When I was young, I admit I didn’t realize vanilla was an actual flavor. I thought it just meant “plain” or “standard” and a bit boring. Tubs of Neapolitan ice cream usually started a war between my brothers and I, as the three striped flavors came with an invisible ranking of desirability. Chocolate was clearly the most exciting, vanilla was just standard and strawberry got some traction simply because it wasn’t vanilla.
That was, of course, until a slice of warm apple pie appeared on our plates. Then we abandoned chocolate and strawberry and the vanilla got pride of place.
What does all this ice cream talk have to do with deploying software in the cloud?
Clearly, cloud deployments are the flavor of the month, perhaps the chocolate in the analogy above. Software deployments are easy and payments are straightforward, with your monthly fee covering your software subscription and use of the infrastructure supporting it. Both of these factors make it a very appealing option, leaving many wondering why deploying software on-premises ever seemed like a good idea.
For others, the cloud is not the right fit for what they have on their plates. Like the apple pie and vanilla example, they enjoy the comfort they get from the standard approach to software deployments by deploying their software on-premises. They are happy to pay for the software and then deploy and support within their own environment.
But there is one flavor missing. Because there is more than two choices - there are three.
The third choice is often overlooked, just like strawberry ice cream. This choice is called “hosted”.
With a hosted model, you buy the software outright, which means no subscription fee. This is very appealing for some budget models. You then host your software in the cloud environment, taking advantage of both the infrastructure and dedicated expertise of the folks managing it. This allows you to alleviate any burden on your own IT staff or IT infrastructure and can be very cost effective.
Which of these three choices is right for you? The answer is simple: The one that tastes best.
As this poll and discussion board on the topic “Neapolitan ice cream: what do you eat?” shows, there is not one right answer for everybody. In fact, the most popular answer in this poll reflects the same response I know I’d get if I polled 200 organizations and asked about their favorite deployment choice.
The most popular is not chocolate, is not vanilla and not even strawberry. The most popular choice was “all of them”.