Mitigating Cloud Vendor Lock-in and Liquidation Risk

Some of the most common questions we get asked about Public Cloud in our UK FS client advisory meetings are:

  • “So how do we avoid becoming slaves to a big US vendor who doesn’t have any real competition, and who doesn’t negotiate on price rises?”
  • “How do we demonstrate that we have done the necessary Exit Planning required under FCA outsourcing guidelines (SYSC8.1) ?”
  • “Even if we go Cloud agnostic, what IF one of the big 3 providers we choose collapses?!”

In short – “How do we mitigate our Vendor Lock-in and Vendor Diversity Risks in an almost monopolistic Public Cloud world?

We there are several possible complimentary approaches to solving this problem. There is no “silver bullet” BUT combining some of these approaches will at least give you some options if/when the worst happens:

  1. “Container-ise “ using 3rd party independent toolsets like Docker to create workload portability
  2. Split Production and DR between different Cloud platforms – consider a specialist DRaaS provider and DR tools that are Cloud agnostic
  3. Split Active-Active clusters between different Cloud platforms; Two Public, or one Public / one Private.
  4. Use more Open Source and independent tech (e.g. Mongo) to break key (e.g. MS SQL and Oracle) product dependencies
  5. Design all new applications to be both “server-less” (i.e . micro-servcies based) and hypervisor agnostic

There is however one very interesting recent development that has REALLY caught our attention.

We don’t yet know a great deal about it – but Cisco CloudCenter is the result of the acquisition of CliQr by Cisco in April 2016, and a further 18 months of investment and development.

What we do know is that:

  • The product GUI allows an organisation to model an application’s entire support stack –  including underlying components like DotNet; JBoss and relevant DB engines
  • Once modelled, the application can be deployed via any one of 60 orchestration engines including AWS, Azure, Google, Rackspace, Softlayer and even to custom environments such as your own (or your MSP’s) VMware based Private Cloud stack.
  • The product can execute basic perfomance testing, and if needed invoke the Client’s own automated (e.g. Java based) application testing scripts.

We’ve asked Cisco for a list of UK FS reference clients a list of supported target cloud platforms and will post them here when received.

In the mean-time, we’re are running a dedicated UK Financial Services targeted session to reveal and demo the product at our 9th November InTheClouds@TheShard event. Register now to join our community of interested parties and find out more as we do.

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