Cloud’s cost-performance balance

“I thought this was going to save us money, not cost us more.” It’s a troubling and recurring cry from businesses looking to get a grip on their cloud migration strategies. Veering away from expensive in-house datacentres in favour of external cloud platform providers should be a secure and cost-effective tactic, but choosing which provider and level of service to opt for is proving an equally daunting proposition.

The aim of moving to the cloud is to leverage a data platform at a lower operational cost to reduce capital expenditure. But, as John Pocknell, database solutions evangelist at Quest Software has noticed, without the right guidance, many companies are struggling to find the balance between performance and outlay.

Companies want to put their workloads in the cloud, but need to balance performance with cost

“The problem lies in the fact that cloud adoption affects all sizes of enterprise and cloud service providers subsequently offer a tiering system in accordance with the package you choose to pay for. However, companies we’ve spoken to often don’t really know what service they need or what tier they’re at in relation to the size of their operations and data volume,” he says.

“Many therefore tend to over-provision. So, when they get their monthly bills, they are often higher than they anticipated, or even than they used to spend on their datacentres, because they weren’t able to gauge what tier they should go in at.”

With more than 30 years in the business, Quest Software is made up of five business units providing solutions to support digital transformation. Its database business specifically supports customers through cloud migrations, as well as other IT initiatives such as DevOps and open-source database adoption. Companies want to put their workloads in the cloud, but need to balance performance with cost.

“You can only do this by testing and monitoring what you do before and after a migration. It’s a luxury you don’t always get by diving right in with a cloud provider, but we can facilitate this through tools such as Benchmark Factory Spotlight and Foglight for Databases,” says Mr Pocknell.

Maximising data benefits and value

Testing isn’t just necessary for cloud migrations, but for any database initiative. Preferring commercial database providers or opting for open source is one such decision, as is changing the database licensing mix to reduce maintenance costs.

“Every company’s requirements are different and usually the only way to find out what works for you is to not just take the vendor’s word for it, but instead to test, retest, and find the optimum level and tier of cloud management for you,” Mr Pocknell explains.

Quest infographic

“One client we worked with recently was migrating to the cloud and had prepared for 96 hours of downtime to facilitate this manually. These 96 hours equated to around $1.9 million in losses.

“Using our SharePlex database replication tool, we facilitated their migration in a more streamlined way, cut out all potential downtime and ultimately ensured they found the correct level of cloud provision for their needs.”

Providers that provide transparency, value for money and performance will rise to the top of the market, and Quest is already setting itself apart in ticking all three boxes.

“There’s a fourth box too and that’s diversity,” says Mr Pocknell. “The growth of multi-cloud environments and the use of more than one provider is a classic example of this need for businesses to try and find an optimum provider to find their own optimum cloud package.

“A company’s ultimate vision is to benefit from the data they have and, as an organisation that works with most cloud providers, we can help businesses achieve this vision.

“We can provide consistent testing, monitoring and data movement to make sure, regardless of where the data is, you’re maximising benefits and value from it.”

For more information on how Quest can support your database cloud migration, please visit