Don’t worry about selecting the ‘wrong’ public cloud

The reality is that it matters much more about what you do after you pick the provider than which one you pick.

Don’t worry about selecting the ‘wrong’ public cloud
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When I speak in public about cloud architecture, I’m often asked a question with no right answer: “Which public cloud should we use?”

Not knowing much about what “we” is, there is no right answer. While I can list the top two players, they may be wrong for “we’s” problem domain when taking into account special issues such as performance requirements, security, and compliance. No matter which public cloud you pick, it will have upsides and downsides, depending on who you work for and your specific needs.

What you need to do to answer that question is simple: Get your requirements in order first before you even start exploring the public cloud market. 

However, enterprises are not likely to do that in the real world. Partnerships are formed in the early stages, and enterprises often have a ton of credits that they can only turn into a single public cloud service brand. Whatever the reason, it’s not stretching the truth to say that most enterprises select a cloud provider based on items other than business and technical requirements.

So, given the reality that your pubic cloud selection very likely will be based on factors other than your requirements, how concerned should you be? The good news is that how you use that cloud makes more of a difference than the cloud brand. 

IaaS clouds, for example, boil down to storage and compute. You can compare cloud services and see that they offer various shiny objects such as machine learning, big data, and internet of things. But if your public cloud supports these basic storage and computer features, you’re usually more than half way home. 

Where cloud project fail is not so much about the cloud selection but about picking the wrong workloads to migrate and not paying attention to security, governance, and other core services. The problem seldom is about the public cloud not living up to expectations or having the appropriate technology.  

So, while picking the optimal public cloud based on requirements is the best practice, that selection won’t determination your success or failure. It’s what you do with that that’s more important that which cloud you pick.

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