Managing Cloud Costs with Distributed Clouds

Distributed Clouds

By Jonathan Seelig

As is true for any technology purchase decision, flexibility and competition are the way to go and vendor lock-in should be avoided. A vendor that knows that it needs to compete for your business every single day does a better and cheaper job for you than a vendor who knows you can’t leave.  

So while the logic behind reducing vendor lock-in is pretty easy to understand, what is its specific relationship to cloud computing?  

An Alternative to the Public Cloud

As more and more computing shifts to the cloud, “cloud budget” is becoming “IT budget.” It’s no longer a line item, but rather THE line item. But after more than a decade in which cloud computing was synonymous with large public cloud infrastructure, many businesses are now discovering that one size does not fit all. 

The next step in their IT evolution is to figure out how to manage their cloud computing costs while supporting legacy applications, cloud migration, and cloud-native applications. They may have a computing strategy which is partially on-premises, partially bare-metal, and with full hybrid cloud capabilities across multiple continents. And so they need a cloud provider that offers architectural flexibility to build a cloud customized for their needs and budget. 

To address the challenge, a new cloud paradigm has emerged: a unified distributed cloud, such as that offered by Ridge, in which workloads are spun up in thousands of locations across the globe. In this architecture, existing local data center and on-premises capacity is transformed into modern PaaS offerings. Data centers with private cloud or virtual data center offerings can easily start to offer modern, cloud-native PaaS services, such as managed Kubernetes, containers, and object storage.  All of this is done programmatically and through modern APIs, allowing  business-critical applications — such as databases — to run in specific locations without needing to purchase services from the hyperscalers.

Leveling the Playing Field

One of the core principles of a distributed cloud is to avoid being vendor locked onto any single cloud platform.  If your application can ONLY run on a single cloud because you have used proprietary technologies, then you won’t be able to optimize your spend. In today’s world, open protocols for application building enable businesses to engineer, architect, and code applications so that they are not locked into a specific cloud and can run in multiple locations. 

Obviously the more flexibility you have in terms of where you’re able to run that application, the more flexibility you’ll have to generate an optimal budgetary framework for a given application. Standards such as Kubernetes and the S3 protocol are the leveling tools that create that flexibility to do not just application performance and functionality but also to manage your budget.

The Economies of Locality

While hyperscalers benefit from economies of scale, a unified distributed cloud takes advantage of the economies of locality and distribution.  It enables application owners to utilize a global network of service providers instead of relying on the availability of compute resources in a specific location. 

By facilitating interoperability with existing infrastructure, the unified distributed cloud  empowers enterprises to deploy and infinitely scale applications anywhere they need, even when they need edge computing.  And with the growing adoption of cloud-native applications to serve new markets, it is a flexible infrastructure that helps businesses to control their budget while adapting to change and facilitating expansion.

About Ridge

Ridge Distributed Cloud converts any underlying infrastructure — public or private — into a cloud-native platform. Because it leverages existing infrastructure, Ridge requires zero installation or CAPEX.  Businesses get a cloud that matches their specific throughput, locality, and commercial requirements.


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