Cloud-Native vs. Fake Cloud

In the IT world, where buzzwords and acronyms are used to market the latest trends or cool new technologies, there’s often a blur between what is real and what is fake. Nothing exemplifies this more than the “fake cloud.” But before we take a look into what the “fake cloud” is, here are some essential characteristics of the native cloud according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):

  • On-demand self-service: A consumer can unilaterally provision consuming capabilities such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  • Broad network access: Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
  • Resource pooling: The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources by may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction, like country, state, or datacenter.
  • Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in quantity at any time.
  • Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the typ of service. Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

In short, cloud-native is an on-demand, elastic, multi-tenant service accessible anywhere from any device, and with usage that is measured and monitored.

When it comes to fake cloud, there are warning signs to look out for:

  • Software installation is a lengthy and complex process.
  • You need to configure your network to enable the “cloud” application.
  • You need developer level resources to make the tool fit your use case.
  • Your application has a subscription licensing model but is still installed locally.
  • Your cloud application is delivered via your own. hosted version that is different than other customers’ instances.
  • Upgrades and enhancements need to be scheduled.
  • You need technical expertise or professional services to increase capacity or deploy new capabilities.
  • There is no inherent method to calculate individual usage of the application.

When it comes to “fake cloud,” it’s not necessarily bad, expensive, difficult to manage, or hard to upgrade. But it’s important to understand the differences before investing into a specific product! Cloud is no longer a trend or buzzword but many technology vendors will embrace “cloud” as marketing terminology but their product may not be “cloud-native” as defined above.

How do you view cloud in your current business model? Is there anything you look out for when checking out a cloud solution?

(From the Automox blog: https://blog.automox.com/cloud-native-vs-fake-cloud)

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