Cloud Vs.On-Prem Guide

Workforce Required for On-Prem vs. Cloud

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Another thing to take into account in this on-prem vs. cloud debate is labour. CTOs said attracting and retaining would be the third most challenging aspect of migrating to on-prem. 

Does the Cloud allow for a smaller team?

One idea promoted by the cloud movement is that using the cloud allows one to work with a smaller team. DHH did not find it to be the case in his set up but when we asked experienced CTO we found that 68% agree or strongly agree that using the cloud allows them to have a smaller team. One CTO wrote that they would need to double their DevOps team if they migrated to on-prem.

Attracting talent: on-prem vs. cloud?

Will you find great developers more easily with a cloud-based stack or with an on-prem stack?

72% of the experienced CTOs who took the survey either agree or strongly agree that it will be harder to attract talent if they migrate away from the cloud while 18% feel it could go either way. The remaining disagree.

But when the question was posed to DHH on LinkedIn he commented “that much of the modern toolchain on-prem is the same. Whether that be VM management, pipelines, or even k8s.” But he also noted that “we also aren't optimising for resume-driven developers. So don't really care about that.”. 

The Challenge of Resume-Driven Developers

Based on discussions it seems like resume-driven developers (those who want to get cloud experience for their resume - after all that is what recruiters look for) are a big problem in the industry. Many job requirements list cloud experience as a requirement. This is something that recruiters follow blindly, notes Geetanjali Rai on LinkedIn.

In fact, one of the CTOs surveyed said that although their team was capable of handling everything on-prem, ‘we'd lose many of our people as well if we'd move to on-prem because it's valuable to have cloud (like AWS) on their CV. Many people would see it as a career-killer if they would move to on-prem”.

But then again, Max Feldmann noted on LinkedIn that perhaps you should aim towards the type of dev that wants to make their own decisions and not rely on other people’s decision-making (abstraction). Better yet, as Rodrigo Rivera points out on Linkedin, “All of Big Tech uses proprietary stacks not available in the open market, which does not stop them from hiring and retaining top talent. Top people want to work at top companies. Tools are secondary.”

But do CTOs agree? Hendrik Nehnes remarked that he finds that “most developers do not want to operate hardware or infrastructure. They want to create new applications and services that automatically scale and self-heal. I do not know any real developers, that want to think about server setup, database scaling, etc. For that, we had administrators in the past and on-prem companies still need them. Cloud-first companies do not have administrators anymore.”

Skills Gaps

In the past decade, many companies have moved to Cloud and their hiring focus moved to DevOps which are the skills engineers need to deal with highly abstract tools offered by the cloud companies. Would a modern DevOps engineer know how to manage the low-level infrastructure of Storage SAN, FiberChannel, vLAN's, etc... let alone manage the vSphere or HyperV? Of course, there are engineers like matt_s who mentioned on HackerNews that as a systems person they would find the hands-on nature more fun. But for the most part, Hendrik Nehnes writes “For this, you need very experienced and skilled people - seasoned people. You will not find a 20 - 25-year-old person with these skills. It goes into the same direction as finding COBOL developers ;-)”

We asked CTOs if they feel their current team is capable of hosting everything on-prem and 67% disagreed or strongly disagreed. That being said, 24% agreed or strongly agreed that their team could handle it. 

Conclusion:

Labour is a major consideration in the on-prem vs. cloud debate. Many CTOs say that attracting and retaining talent would be a significant challenge if they were to migrate to on-prem. Some argue that the cloud allows for a smaller team, but others disagree. The use of cloud technology is often seen as a valuable addition to a developer's resume, which can make it difficult for companies using on-prem infrastructure to attract top talent. In addition, the shift towards cloud technology has led to a focus on DevOps skills, leaving a potential skills gap in terms of managing on-prem infrastructure.

Cloud vs. On-Prem

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Overview

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Flexibility

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Maintenance and Management

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Availability

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Security and Compliance

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Decentralisation

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The Hybrid Set Up

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