There is an old Arabic saying–he who predicts the future is either lucky or a liar. As a Gartner analyst we are oft times asked for predictions. I got lucky with one of those predictions some 5 years ago. I suggested that the public cloud providers could offer on-premises infrastructure that would be used to connect to their clouds. That time, I got it right (believe me, I’ve been a liar at times, too, so I’m humble about my predictions). Amazon, Google and Microsoft all now have some form of these distributed cloud offerings.
Why not have a “closed box” and one number to call for support of the infrastructure and the public cloud services? For those seeking “one hand to hold,” (I hate to say ‘one throat to choke’–it sounds too much like a serial killer documentary), it might be quite appealing. Enter AWS Outposts, Google Anthos and Microsoft Azure Stack. We analysts at Gartner have been getting inquiries about these offerings.
There is one main question that has been arising. If we choose one of these solutions, how can we ensure a successful outcome? A Gartner publication authored by David Wright, Tony Harvey and me, “How to Bring the Public Cloud On-Premises With AWS Outposts, Azure Stack and Google Anthos” provides a useful answer to that question. Think of the answer in terms of four main areas–set the proper expectations, choose the right use case, harden the SLAs, and target TCO improvements.
Focusing on these four things as outlined in more detail in the aforementioned document is important. Boiling it down, there is a common denominator in dealing with any new technology or approach. That common denominator is effective management. For I&O Leaders, effective management of anything means tailoring the management plan to that thing. Managing distributed cloud is no different. By breaking it down into the four areas noted in the graphic above, I&O leaders can create that effective plan. This plan will not only determine that one of these solutions is the right choice, but will help to ensure that success will come with that choice.
Implementing an effective distributed cloud management plan will help you to be lucky in predicting that one or more of these solutions will be right for you. After all, the last thing that you want to be with distributed cloud, based on the Arabic saying, is a liar.