0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 Buffer 0 Email 0 0 Flares ×

Identifying which cloud computing solution best fits your business.

Tags; Cloud computing, outsourced IT, service levels, 365 iTechnology, Garry Growns

In life we often learn the hard way that commonly used terms can mean so many different things to different people. Apparently simple terms such as ‘all inclusive’ (holidays), ‘great views’ (house moving) and “pillion friendly ” (motorcycles) have proven to be so miss-leading to me. The same is often true in the IT arena and the rapidly growing arena of Cloud Computing is no exception.

Cloud Computing is far from being an entirely new concept. In essence it’s how services are bundled from both technical/operational and commercial perspectives. But what’s really interesting is the way the term can mean so many different things depending upon the various vendor solutions. In my role as director of IT managed services for the IT services company 365 iTechnology I’ve spent a lot of time trying to simplify for prospective customers the various scenarios and terminology I use and I thought it might be useful to share this.

Cloud Computing

This is an often used term but a quick web search will provide a vast number of very different definitions. It’s important therefore to appreciate this is only a general term. I explain it succinctly as “the use of IT applications and/or IT infrastructure delivered and supported from a remote location by a third party”. It does not indicate what aspects are included or how and to what standards the various services are delivered.

Accordingly when speaking to prospective customers I use the following terminology:

SaaS (Software as a Service)

This is effectively the renting of applications on a per user basis. The attraction is that users do not need to worry about the procurement of application licensing, server hardware, storage, hosting, data backup or support. The down side is there are limited applications available (although this is growing) and for many businesses they would need to liaise with many suppliers whilst using in-house solutions to meet their entire needs. Not an ideal scenario. Some of the general applications are grouped together, perhaps the best known supplier of these is Google Apps. Accordingly I see SaaS a good fit for two different scenarios; 1) The start-up or SoHo businesses or 2) larger, established businesses needing to use specific applications such as CRM.

Private Cloud

This is effectively the collocation of business specific infrastructure and applications in to a remote data centre environment. Here it may be combined with shared services such as data storage and backup, network access, monitoring and management. It’s effectively enhanced hosting and consequently tends to suit the larger businesses with exiting infrastructure investment.

Cloud Computing Platform

In this scenario the service provider would provide all aspects of the computing infrastructure whilst using the customers existing applications. The services supplied vary enormously but should include servers with operating systems, data storage, monitoring and management e.g. OS patching and anti-virus updates, data backup and server DR (disaster recovery). These should all be delivered against agreed service levels.

This diagram shows these various elements and highlights how this approach enables the customer to focus on managing the applications knowing that the infrastructure and supporting services are all in place, monitored and underpinned by robust recovery and support procedures.

In addition the Cloud Computing Platform is usually provided on service fee basis thereby avoiding the need for capital expenditure whilst assisting with budgeting.

ROI is also underpinned by driving service improvements and through the lowering of support costs as in-house IT support is now free to manage applications and strategic activities rather than day-to-day IT admin.

This Cloud Computing Platform model should be able to meet the needs of most businesses. Clearly this is dependent up the selected service provider and care must be taken in choosing the correct partner.

About Garry Growns

Garry has 30 years experience in IT services and telecommunications, including the Internet, disaster recovery and data management services. His previous position was as a main board director for Guardian iT plc where he had specific responsibility for group sales. He was also chief operating officer with responsibility for the group’s day to day disaster recovery and data back up businesses. Previously Garry worked at COLT Internet as international sales director and BT as a general manager in the data networking and Internet sectors.

About 365 iTechnology

365 iTechnology are a proven team of IT service delivery experts which though its six operating divisions provide affordable IT services, business continuity, network security and management, storage solutions, data back-up, support and many more IT services to help you serve your customers better.

365 iTechnology delivers enterprise class IT services and solutions that enhance operating effectiveness, raise productivity and increase ROI. 365 iTechnology is not just about service delivery, but is committed to providing seamless, cost effective iT solutions

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 LinkedIn 0 Buffer 0 Email 0 0 Flares ×