There are plenty of debates in the data center world that don’t have a universal answer. The right answer depends on each individual organization and its business needs or goals.
The debate between outsourcing to the cloud, building a data center, or leasing space in a colocation facility is a well-worn one. Who is right?
Your Own Data Center is Better: For Dropbox, the decision was clear. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was more expensive and less efficient than they could achieve on their own. They have repatriated over 90% of their cloud workloads back into company data centers on their own custom-designed infrastructure. For Dropbox, a private data center has proven to be the right answer.
Public Cloud-Heavy Hybrid is Better: For GE, the decision was equally clear. They are going heavy with AWS, migrating over 9,000 workloads to the public cloud provider. In the process the company will reduce the company’s data center footprint from 32 data centers down to four. For GE, divesting themselves of company-owned data centers in favor of the public cloud is the choice.
Colocation is Better: Meanwhile, many other large enterprises want control over their own infrastructure and are rejecting public cloud providers. But neither do they want to build their own. A large private footprint in a colocation provider’s multi-tenant data center facility is the way to go for these organizations.
Public Cloud is Better: Stepping down from the enterprise level, smaller organizations frequently start in the cloud. After all, why put a lot of personnel and energy into creating your own infrastructure when your focus needs to be on getting your business off the ground? But some of these startups determine that that they need more visibility into their infrastructure, need more control of compliance purposes, are having trouble containing cloud costs, or a combination of those and other factors. They then migrate to other infrastructure options.
What is Your Right Choice? There are many factors that determine whether public cloud, private cloud, colo, building your own data center, or something entirely different is the right move to make. The right answer depends on your business goals, your industry, the level of regulation, customer expectations, the culture of your organization, the technological skill sets of your people, where you are in the lifecycle of your company, and dozens of other factors.