Technologies like cloud computing, virtualization, software-defined networking (SDN), and infrastructure as code may have you thinking that traditional data centers are a thing of the past; if so, you’re mistaken, at least in part: on-premise data centers continue to provide unique benefits absent in cloud and virtualized computing resources. The following are 10 reasons why the on-premise data center isn’t going anywhere, any time soon.
10. The biggest organizations have enormous investments in their data centers.
This includes the federal government, telecommunications companies, energy providers, and global financial services and banking powerhouses. Such organizations are not about to outsource their computing needs to the cloud any time soon.
9. Vendor lock-in is a b*tch.
There’s a high risk of vendor lock-in when it comes to public cloud services, and it’s usually a pain to migrate between different services. Moving from Azure to AWS? Roll up your sleeves. Sometimes it’s just better to keep it all in-house, under lock-and-keycard.
8. Large capacity file sharing is still faster on-premise.
Continuous data transfers and sharing across nodes of 50GB or more is bandwidth-prohibitive in a cloud scenario. This might not be an issue for organizations with large pipes to the internet backbone, but for most an on-premise server is simply more practical.
7. The hidden cost of bandwidth in the cloud may kill you.
On-premise data centers are only limited by any caps on electrical use and the capabilities of the internal network’s infrastructure. Under a metered usage scenario in the cloud, however, hefty workloads and processing will cost you on an ongoing basis.
6. Sporadic downtime of cloud services might shut down your business.
Just ask Gmail users, AWS EC2 customers, and Windows Azure clients. In fact, most of the world’s largest cloud providers have experienced extensive outages over the years. Granted, on-premise servers are just as prone to failure, but yelling at IT is more gratifying than waiting on hold for Amazon customer service.
5. The law won’t let you move to the cloud.
Strict government regulations exist around the storing of sensitive data and in many cases prohibit firms in certain sectors from moving to the cloud. Healthcare and financial services are perhaps the more notable in this regard; companies in these industries must often keep sensitive data stored in private data centers.
4. On-premise (feels more) secure than the public cloud.
Of course it isn’t. In fact, cloud security is arguably better than the IT security measures at most private data centers, but sometimes public perception is everything. At any rate, some use cases do require advanced security that cannot be provided in a cloud scenario, and in these cases—you will indeed have to roll your own.
3. The cloud applies Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle to your data.
That is, where exactly is your data? No one knows for certain, just like an electron somewhere in its cloud. The mere thought of this can ruin a CIO or CISO’s day, and sometimes—being able to point to a physical drive where your data lives is worth the trouble.
2. Latency can be a problem in the cloud.
In the case of a private WAN links and connections between private data centers, latency can be easily controlled between points. The same cannot be said about the public cloud; having end-to-end control of the network is the sometimes the only true way to guarantee quality of service and/or an SLA .
1. Sometimes you can only trust your own people and equipment.
At the end of the day, relying on a cloud provider means trusting them on all fronts: IT security, privacy (from all parties, including the Federal government), metering/billing, and more. Some organizations have a low appetite for risk, especially when it comes to trusting a 3rd party cloud vendor with enterprise data. In these cases, the only option is to roll your own.
The issue is not all black-and-white, however. Hybrid clouds merge the best from both worlds; it’s no wonder that according to Gartner, by 2017 50% of enterprises will be using a hybrid cloud deployment of some sort. Firms desiring benefits from both—perhaps the compute/processing power of the public cloud combined with the data security of on-premise—usually opt for a hybrid cloud implementation.