We all use cars. Some prefer to own a car while others prefer to rent. Which model is better is an individual question.

When it comes to enterprise computing, there have long been a single operation model – to own the computing resource. With the advent of virtualization technology, data centre co-location model, the cloud became popular. Cloud computing is essentially the same delivery model as renting a car.

The table compares the two delivery models with car and computing resource as examples

Delivery ModelOwnRent
Examplebuying a car
buying servers and operating on-premise
renting a car (e.g. by mileage and time)
Renting computing resource (from public cloud)
Costone upfront cost plus on-going maintenance usage-based billing, with potential discount on fix-term rent (leases)
How trade happenscars are sold in dealership
computing resources are sold by hardware vendors
car rental service is delivered physically at the rental agency
computing resource in the cloud is delivered over high speed network, in response to API request to public cloud vendors
ProsCost is relatively predictable regardless of usagesubscribe to the latest technology (or model, version, security patch, etc) without additional cost
ConsMaintenance responsibility.
Technology becomes out of date
Cost can spin out of control if usage is not being monitored closely

In the cloud, it is significantly cheaper to provision computing resources. However, moving to cloud does not automatically guarantee cost effectiveness. It is important to architect cloud-based solution the right way for the best return on investment.

With cloud computing, the rental business model also means lack of user loyalty. Cloud vendors hope to lock in their users with increasing cost of transfer. Community-led initiatives such as Kubernetes aims to standardize the cloud platform and abstract the differences away from platform users. The success of Kubernetes created an entire cloud native landscape of open-source projects. In return, some of these technologies such as service mesh greatly enabled Kubernetes platform, by allowing applications to offload non-business features down to the platform. Welcome to the cloud native era!

Read more about cloud:

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