Hybrid or multi: What’s the best cloud strategy for media companies?

Unless you’ve been following daily cloud computing news, chances are your understanding of the technology is outdated. This is especially true over the last 18 months, in which telecom, media, and technology companies (among others) have dramatically increased the type and number of applications they are able to deliver over public clouds.

But it’s not just new technology that’s making public clouds more accessible. Today an increasing number of companies are opting for a multi-cloud strategy. Whereas traditional hybrid strategies typically involve one cloud partner such as Amazon, Microsoft, or Google to interface with both on-premise data centers and edge servers, multi-cloud strategies make it possible to use a strategic mix of all three public clouds, in addition to any on-premise or edge servers.

While multi-cloud strategies are promising news for all types of industries, these developments are especially exciting for media companies. Before adopting a similar strategy, however, here’s what you need to know.

Key considerations

Up until now, lots of broadcast media companies rightfully used Amazon Web Services to transcode and stream their content from the cloud to any number of devices across the globe. For the media industry, this was a logical first step and media-rich partnership foray into the hybrid cloud model.

Slowly overtime, however, some of those same media companies started migrating other applications to Microsoft Azure, which is known for its developer-friendly environment, especially for .Net and Java programming languages. Others still increasingly migrated critical apps to Google Cloud, which is friendly to open source applications. Although a hybrid cloud strategy is more simple than managing partnerships with multiple cloud providers, media companies are increasingly seeing growth limitations of working with just one cloud provider that cannot specialize across a variety of application, storage, and computing needs. More and more, leading companies are adopting a multi-cloud approach.

Media companies are increasingly seeing growth limitations of working with just one cloud provider that cannot specialize across a variety of application, storage, and computing needs.

Hazards to avoid

Although data configuration costs are certainly an important consideration for any multi-cloud strategy (more on that shortly), your biggest multi-cloud cost will be your people. That is the opportunity cost of attracting the right talent or satisfying the ones you already have on staff. To attract your target market, including both employees and freelance contractors, you’ll need to consider their wants and needs before selecting a mix of cloud providers.

In other words, if your IT team prefers Google, don’t partner with Azure for your primary cloud. Similarly, if your staff are all big on AWS, don’t partner with Google as your default cloud. Instead of upsetting your current and target talent, work with them on selecting a provider that makes the most sense for your culture. You don’t want to fight with your IT. In addition to properly training them on cloud technologies, you’ll want to include them and please them with the multi-cloud environment that’s best for everyone.

Of course, the network or data costs are a huge issue. As anyone with cloud computing quickly learns, it’s easy to get your data into the cloud. But because of egress charges, it is also very costly to get it out or move it around as you like. Proper configuration can mitigate this, but you’ll also need to be smart about where you host your apps so as not to get charged twice. In general, Atos recommends performing electronic discovery on a desired application for 30 days before fully deploying it. That way you can analyze which apps are especially chatty and adjust your data configurations and wave migrations accordingly.

Lastly, it’s important to turn off the cloud when you’re not using it, otherwise you’ll be paying for it even in an idle state. For example, if you only work 40-60 hours a week, write and automate scripts that turn off your servers and computers during off hours to keep costs down. In our experience, doing this can lower your expense by 3X in some cases. So, turn off your tech and only turn it on as the business requires.

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About Clive Grethe
Global Head of Hybrid Cloud, Telecommunications, Media and Technology Industry – Atos
Clive Grethe has over twenty-five years International commercial and business experience for Atos and has been supporting customer adoption of Hybrid Cloud for over 10 years. He is the Global Head of Hybrid Cloud in the Telecommunications, Media and Technology Industry team and is responsible for business development and strategy for Hybrid Cloud and application transformation opportunities.

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