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Top 4 Strategies for Avoiding Cloud Vendor Lock-In

Vendor lock-in occurs when you become overly reliant on a specific provider. Learn how to avoid the traps.
February 15, 2023
As today’s organizations become increasingly digital, leveraging the cloud only becomes more important. Public cloud platforms offer a wide variety of benefits, including greater flexibility, the ability to scale up-and-down, and more.
However, companies must be cautious in their cloud approach to avoid the dangers of lock-in. Vendor lock-in occurs when a customer becomes overly reliant on a specific vendor for a product or service, making it challenging and costly to switch to a different vendor.

Cloud vendor lock-in commonly happens when service providers make it easy for businesses to migrate to their public cloud but not to switch to a different cloud provider. Vendors often use tactics such as steep egress charges or obscure contract terms and fine print to lock customers into their services, even if they are no longer beneficial for the business. This can limit a company's options and negatively impact its success.
Vendor Lock-In
When approaching the issue of cloud vendor lock-in, companies should seek to capitalize on the benefits of the cloud to achieve digital success, while maintaining maximum flexibility, control over their data, and avoidance of costly long-term commitments. In this article, we’ll dive into our Top 4 Strategies for Avoiding Cloud Vendor Lock-In.

1. Maintain Governance Over Your Sensitive Data

It is essential to prioritize maintaining control and ownership of your company's data and insights when partnering with a vendor. To safeguard sensitive information, such as consumer data, it is advisable to store it in a secure location like a private cloud, colocation facility, or on-premises data center.

Additionally, when working with a cloud vendor, it is crucial to understand their data storage and management policies. Vendors can lock you in by storing your data in proprietary formats, making it difficult or even impossible to extract your data in the future. To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to utilize a standardized format for your data. This will provide you with the flexibility to switch vendors, if necessary, without the added burden of converting your data.

2. Enable Portable Applications

Your business could face a vendor lock-in scenario if the primary function of the enterprise application it creates is highly dependent on a specific platform. This scenario can be avoided with the use of containers.

Containers enable your data and applications to be portable so you can leverage a wide variety of operating systems and platforms without requiring major structural changes to the underlying code. By leveraging this architecture, your data and applications can move seamlessly between public clouds, private clouds, colocation facilities, bare-metal systems, and on-premises environments with minimal switching costs and no need for migrating or translating data.

Learn more about the best practices for creating a container-based architecture in our latest eBook.

3. Leverage Multi-Cloud Environments

A multi-cloud strategy involves utilizing two or more public cloud environments from different vendors, allowing for the movement of portable workloads between them.
Though it may require additional measures to balance risk, performance, and cost, a multi-cloud approach can be a highly effective solution for avoiding vendor lock-in. By leveraging clouds from multiple providers at the same time strategies, businesses can avoid the cloud lock-in risks associated with data loss, decreased profitability, and more.

An enterprise-class elastic SDN solution, such as Evocative’s CloudHop™ can enable companies to provision connections between multiple cloud environments cost-efficiently. With this service, you quickly dial bandwidth up or down on demand, by leveraging a direct connection that bypasses the public Internet. Because this connection is private, the same egress costs that can lock companies into one cloud vendor are avoided. Moreover, companies only pay for the bandwidth they use.
Cloud Hop Diagram

4. Maintain On-Premises or Collocated Backup Copies

Maintaining on-prem or collocated backups can be especially beneficial if the process of extracting data from a cloud vendor to move to another cloud vendor becomes too challenging or time-consuming. With backed up data available, businesses can quickly host their data elsewhere if they need to change cloud providers or if they encounter issues with the current provider.

As an added benefit, having backups of all data supports business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) and provides an extra layer of protection against ransomware attacks.

Avoiding Cloud Vendor Lock-In: How Colocation Can Help

While the cloud provides countless benefits, cloud vendor lock-in should be avoided at all costs.

At Evocative, we understand the importance of having control over your data, which is why our full suite of colocation, network, bare metal, cloud, and managed services ensures that your data remains completely portable across any environment. 

Our secure, compliant, and open architecture gives you the freedom to move your data seamlessly between hybrid and multi-cloud environments. We prioritize transparency with no hidden fees or charges, making your outbound data transfers cost-efficient to meet the changing needs of your business.

Our colocation, bare metal, and private cloud services enable greater control over your physical security for the handling of your sensitive data. Our colocation services allow you to retain control over your own hardware and equipment, ensuring that you’re never locked into a particular hardware vendor’s offering. And our CloudHop™ services empower your multi-cloud strategies to avoid cloud vendor lock-in while lowering egress costs.

At Evocative, you can rely on us to keep your data safe. We’re dedicated to providing exceptional service and solutions to help you retain control over your data and harness its full potential.

Contact Us to get started today at evocative.com/contact-us.
Evocative Data Centers

The Evocative Team

Evocative is a global leader in Internet infrastructure, providing enterprise-class data center, network, and bare metal solutions that enable exceptional digital experiences. Evocative’s global footprint includes interconnected data centers and Points of Presence across strategically located metros in North America, Europe, and Asia regions. Through organic growth and strategic acquisition, the company continues to expand its presence to power enterprise workloads at the edge. Evocative is dedicated to helping drive digital businesses forward, now and in the decades to come.