When I was in the virtualization management game, oh so many years ago, we used to talk about “Virtual First” policies as the pinnacle of adoption of the platform. It’s a topic I enjoy reminiscing about with folks like Dave Bartoletti, who were in the game with me at the time.
Why was it the pinnacle? It represented some sort of tipping point. When the new became better than the old – or preferable. or cheaper. It also meant that the adoption rate of virtualization would have risen dramatically from then on. And so it did.
Now we’re in a cloud-first land. Increasingly, organizations are evaluating each new request for whether it should be fulfilled by a cloud (public or private) or a physical or virtual machine. Smashing, right? But, instead of recreating the past (as fun as that was), let’s consider the pros and cons of such a policy:
- It probably targets the cheapest, most flexible platforms first, which typically increases agility and saves money. Generally, this is good.
- It provides new requests with a fast path to fulfillment – which always brings joy to a girl who once ordered sun servers and waited 6 weeks for their arrival in that big square box.
- It forces IT to make the emotional and functional switch, embrace public cloud, and swap the default option, whether it is entirely comfortable or not.
- It’s lovely for net new workloads – but what about your legacy? Do they get grandfathered into antiquity, or can they progress? Shall we take some time to think of their needs?
- It won’t be hard for IT to forget basic hygiene in this transition, and thus lose a lot of the ground of proper performance, config and compliance management if their clouds aren’t properly built.
Generally, a cloud-first policy is the path to ultimate glory. It’s a case of looking before you leap.. but not for so long that you fear the jump.