The Dark Side Of The Cloud


The merits of moving your data infrastructure to the cloud are long and well established. Yet, before you do, you should be aware of this:

There is a dark side of the cloud.

One of these concerns is just like the dark side of the moon, there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the cloud. If you’re considering migrating your data from an on-prem data center or colocation facility to the cloud, there are many things to consider.

Chief among these is, there are many underlying factors in this move. Many of these are not revealed by those eager to get you to move to their cloud environments.

Let’s start with the fact that too many companies start moving into a cloud environment without doing a full modeling of their current utilization and without a deep understanding of what their scalability projects into the future.

Because of this, a cloud solution may make financial sense today, but will have you heading toward a fiscal cliff as your needs grow.

Another challenge is your current people and processes may have been hardcoded with their physical data center ways. Your company may have invested a significant amount of money in the physical layer of the hardware and the assets and virtualization of your own data center

Your people are so accustomed to having all this compute capacity. They can spin up instances in a heartbeat and it doesn’t cost the company anything extra. This is because your firm has already absorbed that capital expense of the physical layer, the hardware itself, in your data centers.

If your team brings this same mentality into the cloud environment, costs will soar at an unmanageable rate.

The cloud environment is so tantalizingly easy. If I want to build a new server, I can just create a virtual environment, spin a server and BAM, I’ve got a server commissioned. But, I’ve just as easily created licensing fees that may or may not be used efficiently.

Add on to that new server commission some bandwidth and storage connections and a few other additional services and the bill is rising wildly faster than effective use. And then, when it turns out the project requiring the server was discontinued before it got off of the ground, who is paying attention enough to go back and cancel those instances?

As this process is repeated, it suddenly starts to create a snowballing effect in the costs, which should be the expectation if you’re unprepared to enter the dark side of the cloud.

When it comes to the main cost difference between your own data centers and using the cloud, the key elements are these: change and growth.

A physical data center that you own and operate already has built in scalability and growth in capacity. That’s part of any good design. With that investment, you have already allotted for rapid change and growth. The system allows for you to be less precise in allocating and managing instances.

This is not the case with the cloud. You will pay, and in many cases, dearly, for change and growth. This will require much more careful planning and execution to ensure this decision ends up providing a positive outcome.

There are many excellent reasons to move your data infrastructure to the cloud either in full, or with some type of hybrid approach. However; the counterintuitive reality is it takes much more planning and monitoring to trust your data to the cloud in order to manage costs.

With an approach that includes a detailed data infrastructure assessment and a comprehensive migration plan and execution, you can enjoy the full light of the cloud.

You can avoid the dark side of the cloud. But, it’s a process you shouldn’t take lightly.

“A cloud solution may make financial sense today, but will have you heading toward a fiscal cliff as your needs grow.”

Nabeel Mahmood

CIO, Instor

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INSTOR SOLUTIONS: Founded in 1996, Instor is a global leader in data center design, build, management, structured cabling, power infrastructure, data center moves & migration, specialized containment, and cooling solutions. Instor has designed and installed infrastructure solutions for high-growth startups to Fortune 100 companies and public institutions. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Instor operates throughout the U.S. and in the European Union and has offices in Ashburn, Virginia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, Hillsboro, Oregon, and a European branch in Dublin, Ireland. Additional information can be found at

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