by Poojitha Jayadevan

Reversibility makes multi-cloud strategy feasible: Michel Paulin, OVH

Sep 17, 2019
BusinessCloud ManagementEnterprise Applications

In an exclusive interaction with CIO India - Michel Paulin, CEO at OVH highlights why data reversibility is important as enterprises migrate to the cloud. n

Flexibility, scalability, reliability, and cost – many of the reasons why enterprises consider moving to the cloud. However, the important factor that’s often missed is reversibility. In this race to cloud, many enterprises struggle with vendor lock-ins with their cloud service providers.

OVH, a hyper-scale global cloud service provider based in Europe, has a different take on this. In an exclusive interaction with CIO India – Michel Paulin, CEO at OVH highlights why data reversibility is important as enterprises migrate to the cloud.

Edited Excerpts: 

Why does reversibility become important in the multi-cloud era?

Today, enterprises are embracing multi-cloud than ever before. And there’s no denying that multi-cloud is the solution to many problems. However, moving to the cloud tends to get complicated when cloud providers don’t offer data reversibility. Without reversibility, the customers will only have the capacity to compute data and will have no control over where the data resides. Multi-cloud has very little or no meaning if there’s no reversibility involved. It might be a way to explain the market share for CSPs, but not an efficient solution to propose multi-cloud to a customer. 

How can enterprises make sure if their CSPs offer reversibility?

There’s one important question that all enterprises should address before it migrates to cloud – can it or can it not migrate workloads at a low cost from one platform to the other. Enterprises should address this before they begin their journey to the cloud. Most of them ask this question in the middle of the journey, and then it’s too late. 

 Enterprises shouldn’t be blinded by the marketing pitch of cloud vendors. Go-to-cloud is not a one-way, but a two-way journey. Customers should be free to move out as freely as they moved in. CIOs need to think through their data strategy thoroughly – inventory of their workflow, where the data reside – as not everything is to be moved to the cloud.

“At OVH, we push for reversibility. When the customer decides to move to the cloud, it should be a two-side journey. Customers should get all advantages of the cloud- price, flexibility, scalability and the capacity to move. Moving to the cloud would mean nothing if you don’t have data reversibility. ”

Michel Paulin


How does OVH help its customers with vendor lock-ins on its journey to the cloud?

Many cloud players make it difficult or impossible for their customers to move their data out of the cloud. However, we at OVH believe that customers should be free to move the data out as and when they want. The concept of reversibility is not just beneficial for the customers in the long term but will also make the multi-cloud strategy feasible. And we have a couple of proofs of why reversibility isn’t just a marketing pitch for us.

Firstly, we have developed free software to migrate data from on-premise or other providers to our cloud. We have also developed tools for the customers to move data out of our cloud. Locking in customers has never been our marketing strategy, and therefore we provide them with a way to move out as well.

Secondly, our system is based on bundles, and it is completely transparent. It gets very expensive to move workloads all the time. Migration of data is bundled and included in the initial price, no hidden costs. We don’t bill the customer for the outflow of the data, that is, if the customer decides to move out of OVH cloud, they don’t pay for it.

What are the key challenges customers face when it comes to cloud migration? How does OVH help them out? 

There are many mainframe legacy applications still running in most enterprises. This is something that’s not been changed or modified for years. And these are extremely difficult to be migrated as they lack the resilience and flexibility to survive in the cloud. 

We help our partners to build an inventory of all the applications they have. These are further categorized by applications, workloads and data type – not everything is compatible with cloud. OVH helps decide which ones are to be migrated to the cloud, and which are best left on other platforms. After all, there’s no silver bullet solution for the cloud journey!