The Great Escape from Cloud Vendor Lock-in

David Boland
David Boland
Senior Director, Product Marketing

In The Great Escape, the epic 1963 WWII adventure movie starring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and James Garner, the cunning protagonists hatch a master plan to outwit their captors and escape their “in-escapable” German prisoner of war camp. (If you haven’t seen this classic, the motorcycle chase and jumps alone are worth the price of admission, and are considered some of the best stunt scenes in cinematic history.) In the movie, the sheer level of effort, planning, and ultimate cost of the prison break were enough to discourage many of the prisoners from even trying. I hear the same thing from IT and storage professionals I speak to with regard to the Herculean effort it takes to migrate their data out of one cloud storage service (such as AWS S3, Azure, or Google) and into another. Like The Great Escape, cloud-to-cloud migration can seem like an epic adventure, fraught with danger. Much like the film’s notorious prison camp, the hyperscaler clouds are designed to lock you in and keep your data indefinitely.

First Obstacle: The high cost of egress

The first barrier to escaping cloud lock-in is typically the cost associated with egress, data retrieval, and API request charges. If your cloud needs are large enough to require a dedicated network connection, the cost could be $25,000 per petabyte on the low end to get your data back. If you don’t have your own direct connection, the cost can be as high as $50,000 per petabyte. In this case, cost is a moot point because it would be next to impossible to egress a petabyte of data over a standard internet connection without taking many months to migrate out. Escape is impossible.

Plot Twist: Where are you going to park all that data?

Even if cost were not an issue, the nature of direct and internet connections would mean that all egressed data would first have to land in on-premises storage before being resent to the new cloud location. This means that you need enough spare storage capacity on site to hold your data before sending it to another cloud. It’s not realistic to think that there may be petabytes of unused storage hardware sitting around. In order to “escape,” you need a safe destination. For Steve McQueen’s character, that place was Switzerland. For your data, that place is Wasabi hot cloud storage. Wasabi has no egress charges, no data retrieval charges, no API request fees, and is up to 80% less expensive than AWS S3. It is in effect, the “Switzerland of Storage.”

Escaping cloud vendor lock-in is possible

To get there, you need performance and a direct route. Steve McQueen had a motorcycle and maps. Your data has Cloudflyer, a Wasabi Technology Alliance Partner. The Wasabi-Cloudflyer solution is a cloud-to-cloud migration platform that moves “locked-in” data out of AWS and the other hyperscalers faster, more reliably, and at significantly less cost than doing it yourself. It can move petabytes of data at speeds up to 100GB/s with no data EVER left behind. Cloudflyer has built high-speed connections directly between the hyperscaler clouds and Wasabi hot storage. This means that you can transfer 1 petabyte (400 billon objects) out of S3 in less than 5 days. When moving your cloud storage from S3 or Azure to Wasabi, the cost of using Cloudflyer is 100% returned by the savings within 1-3 months. From there it’s 80% savings on your cloud storage, forever.

Escape to your best-of-breed, multi-cloud future

Moving your data to Wasabi has benefits that go beyond storage cost savings. When you can get access to your data for free, it becomes a lot more plausible to connect it to other best-of-breed cloud services such as compute and analytics offerings. Imagine the possibilities of what you could do with your data if you were free of egress, retrieval, and API request charges.

The future is multi-cloud. Sophisticated enterprise customers are increasingly assembling everything they need to run cloud-native applications without getting locked into one of the hyperscalers. Rather than customers being locked into Amazon’s vertical cloud, they can pick and choose their storage vendor, their compute vendor, their software vendors, their network providers, and so forth. Multi-cloud vendors are creating formal alliances to compete against the hyperscalers more effectively. If your data is locked behind the walls of a hyperscaler cloud, your first step towards the multi-cloud future is to break it out. Like the tagline from the movie, “The Great Adventure Begins with the Great Escape.”

Wasabi and Cloudflyer have teamed up to free locked-in data. We have migrated trillions of objects and petabytes of data for customers ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to media and entertainment start-ups. Check out the Further Reading resources below to learn more about our innovative cloud-to-cloud migration solution.

Further Reading:

Cloudflyer-Wasabi Partner Solution Brief
Case Study: Major Television Broadcaster Turns to Hot Cloud Storage for Instant Video Access
Case Study: Cloudflyer & Wasabi Deliver Significant Cost Savings for Swedish Video Streaming Provider StayLive with AWS to Wasabi Migration



Before I get flame-o-grams from the movie purists, yes, I know that only Charles Bronson’s character successfully escapes. Just because Steve McQueen didn’t make it to Switzerland, doesn’t mean that your data can’t escape vendor lock-in. The Great Escape may not have been the best analogy, but it’s better than the other option I was considering. Andy Dufresne successfully escaped Shawshank, but I didn’t have the stomach to draw comparisons between Andy’s trials and tribulations and cloud data migration.

David Boland
Written By

David Boland

Senior Director, Product Marketing