The other day I heard from a friend, a VP of pre-sales in a mid-size firewall management company. He thought he had landed a new customer, but then the deal hit a wall. Why? Because the customer wasn’t happy with his data sitting on my friend’s public cloud provider (one of the big three). “Our public cloud? Why in the world should you care?” my friend asked the customer, acting surprised. “Trust me,” the potential customer told him, “we have our reasons.”
My friend confided to me that it’s not the first time he has heard that from a customer, and in fact, it was his third time this quarter. Once from a bank, once from a workflow automation company, and now this. And, as he grudgingly admitted, he already knows the answer. “Why in the world should they care?”
My friend knows that this is not going to be easy, because his business is deeply rooted on the public cloud — and the solution lies elsewhere.
Why do I say that? Because the strength of the public cloud — a universe of data stored, secured, and accessed in one place — is also its weakness. The strength may be greater than its weaknesses, don’t get me wrong. But for many types of use cases — and these use cases are growing — public cloud infrastructure is just not appropriate.
There’s no single reason why it’s not appropriate. For some companies, it’s the need for absolute separation of their data. For others, it’s the need for extensive customer support. And for others, it’s simply related to governance and regulations. In my friend’s case, as he discovered, the customer felt that the public cloud would not facilitate customizations related to its application’s unique architecture.
So for a lot of companies, a local cloud can be a better fit. And with the growing adoption of cloud-native applications to serve new markets, more and more companies are looking for local options to serve their business and their expansion.
There are so many variations on cloud architecture, and no one size fits all. A business may have a computing strategy which is partially on-premises, partially bare-metal, partially co-located, and partially cloud-native across five continents. It needs a flexible cloud architecture that matches its specific IT and locality requirements.
To address the challenge, Ridge has developed a new cloud paradigm in which local data centers’ existing capacity is transformed into modern PaaS offerings. It accomplishes this by enabling data centers that currently have private cloud or virtual data center offerings to add modern, cloud native PaaS services, such as managed Kubernetes, containers, and object storage. These managed services — all accessed through a single API — enable data centers to offer their customers cloud-native capabilities without needing the expertise to run the services themselves.
Ridge also offers additional features, such as VPN and IaaS capabilities, which facilitate full interoperability with any hybrid or multi-cloud architecture. As a result, enterprises can build a customized and optimized cloud computing strategy, taking into account their legacy IT architecture, in the location — or multiple locations — of their choosing.
And finally, through Ridge’s managed services, data centers are able to federate their new PaaS offerings with other service providers from all over the world and be a part of a global cloud infrastructure. In other words, customers can easily receive local cloud services in as many local data centers as they need.
I’m debating whether to tell all this to my friend. His business is doing fine running on the large public cloud. But the next time he hears from a potential customer that the public cloud is not appropriate for his application, maybe he’ll tell him that now there’s a solution to the problem.
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Ridge unlocks the full potential of the cloud. By enabling developers to access Ridge’s managed web services on a massively distributed network of local data centers, Ridge enables them to deploy and scale cloud-native workloads in the location — or locations — of their preference. Users get all the benefits they get in their local data centers in addition to capabilities that up until now were only available on the public cloud.