Zach Dunn knows the benefits of containers on prem. Until recently, he and his employer (Optoro, Inc.), were spending around $75,000 a month on AWS services. “I realized at one point: I’m sending Jeff Bezos a really nice BMW every month,” Dunn says. But he and his team were able to cut hosting fees to $22,000 recently – and double their stack – by switching to an on prem solution (and slowly pulling away from the AWS model).
Dunn sat down with Cliff Pearson (University of California Santa Cruz) and Alex Williams (The New Stack) at the recent Interop Container Summit to discuss this and other benefits of “on prem.” He also explained what makes such a dramatic infrastructure change possible.
“We were actually born on Amazon,” says Dunn, whose company still relies on AWS for about 40% of their business services. “I don’t want to knock AWS because they provide a good service and it got us this far. The problem is: we’re at this point where we know where we want to be when we grow up.”
For Dunn, that means leasing hardware to bring infrastructure management in house.
“When you purchase another rack and you have to do that capital outlay: first of all, leases are great… [Or] you can actually amortize that cost over 3 years. The downside is you have another thing to manage.”
Dunn says the tradeoff is worth it, since ops people are used to that management anyway. Meanwhile, being on prem means he has “a controlled cost flow.” And, of course, his costs are drastically reduced. (Instead of sending Amazon a BMW, Dunn says, “Now I’m sending the good folks at CSE leasing a Kia.”)
Cliff Pearson (University of California Santa Cruz) brought up another benefit of on prem solutions: less red tape for innovators.
“[Enabling] people to provision for themselves really bypasses all the red tape,” Cliff says. “We no longer have to identify a funding source and we no longer have to have a justification other than ‘I want to try something out.’”
Cliff says that with infrastructure on prem, students and faculty don’t have to go through a formal approval process to use a credit card every time they need access to resources. It lowers “the barrier of entry,” Cliff says.
Cliff’s academic experience may well extend to government entities and even companies with a lot of bureaucracy. If so, on prem infrastructure may make innovation faster for everyone.
Follow the link below for the complete video (“The Power of Containers on Prem”) featuring Zach Dunn, Cliff Pearson, and Alex Williams: