Want out of on-premise and colocation? Hyperscale cloud isn’t the only option

by Isaac Douglas

by Isaac Douglas

Want out of on-premise and colocation? Hyperscale cloud isn’t the only option

85% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centers by 2025. And that’s largely because, for many businesses these days, building and maintaining a data center in-house is no longer considered a primary business activity. It’s simply too time and capital intensive.

You know that (or you wouldn’t be reading this).

Costs are typically lower in a colocation facility, and you might get redundant power and internet. But, aside from rack space, you’ll still have to handle everything you would on-prem.

For some, the unmatched performance of on-prem and colocation will still justify the financial outlay, time, and expertise required. But for most businesses looking for scalability and ease of management, it’s the cloud that holds the biggest pull.

If you currently deploy your infrastructure on-premises or in a colocation facility and are thinking of migrating to hyperscale cloud, I’ve got some words of warning.

As you’re about to find out, there’s more to hyperscalers than first meets the eye.

Don’t default to hyperscale cloud

The problem isn’t that cloud isn’t great. It is, sometimes. The problem is that poorly planned cloud migrations can quickly backfire. “With hyperscale multi-tenant cloud it is quite easy to put your data there, but quite difficult to take it back”, comments HPE’s UK managing director, Matt Harris. “It is very expensive to do so. It’s that multi-tenant hyperscale lock-in that we’re experiencing”, he continues.

As a result, many businesses end up regretting the decision, finding themselves in over their heads and considering returning to on-premises solutions or a colocation facility. The hyperscale cloud bubble is bursting to reveal a myriad of problems.

Problems like:

Unnecessary complexities

During the hyperscale boom, many businesses chose the big hyperscale providers like AWS, GCP, and Azure for their infrastructure hoping to make life simpler. Unfortunately, as these hyperscale cloud providers matured, they also became more complex.

It’s very difficult for customers to know what product is going to be the most efficient and cost-effective for them. Bills are hard to understand, and I’ve learned first-hand not to expect anything beyond break-fix support.

It’s incredibly easy to spin-up virtual machines and just as easy to forget about them. So, you end up paying for stuff you’re not using. The result is an environment that’s super easy to set up, but super hard to get right.

Misjudged scaling requirements

Hyperscale cloud providers sell themselves on instantaneous scalability. And that’s great if you need instantaneous scalability. But most businesses don’t. And unless you’re a huge company with highly unpredictable scaling needs, you probably don’t.

Hyperscale cloud providers will try to sell you on their ability to optimize costs by following your daily usage curve. But beware. The cost of auto scaling also comes with extortionate compute costs. For most, incremental scaling will be just as effective and far less expensive.

Want out of on-premise and colocation? Hyperscale cloud isn’t the only option

Say hello to bare metal with cloud-like scalability

There’s more to cloud than hyperscale cloud providers. Cloud is just somebody else’s computer. If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll have heard me say this before. And by this definition, bare metal server hosting is also a type of ‘cloud’ hosting. You’re still leasing somebody else’s machines, only this time with sole tenancy over your server and its resources.

For most businesses currently using an on-premises data center or holding servers in a colocation facility, migrating to bare metal server hosting offers a middle ground combining the scalability and performance of cloud with the control and customization scope that comes with dedicated servers.

With bare metal hosting you get:

Cloud-like scalability and performance

People assume that dedicated servers are difficult to scale. This simply isn’t true. Or, at least, it’s an outdated viewpoint. Bare metal scalability has improved tenfold in recent years. It’s actually very easy to provision more servers to meet incremental scaling demands. Bare metal server hosting might not offer the instant scalability of hyperscale cloud but, as we’ve already established, most business don’t need that in the first place.

Having sole access to a dedicated server also means improved compute power, higher levels of server uptime, lower latency, and faster response rates and loading speeds. So overall it’s the better choice for reliability and application performance.

More control and customization

There’s no virtualization process with dedicated servers and only one user account on any server. So, customers have complete administrative access over their machine. CPU and server model are often determined by the hosting provider but aside from that, RAM, storage, network connectivity, operating system, and security software specs are your call.

Reduced complexities

Most businesses that want out of their on-premises data center or colocation facility are looking to reduce complexities and expenditure. But, as many have already been forced to realize, the hyperscale cloud isn’t as simple as it wants to appear. Bare metal hosting offers operational simplicity and minimal administration. No cryptic bills, no vendor lock-in, no unexpected surprises. Just simple month-to-month contracts.

Support that actually supports

Besides excellent performance, the opportunity for an open dialogue with your hosting provider is - hands down - bare metal’s biggest strength. I can’t stress enough how lacking the level of support was when I was a hyperscale cloud customer myself. So don’t explore that avenue unless you’re prepared to go into it alone. By contrast, a good bare metal hosting provider will work with you to optimize the cost and performance of your infrastructure in line with the goals of your business.

The best of both

When it comes to categorizing infrastructure, we tend to fall into binaries with on-prem and colocation at one end and hyperscale cloud at the other. But this is super unhelpful. It leaves many businesses trapped between two solutions that might not be working for them.

But there is a third option – bare metal – that offers the performance and scalability of cloud with better support, more control, and fewer unnecessary complexities.

If you’re looking for an alternative to on-prem or colocation, I hope this has helped. If, on the other hand, you’re a hyperscale customer considering a reverse cloud migration I’ve written another blog just for you.


Isaac Douglas, Chief Revenue Officer

With a decade in hosting and video game hosting, Isaac knows the big mistakes and how to help customers avoid them. Dog dad to Lilly, he owns all the tools and lives his best lawn life.


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