It has now been nearly a decade since Microsoft launched what was then known as Windows Azure in 2010, and over 13 years since Amazon Web Services (AWS) first offered cloud storage with Amazon S3. For a while, “the cloud” was largely seen as public cloud – services offered by a third party over the public internet, with data stored in the cloud provider’s data centre. But lately, we have seen some major cloud providers offer on-premises solutions as a monthly subscription. Let’s take a look at some of these solutions:

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

As announced at Dell Technologies World in April, VMware launched a “private cloud as a service” offering with hardware support provided by Dell EMC. Much like a traditional public cloud service, customers have the option to pay for the infrastructure on a month-to-month basis.

This on-premise offering, combined with VMware’s availability on major cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM, enables a consistent management plane across private and public cloud environments.

Microsoft Azure Stack

Azure Stack, an extension of Microsoft Azure, allows companies to deliver Azure services from their own data centre, and is billed as a monthly subscription. As Microsoft’s answer to the OpenStack platform, Azure Stack allows users to either keep workloads on premises, or easily move them to the public cloud via Azure.

AWS Outposts

Similar to Azure Stack, AWS Outposts allows its customers to move their AWS cloud services on premises, and is fully managed, maintained and supported by AWS. It also has two versions: VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, which allows users to run their VMware control plane on premises, or the native AWS Outposts, which uses the same APIs and control plane as the AWS cloud.

When should you consider moving workloads from the cloud to your data centre?

With these new on-prem services from the likes of VMware, Microsoft and AWS, migrating data from the cloud to your data centre – and vice-versa – has become much more seamless. There are just as many reasons to consider moving data back to your premises as there are to move it from your data centre to the cloud. Here are a few key considerations:

  • You’ve got a need…a need for speed. Latency is one commonly cited concern with public cloud networks. For applications that rely on speed, it may make sense to host them on premises.
  • Consistent computing costs. One of the main selling points of the cloud is its ability to scale up resources to handle a spike in usage – for example, a retailer that sees a spike in web traffic on Boxing Day. However, some applications could be a better fit for an on-premises private cloud if their resource needs remain consistent on a daily/monthly basis.
  • IoT and edge computing. With the expansion of smart devices connected to the Internet of Things, it may make more sense to store data collected from a smart sensor, for instance, closer to the source – either on premises, or via edge computing – than on a public cloud.
  • Keeping private data private. As the Capital One data breach on AWS illustrates, a misconfiguration in the public cloud can leave data exposed to attackers. While the intrusion in that case was caused by a misconfigured web application firewall, it does leave companies questioning whether certain customer data would be better kept on premises.

If you’re considering a cloud migration, CDW offers cloud readiness assessments, including cost estimates, as well as professional services to migrate, manage and transform on-premise applications to the public or hybrid cloud. To learn more, visit


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