Data has gravity. Once it is placed in a certain location, it can be difficult or expensive to pull out. This little-known law of information physics is being learned by countless companies as they expand their use of public cloud services.
“Developers love the public cloud because it’s easy, fast, and predictable,” says Scott Sanchez, director of marketing for OpenStack solutions at Cisco. “But once you scale to a certain size, it gets expensive.”
Public cloud services also demand compromise, he adds. Speed and simplicity often come at the expense of control and security. And with rigid configurations surrounding processing and memory, the one-size-fits-all approach can be limiting.
“There isn’t much flexibility in the public cloud,” Sanchez explains. “Fixed machine configurations can lead to wasted capacity and cost, and if you are oversubscribed, there can be performance problems.”
Private clouds aren’t a panacea either. While they offer exceptional flexibility and control, most don’t deliver the user-friendly, self-service experience of the public cloud. For these reasons and more, many companies are beginning to utilize a mix of public and private cloud resources.
But what if they could have the best of both worlds—in a single cloud environment?
The evolution of OpenStack
OpenStack, an evolving open source software project for creating private and public clouds, is being leveraged in ways that bring forth the unique benefits of both models.
- Cisco® Metapod provides a true public cloud experience for users and full administrative control for developers.
- It is a remotely engineered and operated private cloud that is in a customer’s data center and behind their firewall.
“It’s a production-ready, OpenStack-based solution that we engineer, deploy, and remotely operate on a customer’s behalf; 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” says Sanchez. “We’ve been running mission-critical workloads and production private clouds in our customers’ data centers for more than three years, with over 20 billion automated, real-time monitoring checks performed by our operations team to date.”
He points to Tapjoy, the leader in marketing automation for mobile apps, as a prime example:
- While the public cloud helped support the company’s rapid growth, Tapjoy leaders determined it was not going to be cost effective over the long term.
- They wanted to operate their own infrastructure, but didn’t want to build it from scratch or maintain it on a daily basis.
- The company deployed a Cisco Metapod—formerly Metacloud—and is using the environment to deliver nearly a trillion mobile ad network transactions per year.
- Tapjoy now has more flexibility, security, and control over its applications and workloads.
- And the company spent the exact same amount on the OpenStack solution as was being spent on public cloud services, essentially trading monthly operating expenses for an upfront capital investment that yielded massive infrastructure gains—with more than 10x capacity increases in some cases.
“With billions of transactions flowing through their global platform each day, it’s safe to say Tapjoy is running at web scale,” Sanchez notes. “Best of all, they get a true public cloud experience, which gives them the freedom and speed to continue to innovate on their applications while we take care of engineering and operating their private cloud.”
Same cost, same experience as the public cloud, but with the power, security, and control of a private cloud. Zero compromise. In other words, the best of both cloud worlds.
“If you’re spending $1 million or more on public cloud services,” says Sanchez, “you can do better.”