Definition

uncloud (cloud repatriation)

Uncloud is the removal of applications and data from a cloud computing platform. De-cloud is another term used to describe this reverse cloud migration.

In recent years, organizations ranging from small and medium-sized businesses to large enterprises have turned to the cloud to run applications, store data and accomplish other IT tasks. Over time, however, an organization may elect to uncloud one, a few or, possibly, all of its cloud-based assets. Examples could include shutting down a server instance in a public cloud and moving the associated software and data to an in-house data center or colocation facility. 

In the process of unclouding, the cloud customer or, potentially, a channel partner acting on its behalf, will work with the cloud vendor to extract the customer's applications and data. The task involves locating the data and mapping the application's dependencies within the cloud vendor's infrastructure. The unclouding customer -- and its channel partner -- may encounter higher levels of complexity in the case of a public multi-tenant cloud setting. A customer  may have to wait for the cloud vendor's scheduled downtime to migrate its applications and data or the cloud provider may limit the customer's use of migration tools so as not to interfere with the application performance of other customers

Customers may cite a number of reasons for wanting to uncloud. Factors include security issues, liability concerns and difficulty in integrating cloud-based applications with on-premises enterprise applications and data. Frustrated expectations with respect to the cloud's cost efficiency may also influence de-clouding decisions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that customers citing cost as a factor may elect to move applications to an in-house, hyper-converged infrastructure as the better economic choice.

This was last updated in September 2015

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