Best Execution Venue … for Cloud Workloads?
In about 2014, a good Irish mate of mine (Ian Bowell) and I were sitting together at an Ensono (then Attenda) event, listening to the key note speaker William Fellows (the Founder of 451 Research) and he used a term that has stuck with me ever since. I will paraphrase him to best of my memory’s ability: “I am going to repurpose a term from the MIFID II financial legislation and apply it to Cloud. In the near future firms will need to actively decide which platform is the Best Execution Venue for their cloud workloads – and it almost certainly won’t be the same for each application profile…”.
Ian (who has a wicked wit) passed me a note which said “BEC = Best Execution Cloud?” A clever blend of my company’s initials (Behind Every Cloud) and the function we perform (helping clients find the best MSP for their needs) – and William’s own MIFID adaptation.
So – what’s the purpose for telling you that story? Well…. the simple fact is that William’s visionary statement has certainly been proven right as we move into the world of hybrid and multi-cloud.
This is now the next major question of the time. “Which Cloud is right for us?”
Public, Private, Hybrid, Multi, Community, Dedicated, Shared, Multi-Tenanted, SaaS, PaaS…
To try to answer, first let me attempt some high level definitions of what the differentiating elements have come to be understood as, in English:
Public – Massive (“Hyper”) Scale; Global, Internet Facing, “Pay As You Go”, “One Size Fits All”, offering Advanced Toolsets for Software Development and Automated Deployment/Scalability.
Hybrid – Deploying your own mini-instance of a Public Cloud platform on your own hardware in your own DC suite, and then linking it to the Public Cloud’s “mothership”
Private – An Enterprise Grade, fully 3rd party supported implementation of (what is really mainly) a managed service outsourcing platform, usually under an e.g. 3 year contract that is either:
- Dedicated – solely for the use of one client
- Shared or “Multi-tenanted” – used by multiple clients
- Community – used by multiple clients with something else in common (like their parent company ownership or their affinity group membership or sector specific requirements)
SaaS – The use of an application that is wholly hosted and managed by the provider and “rented” on a monthly charge basis e.g. Salesforce
PaaS – Some sort of underlying common commoditised application layer hosting that Clients then use as they wish eg SQLaaS or Exchange Online or Hosted Sharepoint
On-Premise/Legacy/Co-location – The organisation’s historical IT implementations, that have evolved over time on everything from Mainframes to Unix to Windows and that now must be considered within a Cloud Strategy. Often these can’t be re-engineered cost effectively or even at all (finally a link to the title) “Because the Lady who knew the recipe died.“.
Multi-Cloud – Acceptance that each complex organization is probably going to end up with elements of all of the above 5 years from now.
Clear as Mud?
And the answer? “It depends…”
But we can be a little more helpful than that.
The “Best Execution Venue” for each application workload in your firm will depend on several key attributes of that application:
- Is the compute demand of the workload highly variable?
- Or is it predictable and pretty static?
- Would it help the firm greatly if you had the output much faster (i.e. hrs vs. days?)?
- It is highly critical? i.e. the business stops if it goes down
- Or can you live without it for a few hours?
- Is it “stateless” (can be restarted without data loss?)
- Is DR important?
- Does it differentiate your business from competitors?
- Or is it something every one of your competitors uses e.g. email
- Are you investing in developing the application further?
- Conversely, are you actively retiring it?
- Or is it staying pretty much as is?
- Is it old, or pretty new?
- Does it use a large amount of disk storage?
- Does a large % the content of that storage change regularly?
- Does it have very high disk or network IO or latency sensitivities?
- Is it highly security sensitive?
- Or perhaps perform a function that is subject to Regulation?
- What level of Service Wrapper do you want to buy?
- Full Service
- Somewhere in the middle?
Answer those questions for each of the applications in your environment and you will be a long way toward defining the “Best Execution Venue” for each application.
Combine the answers for all of the applications where they are similar and you’ll be a long way toward defining a good “Cloud Strategy” for your firm.
Get an expert to help you map the attributes of the application groups to the various choices of Cloud Platform above…
Find. Buy. Done. Simples.
Our “InTheCloud@TheShard” event at 6PM on November 9th 2017 is focussed on exactly this topic with regard to placement of Cloud workloads in UK Mid-Tier Finance. If you work for, or independently consult to a UK centric mid tier FS firm register to attend at http://www.cloverindex.com/cisco-best-execution-venue/
Or why not reach out to arrange an obligation free workshop to discuss your own Cloud Strategy and what the rest of the market is doing? firstname.lastname@example.org