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Cloud Services

Interview with CloudEndure

Clutch spoke with Leonid Feinberg, the Vice President of Product at CloudEndure, about the leading cloud computing platforms – an important discussion for enterprises seeking to adopt Cloud technologies.

Learn more about CloudEndure at cloudendure.com.

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Background

Please describe your organization.

CloudEndure is a company specializing in workload mobility for any infrastructure and from any location. We focus mostly on cloud systems, including public, private, and hybrid ones. We can also offer workload mobility for on-premises environments or mixed ones. We mostly provide enterprise-grade disaster recovery, with zero RPO [recovery point objective] and RTO [recovery time objective] as well as live migration with a near-zero cutover window into the cloud. .

What is your position?

I am the Vice President of Products in the company.

Which cloud solutions do you use?

We are mainly working with AWS [Amazon Web Services], Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, in terms of public clouds. We use OpenStack for private clouds.

Challenge

What is the business challenge a company faces that initiates the need for cloud platforms?

There are two main benefits for migrating to the cloud. First of all, it’s the long-term total cost of ownership. When comparing the actual computer storage and network resources of public cloud solutions to their on-premises alternatives in terms of price, the cloud services could appear to be costlier. When looking at the total cost of ownership, including manpower, dealing with more functions, high availability, and so on, the cloud will equate to the most cost-effective solution for many workloads. The on-premises prices for commodity hardware have more-or-less remained the same over time, having already reached their lowest level. Cloud prices are dropping all the time, so looking forward, even the price for the resources themselves will probably come to be lower than what it is today, if the trend continues. TCO [total cost of ownership] is a very important factor when making the decision to migrate to the cloud.

The second reason connects to the first, even though not directly: the cloud allows users to do things which could have never been done before within an on-premises environment. This ties to the DevOps paradigm of doing everything automatically, without human interaction. The cloud allows for automation and a more-or-less infinite resource pool, giving users access to many more automated mechanisms than would have been available in a standard, on-premises environment.

We work mainly with enterprises and other large organizations. These are the two main reasons for them to migrate into the cloud.

Solution

What are you recommendations for integrating cloud technologies into an organization?

It's never an all-or-nothing type deal, especially for large companies that have many legacy infrastructures which cannot be migrated in a day or even a month or year. It's always a good idea to try the cloud out by migrating a number of less business-critical workloads. The cloud has its own quirks and behaviors which people who are unfamiliar with it would not naturally anticipate. Once they become more familiar with the cloud after migrating a set number of workloads, they can migrate many others. There will be workloads which most companies will want to maintain on-premises indefinitely, like security regulations and control systems. The majority of workloads are good candidates for migration, utilizing this simple strategy of moving slowly and surely.

How do the costs of cloud compare to legacy platforms?

I think that the cloud will eventually win in terms of cost in most cases because of the economy of scale. When every company manages its own infrastructure, it needs to spend a fixed number of resources on setting this infrastructure up, maintaining it, and refreshing software licenses and hardware every few years. The capital expenditure is substantial in this case. When moving to the cloud, much of that expenditure can be converted to operating expense, having a reduced waste of resources. Companies pay for what they consume, and don't have to employ a team of people who maintain the hardware, networking infrastructure, etc. This is all being taken care of by the cloud provider. Any workload that can be migrated to the cloud without any business implications, should be migrated. It will come with a reduction of cost.

Why do you prefer these platforms over others?

Our company goes in the same direction as the market. We are enablers for clients who migrate to the cloud, and the 3 main enterprises to which clients want to migrate to are the ones which I mentioned. AWS was the first of these platforms and it is gaining more and more features rapidly. They have a good understanding of the enterprise market. AWS has the most features for enterprises who need security, networking flexibility, certifications, and so on.

Microsoft Azure has less friction when it is integrated with a Microsoft-based on-premises environment. This doesn't necessarily make it easier for a client to migrate into the Microsoft cloud if they are a Microsoft shop, but after migrating, part of the workload in integrating with the parts which were left on-premises can be somewhat easier. In terms of cost, Microsoft offers nice bundles when buying multiple Microsoft products, like Windows, Office, and SharePoint. This can reduce costs for large enterprises and contributes to the TCO.

Google was a late-comer to the cloud. They are in third place right now in terms of adoption, but they are beginning to gain ground. They are adding more and more enterprise features all the time, and have the advantage of learning from the mistakes made by the two larger competitors. Google can move quicker because they haven't made the same mistakes, which has allowed them to improve their cloud solution faster. Google is a clear leader in terms of computing and networking resources.

Features

Were there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

There are many functionalities that target smaller, startup companies, allowing them to build workloads differently. AWS Lambda is one example. The server-less architecture is becoming more and more popular and has been adopted mainly by smaller companies. Larger enterprises aren't moving fast enough to be taking advantage of this kind of feature. In terms of functionality, AWS is the only public cloud which allows customers to run Windows 2003 workloads, which has been retired by Microsoft. Companies who are still in the process of upgrading, see AWS as the natural choice in terms of functionality. AWS has some nice security and networking features for enterprises, not offered by their competition. In terms of running machines, networking, and storage on the cloud, the functionalities of the 3 major cloud platforms are comparable to each other.

Looking back, are there any areas of the platforms that you feel could be added or improved upon?

Migrating to the cloud is still a difficult process. This is why we've developed our migration technology. For any company without the advantage of using CloudEndure, the migration process of legacy applications is tedious. If there is a large amount of workload, many migration projects actually fail. It's very difficult to achieve, there is a lot of human error, and the cutover windows are huge. I know of many migration projects which have failed due to a lack of proper tools. As we go forward, the public cloud will come to provide more functionality around this challenge. It's a gap which they all need to fill.

Have you had to interact with the platforms’ support teams or reference their support resources?

From my experience, the support for all 3 platforms is pretty good. I wouldn't say that any one has better support than the others. They usually go above and beyond of what is required, and are very professional as well. I know that development and product teams are usually in charge of support duties in order to ensure that they are closer to the customer and provide insights which a standard support person would not necessarily have.

Overview

We have 5 additional questions. For each of these, we ask that you rate each platform on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score.

How would you rate them for functionality and available features?

AWS - 5 - It's the most feature-rich of the 3.
Microsoft Azure - 4
Google Cloud - 4

Both Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure provide everything needed in order to run the workload, but they don't excel in terms of the amount of features compared to AWS.

How would you rate each platform for ease of use and ease of implementation?

AWS - 4
Microsoft Azure - 4
Google Cloud - 4

There is complexity for any cloud platform. The more features there are, the more complex the system becomes. Neither of these platforms is easy to use. There are things to be understood beforehand, and the user must know what is happening behind the scenes. The user interface for each platform could be more intuitive than it is today. Other than that, they're all doing a good job.

How would you rate the platforms for support, as in the response of their team, and the helpfulness of available resources online?

AWS - 5
Microsoft Azure - 5
Google Cloud - 5

How likely are you to recommend one of the platforms to a friend or colleague?

AWS - 5
Microsoft Azure - 5
Google Cloud - 5

They all have disadvantages, but I would recommend any one of them, depending on specific needs, to a customer wanting to run a workload on the public cloud.

How would you rate each platform for overall satisfaction?

AWS - 5
Microsoft Azure - 5
Google Cloud - 5

Expert quote
"The cloud allows users to do things which could have never been done before within an on-premises environment. This ties to the DevOps paradigm of doing everything automatically, without human interaction. The cloud allows for automation and a more-or-less infinite resource pool, giving users access to many more automated mechanisms than would have been available in a standard, on-premises environment."