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COLUMN: The True Cost Of Public Cloud

CRN’s Steve Burke says it's vital for companies to have trusted cloud advisers to determine which solution will provide the most value.

There’s a good reason why strategic service provider CPP Associates’ Infrastructure Anywhere assessment, which is aimed at determining where workloads should reside— on-premises or off-premises—is driving big sales growth.

It’s because CPP Associates is doing the hard work as a trusted adviser, crunching the real numbers to determine which solution will provide the biggest competitive advantage and the biggest bang for the buck.

“We’ve done 27 of these Infrastructure Anywhere assessments and almost every single one has turned out to be the same: On-premises done correctly is always less expensive than off-premises done correctly,” said Paul O’Dell, a director at CPP Associates, Clinton, N.J., which counts Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and VMware among its premier partners, along with nine software-defined data center partners, four networking/security partners and four cloud enablement partners.

“It’s a runaway landslide if off-premises is done incorrectly. The savings of 50 [percent] to 75 percent are very realistic. What we tell our customers is: ‘We believe in company-first, but not-cloud first.’ I can assure you that it is in their best interest to have us do one of these studies.”

The assessment is based on a several-week drill down into a customer’s IT systems and environment, including data collection for target workloads with detailed comparisons between public cloud infrastructure costs and on-premises HPE costs. The assessments helped drive 80 percent growth for CPP Associates on the HPE value portfolio in 2018 and 100 percent growth on that portfolio in the first fiscal quarter.

CPP Associates is one of many strategic service providers seeing a dramatic rise in the number of customers asking it to provide the “real math” in the private, public and hybrid cloud debate. One reason why so many customers are turning to partners to run the numbers is their experience with multiple vendor offerings. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of the channel has always been to make sure that customers are not “locked in” to a solution that puts them at risk. I

f you’re looking for a proof point on the dangers of being locked into a single vendor, look no further than the recent S-1 IPO filings from Pinterest and Lyft, which both list Amazon Web Services as a “risk factor.” Both deals lock in the born-in-the-cloud vendors and put them in the unenviable position of facing penalties if they do not meet minimum commitments with AWS. The question that remains when you look at both of these deals is: Just how good are they for Pinterest and Lyft? Is there a solution that would provide an even bigger competitive advantage both businesswise and costwise?

The ability to save customers money has always been at the heart of the channel business model. For strategic service providers, assessing the financial/business outcome benefits of maintaining a workload on-premises or moving it to the cloud is the key to success in a market where more customers are realizing that going all in on public cloud is a no-win proposition.

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