NOTE TO READER: This post is a post from guest blogger Chris Lawless, VP of Product Management at Dbvisit.
More and more IT organizations are looking at the cloud. There are a variety of reasons why organizations would move their Oracle databases to the cloud. Discover our team’s instructions here. One fear that I hear from many people when talking about the cloud is that they would be ‘locked in’. Vendor lock in is a real fear when talking about hardware, database software and applications. Each of these important pieces have their own challenges regarding ‘lock in’. But being locked into a cloud vendor seems to loom even larger. Many think of it as the Roach motel. You can check in but you can’t check out. With data being the lifeblood of the organization, this is a fear hard to overcome.
Let’s look at a few reasons why organizations fear vendor lock in within a cloud environment. The first reason that may come to mind is pricing. Companies may have been enticed to the cloud with the promise of lower prices. If you don’t sign a long-term contract, you may be hit with rising prices. Or you may not have achieved a significant cost saving in the cloud. If prices go up and you have no contingency plans, you may be stuck paying.
Another reason that you may want to leave a certain cloud platform is because of security issues. While security within a cloud environment has greatly improved, what if a new security hole was discovered, and you wanted to get off of that cloud fast? Could you? Or would you be locked in?
What if a new database feature came out in a new version of the database you use, yet your cloud vendor did not certify that new version? You could be waiting for quite some time for those features, stuck on your cloud, and yet that version may already be available on another cloud vendor’s platform.
What if a cloud vendor just changes their rules? Fine print is important to read but there may be new limitations added in the future, that may hinder the way your database works. Being stuck may mean you will have to abide by the new rules.
A further reason that is in the news is what if your cloud vendor has an outage? Yes, I am sure that you will hear about uptime and availability but outages do happen. In fact, AWS had one. Sure, this was S3 and not EC2 or RDS, but outages remain a distinct possibility. So why take the risk and what is a company to do?
IT organizations should have plans ready for all sorts of contingency plans. Of course, having a business continuity plan is a must whether you are on-premises or in cloud. This is where you would need to talk to a company like KingsBridge to help you set up a proper business continuity plan. Just like a proper disaster recovery plan should be in place, why not a cloud migration plan?
There is one super easy, proactive way to avoid cloud lock in. What if you set up your disaster recovery standby database on a different cloud vendor from the beginning? Yes, that is right… inter cloud DR may sound a bit radical but consider the facts. You configure your database in the cloud. Then, right away you set up your DR standby database using Dbvisit Standby on a different cloud vendor (OR TWO!!).
This means that right out of the gate, you will be using two different vendors right away. Yes, it means you have to learn a bit about each of the different vendors from the start, but is this really a bad thing? Once in place, you can certainly do a graceful switchover to the other provider and run from there. Maybe even do this once per quarter to see which platform provides better services and gives better performance. Or, you can just do this if you ever want to migrate to another cloud vendor to avoid lock in.
Another advantage of this method is that it may be possible to have the standby site have a ‘bare bones’ configuration on the target cloud. Just enough CPU/memory to allow a small instance on the target cloud. Then in the event of a disaster, you can spin up a larger instance (the new primary) enough to run your full production workload.
While it may be a bit more work up front to set this up, it may well be worth the cost savings. So by all means, migrate to the cloud, but if cloud lock in is a concern of yours, consider putting your DR standby database in another cloud…just in case of a rainy day.
KingsBridgeBCP offers businesses of all sizes BCP Software Solutions and industry know how based on best practices. We help build, exercise, and maintain Business Continuity Plans. Our services and software packages are customized to meet the wide range of our customers’ needs, ensuring we deliver the best value in every project. To learn more click here or check out our Services.