Anybody working in storage cannot fail to come across the term ‘Enterprise Storage’; a term which is often used to justify the cost of what it is commodity item that is stuck together with some clever software; ask a sales-man from a vendor as to what makes their storage ‘Enterprise’ and you will get a huge amount of fluff but with little substance. ‘Enterprise Storage’ is a marketing term.
And now we are seeing the word ‘Enterprise’ being used by some Cloud Service Providers and Cloud Vendors to try to distinguish their Cloud server from their competitors, especially when trying to differentiate themselves from Amazon. Yet, is this just a marketing term again? I don’t think it is but not for entirely positive reasons.
If your application has been properly architected and designed to run in a Cloud based infrastructure; you almost certainly don’t need to be running in an ‘Enterprise Cloud’ and the extra expense that brings; if you have tried to shoe-horn an existing application into the Cloud, you might well need to consider an Enterprise Cloud. Because many Enterprise Clouds are simply hosted environments re-branded as Cloud, often utilising virtualisation sitting on top of highly resilient hardware; they remove many of the transition costs to the Cloud by not actually transitioning to a Cloud Model.
A properly designed Cloud application will meet all the availability and performance requirements of the most demanding Enterprise and users whether it runs in an commodity cloud or an Enterprise Cloud. Redeveloping your existing application portfolio may well feel prohibitively expensive and hence many will avoid doing this. Ultimately though, many of these existing applications which live in the Enterprise Cloud will transition to a SAAS environment; CRM, ERP and other common enterprise applications are the obvious candidates. This will leave the those applications which make your Business special and from which you derive some kind of competitive advantage; these are the applications and architectures that you should be thinking about re-architecting and re-developing, not just dumping them into an ‘Enterprise Cloud’.
Try not to buy into the whole ‘Enterprise Cloud’ thing apart from as a transitionary step; think about what you need to do to run your business on any ‘Commodity Cloud’; how you design applications which are scalable and resilient at the application layer as opposed to infrastructure, think about how you make those applications environmentally agnostic with the ability to take advantage of spot pricing and brokerage. Or if you really don’t believe in the Cloud, stop pretending to and stop using Enterprise as camouflage.