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How my barista inspired the Enterprise Private Cloud TCO model...

Twitter: @michaewilliams

…So you can save 25% in cloud costs


At times, I describe myself as a caffeine hummingbird who has to drink 4 times my body weight in coffee each day to stay alive! While that’s clearly an exaggeration, I am a big, big Starbucks fan. A few months back I was chatting with my favorite barista Samantha, and she asked me a question “which coffee do you think has the most caffeine – dark or light roast?” I answered “I assume it’s dark” and then learned that it’s really the light roast since the roasting process reduces caffeine. Who knew? (I bet you didn’t either!)

A thought process instantly kicked in – I really need to question assumptions. This process started with off the cuff questions such as “did someone actually set out to invent liquid soap?” But it led more or less (honestly, less) directly to questioning an assumption that many take as a given in our industry – specifically the assumption that private cloud is prohibitively expensive. I had to ask myself, “is that true?” Once the question was out there, I had to find an answer.

So, I started at the top – I wanted to eliminate all the controversial ‘Return on Investment’ discussions and focus totally on what happens to costs as a large enterprise moves from a legacy environment to a Nokia / Nuage Networks enterprise private and /or private-hybrid cloud environment. To contribute to our industry as a whole, I also wanted it to apply to private clouds created with other vendor’s products (since we’re not the only “blend” out there, so to speak).

Then, a key and definitely caffeine-inspired inspiration occurred: I decided to focus only on the CHANGES to cost. This way there’s no need to worry about costs that stay the same, such as data center environmentals, power, and so on. Further, most large enterprises are spending money on public cloud. To compare costs accurately, I needed a hybrid cloud but could not change where the workload was processed. Therefore, public cloud costs, if any, would not change and so I didn’t have to worry about them either. My day was getting brighter – and I didn’t even need a refill yet!

Further, since Nuage Networks SDN and SD-WAN products ‘overlay’; (in other words work with whatever network gear is there without requiring forklift upgrades), I really didn’t have to calculate an entire upgrade of the network. That’s like half-and-half coffee creamer with dark roast – it just works all the way around!

Then, the real work began of deciding how to regroup costs in a meaningful way that could highlight the differences between an automated, software-driven approach that leveraged OpenStack as the Cloud Management platform, incorporated Nuage Networks SDN and SD-WAN for networking, leveraged Nokia networking gear, and overall broke vendor lock-in across the board. Now that required a LOT of coffee.

I was nearly done with my analysis, but our sales team wanted analyst validation to ensure that sales would percolate. So, I worked with the analyst firm that not only is justifiably famous for knowing their way around a spreadsheet but also has completed over 450 of these kinds of studies – IDC. And, IDC formally validated the model in general and the key cost and saving parameters in particular. Finally, after chatting with the Enterprise Working Group and later the OpenStack Foundation proper, they confirmed that the market assumptions in my analysis were in line with theirs.

So, what’s the result? Countering industry assumptions, an OpenStack based private cloud, even for a regulated industry such as banking and healthcare, costs at least 25% less than the original legacy environment! Most industries will save substantially more. That means that most large enterprises can justify the move to private cloud based solely on cost advantages!

Free TCO analysis

We’re so confident in this model that we’re offering a TCO analysis free of charge to large enterprises that want to know how much they will save. Contact your local Nokia representative or leave a comment below and I can help you directly.

So, I have my barista Samantha to thank for inspiring this model. And, Mr. Schultz, if you ever read this, thanks to you too! Time for a refill… 

See press releaseNokia analysis demonstrates significant financial benefits for large enterprises moving to a private cloud from a legacy IT environment

Take a deeper dive on our OpenStack solutions page.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #Cloud #enterprise #SDN

Michael Williams

About Michael Williams

My focus is on enterprise cloud and financial segment solutions at Nokia. I’m passionate about how a disruptive thought process (e.g. “Black Swan”), a unified view of history (“Guns, Germs, and Steel”), or a new technology can entirely change how people interpret and interact with their world. I believe that technology, especially networking, will save lives every day and will make everyday lives better. And, I combine a background in engineering and business with good coffee – and the occasional bean dip – to help make that happen.

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