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When "It's So Easy" goes to pieces: Two tales about the complexities of Azure and Amazon clouds

by Greg Pierce
Chief Cloud Officer, Concerto,
July 31 2017
Frustrated IT worker

As managed cloud service providers, we often get asked to intervene when cloud deployments go awry. Attracted by apparent ease-of-use, flexibility, and low computing costs, companies quickly adopt leading public cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

What happens next depends on a myriad of factors, including the technical depth an organization has in-house or the partner network they have in place, as well as a strategic plan for digital transformation.

The companies who successfully deploy these public cloud platforms have typically brought together the right blend of internal/external cloud and technical expertise. But increasingly, we meet with organizations when the promises of the public cloud have failed to come true.

First, an AWS story. Company X (a promising software provider) launches its new cloud-based application across global markets. The product launch goes well and demand grows. But so do the cloud bills, from a $20k bill for November consumption to $58k for December. By January, the serving costs soared to the $70s. For February, they received a $98,000 monster bill resulting in negative profit margins.

The cause? A lack of internal expertise to configure and manage their AWS environment in a way to keep performance high and costs consistent. They underestimated its complexity.

Concerto's team stepped in to help, rewiring Company X to eliminate unnecessary instances and server sprawl. We reduced their costs by half and made those costs predictable.

Story #2 is about Company Y, an upper mid-market organization that deployed a new healthcare ERP solution on Microsoft Azure. They experienced nothing short of terrible performance and reliability issues. Unable ...

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About Greg Pierce

A 20-year technology consultant, Greg Pierce is considered one of the foremost experts on cloud computing trends, systems integration and deployment strategies. Greg develops the strategic direction, vision and product offerings for Concerto and manages sales, service and delivery for all customers.

Greg specializes in helping businesses understand, select and deploy innovative cloud solutions that leverage on-premise, hosted, third party and hybrid models. He was influential in the formation of Concerto Cloud Services and its virtual private cloud infrastructure, and under his leadership, Concerto has become one of the leading cloud services providers in the country, including recognition from Microsoft as the U.S. Independent Software Vendor (ISV) of the Year for Cloud Solutions.

Prior to founding Concerto, Greg held management positions in Tribridge's Cloud, Security and Infrastructure, and Managed Services practices. Before joining Tribridge in 2008, Greg owned and operated two companies that provided a variety of IT managed services and cloud computing solutions for customers throughout the U.S., including platforms for the delivery of ERP and other core business applications via private cloud since 2004. He has also served as a CIO.

Greg is an avid speaker for Fortune 500 enterprises, industry conferences and user groups. He serves on the Advisory Board for the University of South Florida (USF) College of Business, the Advisory Board for USF's Executive MBA Program and on the Executive Advisory Council at the Donald R. Tapia School of Business at Saint Leo University. He is a member of Microsoft's Infrastructure Partners Advisory Council and that organization's Cloud Economics Subcommittee. He holds an MBA from USF and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eckerd College.

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