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Why 20% of Public Cloud Users Are Moving To Private Cloud.

Cloud Exodus

A RECENT STUDY by 451 Research showed that “20% of cloud users had already moved one or more workloads from a public cloud environment to a private cloud” they found that “On average, those who planned to migrate workloads from public to private cloud environments within two years expected to move 40% of their public cloud workloads to private clouds”.

That is quite a swing from the gun-ho trend of sending everything to public cloud providers.  So, why is the tide turning?  What workloads are ripe for “cloud repatriation” and what are the key motivators?

Reviewing Public Cloud

What workloads are best suited to private cloud?

For some, the answer is everything. Dropbox have moved everything in to their own datacentres, citing improved speed and performance. Large companies, whose businesses were built on the cloud are now finding that better performance and lower cost can be achieved when they take control. Will others follow suit?


For smaller companies, simple app development can run into tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds a month using public cloud services and therefore, they may as well have owned the infrastructure themselves.  Iterative processes, where users need to spin up and down VMs on demand were largely forgotten or underestimated when costing for public cloud.  This is exactly the type of cost that is unpredictable and leads to bill shock.  It is even worse when your developer forgets to close down their server, the meter is still running! There is a strong case for developing using private cloud and saving the public cloud for production/live environments. You need to consider whether it’s cost effective to host development and test environments on public cloud. Do these environments need all the bells and whistles you pay the premium for with your production environments?


Another significant, but neglected area that benefits from private cloud is the ever useful Proof of Concept (PoC) environments.  No self respecting transformations team would go into ‘live’ blind.  An environment will run the course of the transformation project and then in parallel to the production environment. Moving this kind of workload to a controlled private cloud gives complete flexibility over the environment and fixes the cost.

So what are the biggest drivers for change?


The most cited reason for moving away from public cloud is cost.  Public cloud is expensive. One customer told me that over the Christmas period an environment was left running for the duration of the Christmas and New Year week to the tune of £22,000. No one was working on it and it wasn’t live! If more managed service providers were offering cloud, the increased competition may drive down the overall costs. Transferring data is also an unknown quantity and is difficult to budget when it is entirely down to operational need.

Outages and Data Breaches

The recent outage at AWS didn’t escape the headlines and has thrown a new light on the reliability of such services. Then there is the ever present risk of data breaches. Public cloud providers are not just a service, it is part of the core business run by a third party this is even more apparent where new compliance laws are introduced. GDPR is coming in to force in early 2018 which has already started to focus the minds of business leaders and information asset owners.

“Use public cloud for your production environment and private cloud where you need rapid deployment and fixed costs.”


In 2018 the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in Europe.  Businesses who gather customer data are responsible for its protection jointly with any company that holds or processes that data too. Businesses need to provide three key pieces of information within 48 hours of a data breach.

  • How many and which customers are affected?
  • How the breach occurred?
  • What prevention measures are in place to prevent that breach?

The upshot is that the public cloud provider will be jointly responsible in the event of a data breach.  The public cloud provider becomes a huge risk to your own business. A survey carried on behalf of IBM found that 22% of businesses believed that improved regulatory compliance was the most important factor in justifying IT investment to their business managers over the next 12 months and as test cases begin to go to court, this may well become a bigger factor.


Taking control of both the finances and performance of cloud is possible when you own it.  A multi-tenant private cloud can even help you apportion resource by department, project or user, providing metrics to assess how and when the resource is used.  And, if an instance is left running?  Never mind, the CFO won’t lose any sleep over it.


The right cloud is the one used for the right job. Use public cloud for your production environment and private cloud where you need rapid deployment and fixed costs.  If you are looking for cost effective, multi-tenant, effortless private cloud infrastructure to compliment your public cloud, then take a look at ScaleCloud.

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Paul Rawlinson
Managing Director @ Innovate IT Ltd
Paul is founder and Managing Director of Innovate IT, his reputation for being knowledgeable and personable is reflected in our company ethos.  As a solution architect with experience in small to enterprise corporations he is always keen to understand the clients needs and business aspirations as a basis for designing any solution.