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Cloud Computing

The True Cost of Public Cloud

It can be all too easy to fall for the shiny promises of public cloud. The promises of lower costs, flexibility and scalability lure organizations in. Unfortunately, they may not realize it’s not the best move for their business until the contract has already been signed.  

All sorts of chaos can ensue after you realize the initial price you were quoted was not all-inclusive and you start incurring unanticipated costs—resulting in a form of vendor lock-in. It’s expensive to stay, but it’s also expensive to leave, keeping IT teams and leadership in a catch-22 that drains resources and does not follow through on initial quotes.   

Migration Costs 

Right after signing the contract to move your infrastructure to the public cloud you will likely be hit with your first undisclosed cost: a sizeable migration fee. Even though you’re paying a monthly fee for your public cloud provider to house your infrastructure, they often expect organizations to pay an initial startup fee separate from that monthly payment. This can leave many IT teams feeling blindsided.  

Even if you’ve planned for a migration or transfer fee, it may be substantially higher than you initially budgeted for, since these fees often vary from region to region and are also dependent on the size of the migration.  

Egress Costs 

Imagine your team is all ready to make the jump from on-premises IT to the public cloud. You’ve started crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s and realize that your scripts are incompatible with the cloud provider you’ve chosen.  

If your organization plans to move forward with the cloud provider or the contract has already been signed, this means re-writing all cloud-bound scripts to be compatible with your new platform. Depending on the size of the move, this could take weeks of your team’s time and resources that could have been better allocated toward achieving your organization’s larger goals. 

Additionally, egress costs can act as a form of vendor lock-in. Given that it’s so expensive to make the migration, it can also be expensive to leave if it means having to re-write your scripts again. If the public cloud is truly in your future, it’s critical to look for compatibility to save money in time and wages for re-writing.  

Cost of Resource Provisioning 

You wouldn’t leave your refrigerator door open when you’re not standing right in front of it. That’s a huge waste of energy. Many IT teams try to take this approach when it comes to efficiently leveraging cloud resources. This is easier and significantly more efficient than provisioning resources for a traditional on-prem model. 

That being said, public cloud companies might assess fees for re-provisioning as your needs change. This can make scalability or flexibility harder than it needs to be and little changes can add up to large budget items over time, putting a strain on your capital. 

Public Cloud Security Concerns 

It’s important to remember, no matter how flashy the promises of public cloud are, that it is still a multi-tenant environment and there are several security risks associated with the lack of control that comes with a public cloud migration. An IT environment entirely hosted in a public environment is at higher risk simply because there are more points of entry—points that you can’t control. 

It’s not unreasonable to think that a phishing-turned-ransomware attack that began in another tenant’s environment could migrate over to yours. It’s important to have tried and tested safeguards in place to protect your part of the cloud from whatever may be going awry in your neighbor’s part of the cloud. 

While these attacks are possible in any sort of multi-tenant environment, it’s important to think about the attention paid by cloud teams to your little portion of the public cloud versus the amount of attention paid in a dedicated environment. It’s not reasonable to expect dedicated cloud service at a public cloud price, which means you may not be able to detect and mitigate attacks or issues as quickly as you would be able to in a private, dedicated environment managed by industry experts. 

How to Decide What’s Worth the Cost 

At the end of the day, it’s all about options. The public cloud can be a good component of an organization’s IT setup but it’s not advisable for most organizations to rely on it for all their infrastructure. Many organizations are opting to leverage both public and private environments, or hybrid models, to reap the most benefit from their IT solutions. This can look like a dedicated or virtual private cloud with on-ramps to the public cloud. 

Hybrid or multi-cloud environments can offer the best of both worlds with limited hidden costs and maximum support where you need it. Looking at your data classification and storage policies, need for Edge computing capacity and other factors, can help you make an educated decision about what’s best stored in the public cloud and what you’re better off keeping in a private cloud or colocation environment.  

LightEdge’s Team of Experts Can Help You Find Your Best Cloud—Or Clouds 

LightEdge has been a leader in the IT space for a quarter of a century, which means that if there’s a cloud configuration, we’ve seen it—and probably helped a customer get there. Whether you’re looking for a Virtual Private Cloud solution or need the flexibility of a hybrid cloud model, we have you covered with dedicated options and ramps to public cloud.  

We’re ready to answer your most pressing questions to get your new environment deployed quickly and securely. If you’re looking to better allocate your IT resources, avoid vendor lock-in and partner with industry experts, set up a time to chat with us about the future of your IT strategy. 



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