Our transition from AWS to bare-metal infrastructure underscores the fact that while cloud services such as AWS offer robust flexibility and power, they may not always be the most economical choice for every enterprise.Neel Patel, https://blog.oneuptime.com/moving-from-aws-to-bare-metal/
We had a very similar experience at my current company a few years ago and we’re saving similar magnitudes of cash. Rather than going full bare metal we have a hybrid IT strategy where staging and production systems are hosted in Google Cloud with all of the advantages that brings (redundancy, flexibility, security) but we use our own hardware for running test environments and CI workloads. Our source code repo is cloud-based for the redundancy after, true story, our old gitlab instance was literally melted in the OVH fire, March 2021.
Our hardware is co-located in an ISO27001 data centre and we also have an off-site backup solution, even though the “test” data is not as critical as the data we keep in the cloud.
We use containerisation and Kubernetes orchestration to provide similar environments for running almost identical environments in the cloud and locally. Our product is quite chunky and expensive to run and barely chugs along on a laptop so having inexpensive internal test instances that our team can use for testing and debugging purposes is really helpful.
It seems like cloud is great for “getting started” as a business when you maybe don’t have the resource or knowledge for configuring your own servers in-house. Cloud probably also makes sense when you are a massive corporation and you have so many machines and networks to manage that you basically end up inventing your own “cloud” anyway – if your business’ core competency is not IT then you almost certainly don’t want to have to operationalise your own cloud!
However, at a certain size I think IT/Tech firms can end up in this sort of “Goldilocks” zone where you are big enough to know how to manage servers and small enough that it isn’t an entire industry. At this size there are some serious savings to be made, even when you offset the salaries of your site engineering staff!