QuickQuip: Don’t run your own data center if you’re a public IaaS < Sorta...
Patrick Baillie, the CEO of Swiss IaaS provider, CloudSigma, wrote a very interesting blog published on GigaOm titled “Don’t run your own data center if you’re a public IaaS.”
Baillie leads off by describing how AWS’ recent outage is evidence as to why the complexity of running facilities (data centers) versus the services running atop them is best segregated and outsourced to third parties in the business of such things:
Why public IaaS cloud providers should outsource their data centers
While there are some advantages for cloud providers operating data centers in-house, including greater control, capacity, power and security, the challenges, such as geographic expansion, connectivity, location, cost and lower-tier facilities can often outweigh the benefits. In response to many of these challenges, an increasing number of cloud providers are realizing the benefits of working with a third-party data center provider.
It’s a very interesting blog, sprinkled throughout with pros and cons of rolling your own versus outsourcing but it falls down in being able to carry the burden in logic of some the assertions.
Perhaps I misunderstood, but the article seemed to focus on single DC availability as though (per my friend @CSOAndy’s excellent summarization) “…he missed the obvious reason: you can arbitrage across data centers” and “…was focused on single DC availability. Arbitrage means you just move your workloads automagically.”
I’ll let you read the setup in its entirety, but check out the conclusion:
In reality, taking a look at public cloud providers, those with legacy businesses in hosting, including Rackspace and GoGrid, tend to run their own facilities, whereas pure-play cloud providers, like my company CloudSigma, tend to let others run the data centers and host the infrastructure.
The business of operating a data center versus operating a cloud is very different, and it’s crucial for such providers to focus on their core competency. If a provider attempts to do both, there will be sacrifices and financial choices with regards to connectivity, capacity, supply, etc. By focusing on the cloud and not the data center, public cloud IaaS providers don’t need to make tradeoffs between investing in the data center over the cloud, thereby ensuring the cloud is continually operating at peak performance with the best resources available.
The points above were punctuated as part of a discussion on Twitter where @georgereese commented “IaaS is all about economies of scale. I don’t think you win at #cloud by borrowing someone else’s”
Fascinating. It’s times like these that I invoke the widsom of the Intertubes and ask “WWWD” (or What Would Werner Do?)
If we weren’t artificially limited in this discussion to IaaS only, it would have been interesting to compare this to SaaS providers like Google or Salesforce or better yet folks like Zynga…or even add supporting examples like Heroku (who run atop AWS but are now a part of SalesForce o_O)
I found many of the points raised in the discussion intriguing and good food for thought but I think that if we’re talking about IaaS — and we leave out AWS which directly contradicts the model proposed — the logic breaks almost instantly…unless we change the title to “Don’t run your own data center if you’re a [small] public IaaS and need to compete with AWS.”
Interested in your views…