Although we don't necessarily own the source code for every layer in the stack, we do control what products are used in the stack. Stack management offers us both the opportunity and the responsibility to be smart about our choices for optimum subscriber benefit. For example, our solution involves multiple web server instances, so it makes sense for the sake of limiting complexity to standardize on one particular web server to use for each instance. There may be different schools of thought advocating that each web server is used slightly differently, and that the choice of web server software should consequently differ to achieve the most efficient solution possible. In my view, stability and cost are both top priorities served better by standardizing on one common web server. Reducing complexity leads to higher quality.
This applies not just to the choice of web server software, but more broadly to usage patterns as well. On-premises we often tell customers all the ways they CAN do things, while in the Cloud we may want to focus on the optimal way they SHOULD do things. That's because the cloud is a cost play, and the more variation we support in usage patterns, the higher the cost. That's not to say we need to whittle our options down to one single usage model for all, but we do need to strike a balance that is different from on-premises software. I don't pretend that we'll always know what usage model best serves each customer. We need to offer our users choice. What I am also saying is that we need to take the enormous variability in the on-premises world and help our cloud customers condense that into a reasonably limited set of usage models. Because that allows a cost saving. Just imagine the cost if we each drove our own custom designed and custom built car. For cost reasons, the market settles on a reasonably limited set of models. And as long as we share the associated cost savings with our customers, we'll be fine. But if we overstep and drive condensation only meant to boost our own margins without passing along savings to the customer, we will stumble in a competitive landscape. The focus must still be on providing a compelling service at an attractive price point.
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