Should You Own or Rent Your Infrastructure?

When you went on that trip to Honolulu last summer, how did you get around? Maybe you walked, used public transportation, or had a Hawaiian friend kind enough to lend you their extra car. But if you’re like most people, you walked into a dealership, plopped down $50,000 in cash, and bought a new car.


There’s no economic reason to buy a car when you only intend to use it temporarily. When you’re at home longingly planning for your return to the islands, you likely have a car that you own—one that you frequently use for your predictable, routine travel needs.

Your infrastructure is the same way, and businesses need to make smart decisions when it comes to renting or owning their infrastructure. But unique use cases and business needs necessitate one or the other—or occasionally, both. Keep reading to find out which option makes the most sense for you.

The Case for Owning

Regardless of the type of workloads your business runs, chances are, many are consistent with little variation from one day to another. For these predictable instances, it makes sense to opt for a private infrastructure model—one you can constantly and reliably use for these much-needed use cases.

But how do you decide if you should stay with privately owned infrastructure—or stick with only private infrastructure?

If the majority of your workloads are well-established with little-to-no variation one day to another, then owning your infrastructure will always make sense.

And in terms of businesses overall, more are choosing the economic advantages of sticking to an on-premises cloud architecture. In fact, a recent IDC survey found that 80% of organizations are moving applications into a private cloud. And in the next 2 years, 50% of all applications in the public cloud will be moved to on-prem.

Plus, unlike renting your infrastructure, it’s fully customizable. If you own your own home, for example, you can repaint, remodel, and redesign it to your liking. Owning an on-premises infrastructure means you’re able to build it to match your organization’s needs.

But in today’s age, it’s not always easy to predict the state of your applications, and the public cloud has its own place in your organization.

The Case for Renting

Just like renting a car for your vacation, renting a public cloud architecture is the most economic decision for elastic, burstable workloads. Plus, if you intend on only using the infrastructure for a short period of time—i.e., for only a select number of workloads—then purchasing and owning your own on-prem infrastructure doesn’t make sense.

And for applications with unpredictable resource requirements, the public cloud makes the most sense, expanding when needed to accommodate these workloads. Not to mention, many businesses rely on the public cloud for backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Plus, public infrastructure is more than just a scalable, temporary solution—it also has automated, cost-efficient services built-in. Resource sharing, single-click automation, and other features make renting an attractive choice. With fractional, pay-as-you-grow economics, on-demand resources, and zero overhead, renting is undoubtedly a smart choice for businesses requiring large, rapid scaling.

Here’s the big picture: There’s a time and place for public and private cloud. While both have their spot in IT, many organizations want to leverage the power of both. So, why settle?

All About Hybrid Cloud

For many businesses, moving out of the public cloud and into one or more dedicated on-prem clouds is the answer. Even so, many aren’t willing to give up the agility and automated services the public cloud provides, asking for a blend of both a private and public cloud. Or, put another way, you’re not always going to be home, and you’re not always (sadly) going to be in Hawaii.

That’s where hybrid cloud comes in, with 91% of organizations saying it’s their ideal IT model. By combining the fractional consumption model of public cloud with the security of an on-prem infrastructure, businesses can choose to run their workloads where it makes the most sense and seamlessly move them between clouds when needed. And rather than juggling multiple cloud environments, the hybrid model consolidates cloud management.

To put this in numbers, 75% of IT teams say they’re more efficient on a hybrid cloud, realizing 49% more business value. But how exactly do you get there?

It’s a Hyperconverged Journey

If you’re renting your infrastructure long-term, you’re likely to go well over your IT budget. But understandably, businesses aren’t willing to abandon the benefits of an agile, flexible public cloud. At the same time, relying on an on-prem cloud doesn’t necessarily enable innovation and Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) marries both seamlessly. By leveraging industry standard components, the overall infrastructure cost goes down. Plus, you’re able to pay-as-you-go, letting you only get what you need and add onto it as necessary. The rest? Burst out additional needs into the public cloud, so you can leverage the power of both renting and owning your infrastructure (that’s your hybrid cloud).

This means much, much less capital waste as a result of technology capital investments. Instead of buying for peak utilization and losing money during normal or low utilization, businesses can align their needs with their infrastructure more precisely.

The result is a best-of-both-worlds situation: You maintain the agility of the public cloud, available for any large-scale, unpredictable workloads, but with an incremental payment plan, you’re better equipped to stay well within your budget. Plus, you maintain the much-needed security of the infrastructure you own.

It’s not a “this or that” scenario. It’s “this and that.”


Your cloud journey doesn’t end here. Get a more thorough breakdown of public, private, hybrid, and enterprise clouds in this free eBook.

In it you’ll learn how these architectures stack up against each other, 10 reasons why one of those clouds is the future of IT, and practical advice you can use to architect a successful cloud infrastructure.

© 2019 Nutanix, Inc. All rights reserved. Nutanix, the Nutanix logo and the other Nutanix products and features mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nutanix, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other brand names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and may be the trademarks of their respective holder(s).



Should You Own or Rent Your Infrastructure?

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