Without a doubt, cloud computing is the infrastructure story of the past decade in enterprise IT. Putting it mildly, cloud has changed a lot in terms of how businesses deal with both data and computation.
There is a tendency to overstate the impact of cloud, however: for a start, few businesses ever migrated their entire business operations to the public cloud offered by the likes of Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud. Instead, businesses have engaged with the cloud by developing hybrid strategies that see some operations move to public cloud, some in private cloud set-ups and some remain on-premise.
Secondly, some businesses that rushed into the cloud have beat a hasty retreat. In 2019 and 2020, numerous surveys were published in which a majority of respondents said they had migrated some services to the public cloud only to subsequently migrate them back out. In March this year, software company Flexera’s ‘State of the Cloud Report’ showed that some 82 per cent of enterprise cloud strategies were hybrid in nature.
Today, it seems the benefits of cloud are not so much seen as replacing on-premise, but working in tandem with it. In fact, on-premise systems can be every bit as flexible as the cloud.
True flexibility was now truly available on-premise, said Vincent O’Brien, Dell business manager at Exertis Ireland.
“Traditionally, it would take two to three weeks to get a server from Dell but, on the other hand, you could get one that was pre-built,” said O’Brien.
The factors driving the decision of whether to choose a custom or off-the-shelf system are as varied and various as the businesses making the choice.
“Some partners like that it comes pre-built, while some prefer build-to-order,” said O’Brien.
One reason to consider off-the-shelf is business continuity, whereas custom servers tend to be required for specific, complex tasks.
“You can now get it built-to-order or off-the-shelf. Entry-level replacement servers can be had by next day delivery, and it could be anything from a print server, costing as little as €500, right up to major full-scale systems,” he said.
Exertis, which supplies to resellers across Ireland, sees the business decisions at work via its helicopter view of the market.
“The resellers touch every area and vertical. Timeline, generally, is the main issue. The fact is, if the specs fit and we have it delivered, you can have it tomorrow.”
O’Brien said that, in his experience, on-premise might not get the headline, but it continues to excel at essential business processes.
“It’s really easy to get stuff to the cloud, but getting it back is really expensive. Most are working towards a hybrid model: it [the cloud] is brilliant for things like archiving, but you need on-site data and processing, and you need to know who you’re dealing with,” he said.
The scale of projects is also a factor, with servers in the private data centre not being subject to the same kind of cost creep as public cloud.
O’Brien said that these applications, such as core databases, are not only better suited to on-prem, but surprisingly fast to get up and running. In other words, businesses can control not only their costs, but also the experience of enterprise IT.
“Your bigger projects tend to be in the data centre [and] especially if they’re running VMWare, you’re able to spin up a server quickly. Dell has a lot of automation tools like OpenManage, SupportAssist-Enterprise and TechDirect to help their partners,” he said.
To view Exertis Ireland’s dedicated Dell portal and their Server Configurator Tool, please visit dell.exertisireland.ie