In recent years, many organizations have taken the “cloud-first” approach as they migrated their workloads to the public cloud to keep up with IT transformation. With the boom of public cloud migrations, we have already started to see signs of what technology analysts are calling “cloud repatriation”. As organizations realize that the cloud is not always the answer to IT performance and cost, they are moving back to traditional data centers or other private solutions.

What is Cloud Repatriation?

Cloud repatriation is the process of moving workloads or information that exists in the public cloud to an on-premises or hosted infrastructure that is controlled by the individual organization.

For example, a company could decide to move their virtual machines from a service like Microsoft Azure or AWS back to their on-premise data center running on a hypervisor like VMware or Nutanix, which may or may not include full private cloud self-service.

In these hybrid environments, it is important to give developers working with on-premises workloads the same on-demand experience they have become accustomed to in the public cloud.  Morpheus Data provides consistent self-service provisioning of VM and Container-based services across both on-prem infrastructure and public clouds.

cloud repatriation

Some benefits 

With all the benefits of cloud repatriation and the advantages of bringing cloud data and resources back under your control, it’s clear that it’s a smart and strategic move for many organizations. If you’re interested in repatriation, here are some reasons why it might be a good fit for your business:

  • Cost-effectiveness: When it comes to cost, the advantage of cloud repatriation is that you’ll be able to keep costs low. In addition, repatriation can help you avoid paying penalties and fines that might come with exceeding a company’s budget.
  • Better compliance: Another advantage of repatriation is better compliance with industry regulations and policies. Repatriation can help you stay compliant with compliance rules like GDPR and PCI DSS, which can be nearly impossible in the cloud due to the shared nature of the environment.
  • Improved security and data privacy: With cloud repatriation, you’ll be able to keep your data and information where it belongs i.e. on your servers. This way, you have complete control over your information, as opposed to having to trust a third party with it.

Do you need Cloud Repatriation?

Cloud repatriation is a drastic move that can have significant operational and financial repercussions. You must carefully evaluate whether moving away or staying put is the right option, which you can start by answering the following questions:

  • Are you wasting money paying for public cloud capacity your team is not using?
  • Are the current cloud costs considerably higher than what you expected before the migration?
  • Does your public cloud app suffer from regular performance issues?
  • Are you experiencing frequent downtime?
  • Does your company fall under any compliance regulation (such as CCPA/ GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI)? Is your public cloud provider making it hard (or impossible) for you to comply with obligations?
  • Are your public cloud workloads too latency-sensitive for their current environment?
  • Do you have an in-house team capable of running an on-site server room?
  • Would a different cloud deployment model make more sense for your use case?
  • Can you afford the cost of on-prem IT?

Cloud repatriation is likely a worthwhile option if you answered yes to most of these questions. If most of your answers were negative, keeping public cloud apps where they are is a smarter decision.

If you gave mixed answers, the best move is to stay put for now. The public cloud has a history of becoming cheaper and more functional over time. You do not want to go through repatriation only to discover in a few years that you would have been better off sticking with the original architecture.

cloud repatriation

The future of Cloud Repatriation

The term ‘cloud repatriation’ holds a certain negative connotation, indicating that the public cloud is somehow inferior and that providers are moving back – permanently – to some other venue. Although both of those statements are inaccurate, cloud repatriation as a phenomenon is likely not going away anytime soon. Companies will continue to move workloads around, not due to disdain for the public cloud, but for their own reasons.

This is not the end for the public cloud, nor is it a rebirth of sorts for private, on-premises IT. Both alternatives will continue to coexist as the industry grows and our understanding of technology develops. The preference for hybrid IT reflects new priorities from the providers’ point of view, namely flexibility and customization, as enterprises now seek cloud services that will adapt to their needs – and not the opposite.

Conclusion

Proper planning can help avoid cloud repatriation. Similarly, setting realistic expectations can minimize business and IT risks, while effective cloud governance can ensure cloud costs remain in line. Organizations must also look at the numbers before considering moving the workload. If cloud repatriation is justifiable, enterprises should inevitably go for hybrid cloud, edge computing, and private cloud infrastructures.