History of Cloud Services and the Multi-Cloud

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15 February 2022

Recently Seamus Matthews, Senior Director for worldwide alliances with Interxion, was interviewed by the Business Post about the history of data centres and how we got to our current IT offering.

In the article, Seamus brings us back to the start of cloud services. Enterprise scale companies in the 90’s and early 2000’s needed something purpose built for IT needs and out of this came the data centre. It was commonplace to outsource this work during this time. Many manufacturing departments were starting to avail of outsourcing and since it would be far more expensive to build data storage on site, IT followed suit.

Around this time, Amazon was creating the ability to share internal resources with other branches of its company, in different geographical locations. This is where Amazon Web Services was initially formed.

Seamus notes that the concept of Amazon’s invention was mostly due to the company’s culture in fostering innovation.

“Internal culture is entrepreneurial and the [leaders of Amazon] realised that within their own four walls, they were offering multi-tenant services.”

AWS grew out of its ability to offer software developer teams something really valuable, and that was additional resources. Instead of these people having to wait nine or ten months for funds to be cleared to add a server to the server room on the fifth floor, they could pay AWS for a cheap virtual server and have access to it immediately, and then expense the credit card bill. This phenomenon gave rise to the term shadow IT used to describe IT resources that were hidden from the rest of the company because they’d been paid for out of expenses coming directly out of the IT department.

That happened because it was so cheap. Developers were prepared to use their own credit card and just expense it. It took a number of years for enterprises to realise that they were paying millions in expenses for public cloud consumption.

It took a little longer for Microsoft to develop Azure and for Google to spin up Google Cloud. Today, Azure is a natural location for enterprise customers working with Microsoft products. While Google focuses on analytics, with a focus on machine learning and artificial intelligence. The end result of all this, is the current multi-cloud environment we’re all living and working in.

For most companies with some or all of their IT resources in the cloud, having a multi-cloud strategy is simply how things have worked out. Ultimately, choosing a multi-cloud strategy enables flexibility and choice for companies. It can ensure a company avoids vendor lock-in and doesn’t become beholden to a single cloud provider’s services, infrastructure and pricing model.

To find out more about how a multi-cloud strategy can benefit your organisation or to discuss developing a clearer strategy for your hybrid cloud infrastructure, please contact us and we can introduce you to our extended hybrid IT partner ‘community of interest’ to help you make your next cloud transition.

You can read the full article on the Business Post website here.