Avoiding single vendor lock-in with cloud computing

You have infrastructure in place right now; it’s built on a common Windows or UNIX platform and you’re either in-sourcing or outsourcing the hosting.

As cloud computing matures your business has more and more options to move services to the cloud. Website hosting, Email, CRM and document management are all good cloud candidates. Or are they?

How you develop, use and access applications will determine where you feel comfortable hosting them.

Software, data and platform architecture as well as standards are always changing but normalising your compute, network, storage and security through IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) will help you avoid single vendor lock in because the operating system and application configuration remains as your domain specific intellectual property.

You achieve two things; you’re paying for a service that is normally a cap ex pain or burden i.e. the environment, power, cooling, servers etc. You also maintain your standards and deployment methods. There are advantages to a true SaaS (Software as a Service) model for your core applications but your business may need time to adjust as well select the right vendor.

The good news is that you can mix and match on premise, off premise IaaS and SaaS, but more on that in another blog.

The important thing is that we all go in with our eyes open about single vendor lock in and check that as part of your journey to the cloud you’re not bending your business too much to a vendor’s way of doing things that ultimately results in a poor user experience.

A few things I thought of to check to rule out single vendor lock in:

  • Can I use single sign on?
  • Will I need to change my desktop build?
  • Will I need professional services to migrate my business data?
  • Can I connect to the cloud vendor using private links?
  • Will I need professional service to change or extend my applications?
  • Does the cloud vendor provide different hypervisor options e.g. Hyper-V and VMware?
  • Can I migrate existing virtual machines?

Hugo is a seasoned telecoms professional and leads Star’s Unified Communications strategy. He is responsible for delivering Star’s Network Services products, working with customers to develop new voice and data products and services to solve today’s business challenges.