By Meg Ramsey

Vendor lock-in exists at all cloud tiers, but it increases as you move from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to platform as a service (PaaS), and again as you move from PaaS to software as a service (SaaS).

If you wish to embrace innovation, you must also be prepared to embrace a level of vendor lock-in. Use the tools available to you to accelerate your business and create more revenue-generating opportunities more quickly, with the understanding that most Mode 2 applications are generally refactored every three to five years.

If you're willing to accept vendor lock-in for three to five years, then it's best to embrace innovation and use the native cloud tools.

Two ways you can introduce flexibility into hosting your cloud applications are containers and Terraform.

1. Containers allow you to move from one virtual environment to the next, mainly consuming low-level IaaS services. You restrict yourself from the higher-level PaaS services and only develop for your compute, your storage and your basic IaaS services. While this allows you to switch clouds easily, it abstracts away from a lot of the innovative features of public cloud.

2. Terraform allows you to write infrastructure-as-code to create reproducible virtual infrastructure for most cloud platforms, including VMware, AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

When you're ready to create highly differentiated services, it's generally better to embrace the native cloud features of public cloud and create highly scalable, innovative and quickly delivered services for your customers.

Remember, vendor lock-in exists at all levels of cloud tiers. Containers and Terraform mitigate some of the effects and offer you enhanced flexibility but could reduce speed to market of highly innovative services.

In our next and final post of the series, I'll discuss API management and application refactoring.

In the meantime, learn more by checking out my full BrightTalk webinar on Creating a Multi-Cloud Buying Strategy.

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