Emil Sayegh Offers Insight Into the Trade-Offs of Cloud Architecture

PORTLAND, OR – Cloud deployment is changing – and not in the ways you’d expect. The financing is changing, expectations are changing, and the end-result is changing. So CapRE invited Emil Sayegh, CEO of Hostway Services to the Second Annual Greater Portland Data Center Summit for a keynote presentation titled “How the Cloud Providers are Playing with Traditional Data Centers.” To kick off, Sayegh honed in on the various trade-offs associated with Cloud migrations.

“The choices are pretty complex,” began Sayegh. “There are advantages and disadvantages to doing things in house and having our own data center, having it in a data closet or buying a data center. Or leasing a few racks in a colocation environment.”

data center summit“However, you can say, You know what, forget all of this. Let’s just go straight to a SaaS model like Salesforce or some of the other SaaS models out there,” he mused. “Some applications fit in that SaaS model, but remember that there are still tons of legacy applications out there that don’t fit that model. Not every application has a SaaS equivalent and these applications, that have been around for twenty years, I’ve been talking to an insurance company today that’s been around for over 50 years, and they’re still believe it or not running on AS400s — there you go. They want to see how they’re going to move to the Cloud.”

“Well, let me tell you, that’s not going to move to the Cloud very quickly,” joked Sayegh. “There are going to be tons of data sets before that application get to ‘The Cloud.’ You’ve got to virtualize it, you’ve got to move it to a virtualized environment and once you get it stabilizes and you get all of the bugs worked out, then you can talk about moving to the Cloud. Or moving pieces of it to the Cloud. If it’s possible.”

In other words, there are lots of choices out there, according to Sayegh. “But the way that I think about it, is that I try to simplify it and say, look, everything boils down to analogies,” he ventured. “And we’ve talked about all of these applications. Every single one of these applications – just like when we choose whether we own a home or rent a home or live in an apartment or are staying in a hotel – every IT application out there has a rightful home. And the best analogy that I can make is for those companies that decide that their application is big enough, and as an example is Salesforce.com, they may decide to own their own home and put their own application in their own home, because there is better security, more privacy, the can customize it and do all kinds of stuff.”

On the flipside, he continued, they also have to maintain it, insure it, upkeep it, and of course they have to protect it. “It’s all on them,” he stressed. “There is no one that’s going to come in and do that service for them. And renting alone, you get a mix. You don’t necessarily own it. if something happens, you’re not liable for the whole house. It’s somebody else’s who has investments that built the house and owns the land. You still get some of the privacy there. but you don’t own it long term. And you may have to move every few years. And apartment is very akin to managed hosting.”

“It’s appropriate for a smaller footprint, something a little bit temporary. But you still have to get locked into a contract,” he concluded.

For more from Emil, check out an earlier CapRE Insider Report covering his earlier remarks: How Are Cloud Providers Playing with Traditional Data Centers?

Emil Sayegh is CEO of Hostway Services. Emil joined Hostway as president and CEO in September 2016. Prior to Hostway, Emil was the chairman of the board, CEO, and president of Codero Hosting. Emil also led and expanded cloud computing and hosting businesses for HP and Rackspace. As vice president and general manager of the cloud computing division at Rackspace, Emil spearheaded the company’s entry into the emerging public cloud market and rapidly grew the business to more than 100,000 clients. Emil also oversaw the global product roadmap at Rackspace and led the successful launch of private cloud and hosted exchange services.