of technology are also issues driving the transition away from the public cloud.
Scalability is always on the list of key benefits, but it is important to realize that as a company’s workload grows, the public cloud cost can actually become greater than a private cloud or dedicated servers as more features and resources are used. For companies in financial services, healthcare, legal or other regulated sectors, compliance issues are also causing many firms to remain rooted in dedicated IT options.
Many companies who jumped into Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure with both feet and now want to leave the public cloud, don’t have the capital or resources to build-out their own facility. Using the colocation services of a purpose-built, pay-as-you-go data center is a reliable and secure alternative embraced by more and more enterprises every day. The benefits are significant:
- Technical expertise
- Disaster recovery preparedness
- Support services to provide on-site assistance
- Affordability by turning a traditional capital expense into a low operating expense
- Flexibility to pay-as-you-go, increasing or decreasing your physical space, power and IT requirement as your needs change
- 100% uptime reliability
- 24/7/365 network monitoring by a team of technical professionals
- Connectivity choices providing multiple carrier options under one roof
- Ability to customize hardware to meet specific needs
President Trump’s tweetstorm has shined the light on government interference and its ability to bar specific companies like Amazon from doing business with the federal government. This brings into question whether any company, organization, or government agency should go all-in when it comes to public cloud services, since government interference into Amazon’s AWS business could trickle down to their customers in the future.
Is this a sign of more to come? The Department of Defense expects to announce the winner of its cloud services contract in Q4 of this year, so we shall see. Maybe businesses should begin evaluating alternative IT storage and management solutions in case a cyber wall is on its way.