Vendors can lock businesses into lengthy contracts to move to the cloud and the move itself could be more expensive than deploying on-premise tools, warns George Teixeira, CEO of storage virtualisation software vendor DataCore.
In an interview with Computing, Teixeira acknowledged Computing's research*, which found that 38 per cent of IT decision-makers said that vendor lock-in was one of their biggest security concerns about the use of the cloud.
However, he stated that DataCore was trying to differentiate itself from rivals to minimise this risk.
"When a business chooses to go out to a public cloud, we have a cloud gateway as part of the storage hypervisor. This means that the business can pick any public cloud.
"There is always the lock-in issue; we make it look like the disk is the company's, but when you write to the disk it is going to the public cloud.
"The public cloud can be the business's choice as the prices are always changing. For example, this year Amazon might be cheaper but next year Google or another new company could be the cheapest," he said.
Teixeira claimed that DataCore's competitors, including IBM, have taken a different approach.
"With other vendors it is their basic business to sell more of their products. For example, IBM sells an IBM System Storage SAN [storage area network] Volume Controller, which they call their storage hypervisor. But it only runs on an IBM storage engine – so what is their real objective? If you look at the literature it sounds as if anyone can work with it, but [actually] it only works if the business's software is running on IBM," he said.
In Computing's research*, 31 per cent of IT decision-makers also cited unproven business models and return on investments as key concerns. Teixeira agreed that moving to the cloud can prove more expensive than staying on-premise in the long-run, depending on how the business implements it.
"There is a myth that most people assume the cloud is always cheaper. At DataCore I'm trying to say, why doesn't a business build its own cloud? It depends on the kinds of storage devices a company uses and the kinds of servers.
"What is happening is that people are attempting to create a private cloud in which they are using more commodities a year. This could be normal Dell or HP servers and standard disks within those systems, or they could be using exotic high-end storage arrays, which can be quite cost-effective.
By eliminating high entry costs for big data analysis, you can convert more raw data into valuable business insight.
A discussion of the "risk perception gap", its implications and how it can be closed