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By Jonathan Seelig at Ridge

As is true for any technology purchase decision, flexibility and competition are the way to go and vendor lock-in should be avoided. A vendor that knows that it needs to compete for your business every single day does a better and cheaper job for you than a vendor who knows you can’t leave.  

So while the logic behind reducing vendor lock-in is pretty easy to understand, what is its specific relationship to cloud computing

Going Beyond the Public Cloud

As more and more computing shifts to the cloud, “cloud budget” is becoming “IT budget.” It’s no longer a line item, but rather THE line item. But after more than a decade in which cloud computing was synonymous with large public cloud infrastructure, many businesses are now discovering that one size does not fit all. 

While the hyperscale public cloud model is an attractive proposition for a large number of customers, there are many existing and planned use cases and business models for which the traditional local data centers and MSPs are a better fit. The reasons vary —  in some cases, it’s the need for absolute separation of their data. In other cases, it’s related to governance and regulations. And in other cases, customers require customizations related to their unique application and network architectures. 

The next step in the IT evolution is to figure out how to manage cloud computing costs while supporting legacy applications, cloud migration, and cloud-native applications. They may have a computing strategy that is partially on-premises, partially bare-metal, and with full hybrid cloud capabilities across multiple continents. And so they need a cloud provider that offers architectural flexibility to build a cloud customized for their needs and budget. 

Introducing The Cloud That Goes Where You Go

To address the challenge, a new cloud paradigm has emerged: a unified distributed cloud, such as that offered by Ridge, in which workloads are spun up in thousands of locations across the globe. In this architecture, existing local data center and on-premises capacity is transformed into modern PaaS offerings. Data centers with private cloud or virtual data center offerings can easily start to offer modern, cloud-native PaaS services, such as managed Kubernetes, containers, and object storage.  All of this is done programmatically and through modern APIs, allowing business-critical applications — such as databases — to run in specific locations without needing to purchase services from the hyperscalers.

With this model, users get a cloud customized for specific locality requirements. With the accelerated pace of digital transformation, companies are looking for ideal cloud architectures to satisfy their evolving requirements. Businesses looking for a highly-localized cloud to support a rapidly growing set of applications, such as IoT, automation, or other location-sensitive applications, are able to deploy using a cloud architecture that best suits their needs and offers low latency, maximal security, and data control

As a result, they build an optimized cloud computing strategy, taking advantage of existing and available infrastructure in the location — or multiple locations — of their choosing.  

Flexible Clouds = Optimized Budgets

One of the core principles of a distributed cloud is to avoid being vendor locked onto any single cloud platform.  If your application can ONLY run on a single cloud because you have used proprietary technologies, then you won’t be able to optimize your spend. In today’s world, open protocols for application building enable businesses to engineer, architect, and code applications so that they are not locked into a specific cloud and can run in multiple locations. 

Obviously, the more flexibility you have in terms of where you’re able to run that application, the more flexibility you’ll have to generate an optimal budgetary framework for a given application. Standards such as Kubernetes and the S3 protocol are the leveling tools that create that flexibility to do not just application performance and functionality but also to manage your budget.

The Economies of Locality

While hyperscalers benefit from economies of scale, a unified distributed cloud takes advantage of the economies of locality and distribution.  It enables application owners to utilize a global network of service providers instead of relying on the availability of computing resources in a specific location.   

By facilitating interoperability with existing infrastructure, the unified distributed cloud empowers enterprises to deploy and infinitely scale applications anywhere they need, even when they need edge computing.  And with the growing adoption of cloud-native applications to serve new markets, it is a flexible infrastructure that helps businesses to control their budget while adapting to change and facilitating expansion.

About Ridge

Ridge is a flexible cloud that’s anywhere you need to be. Ridge converts any underlying infrastructure into a cloud-native platform. Whether you need to deploy in a specific location, private data center, on-prem server, edge micro-center, or even in a multi-facility hybrid environment, Ridge Cloud expands your footprint without limits.


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