Cloud vs. data center: How to know what’s right for your organization


It wasn’t that long ago that Amazon CTO Werner Vogels routinely said that any strategy that included on-premises data centers and the public cloud was really just a path to public cloud. Yet today, AWS touts architectures that include both.

Microsoft has gone a step further with Azure Stack so that the public cloud vs. data center experience is as seamless as possible for its customers. Google, meanwhile, continues to invest in technologies that admit that some services will stay in private data centers (but you might as well make nice APIs for them, while also making it easier for on-premises business logic to consume public cloud services).

When it comes to the public cloud vs. on-premises data centers, what has long been framed as an “either/or” proposition is increasingly becoming an “and” reality. Over a year ago, in fact, IDC told us that 55% of organizations are using both.  

As those implementations gain momentum, knowing what’s right for you has a changing definition of “you.” “You” used to mean that the CIO and the entire IT organization was all-in on public cloud or on-premises data centers for all applications. But the closer you look, the more nuanced that becomes.

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