When “It's So Easy” Goes To Pieces: Two Tales About The Complexities Of Azure And Amazon Clouds

As managed cloud service providers, we often get asked to intervene when cloud deployments go awry. Attracted by apparent ease-of-use, flexibility and low computing costs, companies quickly adopt leading public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

What happens next depends on a myriad of factors, including the technical depth an organization has in-house or the partner network they have in place, as well as a strategic plan for digital transformation.

The companies who successfully deploy these public cloud platforms have typically brought together the right blend of internal/external cloud and technical expertise. But increasingly, we meet with organizations when the promises of the public cloud have failed to come true.

First, an AWS story. Company X (a promising software provider) launches its new cloud-based application across global markets. The product launch goes well and demand grows. But so do the cloud bills, from a $20k bill for November consumption to $58k for December. By January, the serving costs soared to the $70s. For February, they received a $98,000 monster bill resulting in negative profit margins.

The cause? A lack of internal expertise to configure and manage their AWS environment in a way to keep performance high and costs consistent. They underestimated its complexity.

Concerto’s team stepped in to help, rewiring Company X to eliminate unnecessary instances and server sprawl. We reduced their costs by half and made those costs predictable. 

Story #2 is about Company Y, an upper mid-market organization that deployed a new healthcare ERP solution on Microsoft Azure. They experienced nothing short of terrible performance and reliability issues. Unable to determine if the problems stemmed from the application or the platform, they contemplated pulling the plug on the entire system. 

And they aren’t alone. Repatriation, or moving workloads from the cloud back to on-prem, is trending up. Over 21% of organizations in a recent 451 Research study reported plans to pull back from the cloud and return to an on-prem infrastructure this year. 

In the case of Company Y, our team reported that the servers had been misconfigured—a kind of a “worst practice” scenario. Our team ended up configuring a hybrid solution that combined Azure’s scale and power with the security and compliance capabilities of our private cloud platform. Company Y’s new healthcare ERP finally works—and flawlessly.

The moral of these two stories? By all means, embrace cloud services for all the benefits you’ve heard. But do not underestimate the complexity of the public cloud and the skills needed to gain its benefits. 

Whether in-house or through a cloud services partner, having access to a bench of cloud and technical experts is essential for efficiently achieving success in the cloud. For more information on Concerto Cloud Services public cloud management, visit here. Or ask your Concerto cloud representative about our guarantee to trim 20% off your Amazon or Azure invoice


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