Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt observed, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
Similarly, businesses don’t want to own servers, they want access to the appropriate compute resources. That is the promise of the cloud for SMB’s — the availability of appropriate compute resources without local servers. The reality is the cloud is not an ideal computer in the sky that meets all requirements; the cloud is real servers in real places that must be procured, provisioned, orchestrated, administered and programmed just like any other computer. The challenge of the cloud for an SMB is to move an existing environment from local servers which have been optimized for that environment to remote servers (aka, the “cloud”).
There are three alternatives available to the user:
1. Retain existing local servers;
2. Move to the public cloud; or
3. Establish a private cloud – a private data center.
Local servers require replacement, maintenance, management, space, power, cooling, downtime and business continuation processes. The issues surrounding local servers are well known. These issues are driving cloud alternatives.
The public cloud imposes a serious limitation on users — cloud apps. This means that the user must substitute cloud apps for existing business apps, migrate data to the new apps and retrain personnel to use the new apps.
The desired alternative is #3 – a private cloud. With a private cloud, local servers are replaced by remote servers in a data center. When an IT department replaces multiple local data centers with a consolidated private cloud, that consolidation will reduce IT costs. Migrating to a private cloud requires substantial investment in the remote data center. That investment is more than merely paying for the remote computers. A private cloud requires substantial IT expertise to create, maintain and operate. IT expertise is expensive. Private data centers are too expensive for SMB’s.
There is now a fourth alternative – the virtual private data center, powered by Panavisor. Through the power of our end-to-end architecture SMB’s can enjoy all the benefits of a private data center at prices comparable to managed servers. Now SMB’s can move to the cloud and take their environment with them!