What it Is:
Everyone is talking about the cloud and it’s another concept that has about as many definitions as people you talk to. After talking to many customers and vendors, here is how we net out the two cloud concepts that matter to most businesses:
Software as Service
Chances are, you are using it today in your organization. Any web-based application is software-as-service because it exists in the cloud and is accessed over the Internet. Think Skype, Google Apps, Salesforce.com or the huge variety of industry-specific software packages that your organization might be using through the web in the normal course of business.
Most software that used to be available only by buying and loading it on company servers is now available in a cloud version which offers some advantages (like access from anywhere and predictable monthly cost structure), but also drawbacks (like lack of flexibility and customization).
Infrastructure as Service
When adding or upgrading storage and servers in your environment, you can take advantage of the cloud in several ways:
- Shared – your business is given access to server(s) and storage securely virtualized to accommodate multiple customers
- Dedicated – your business has allocated its own machine(s) in the cloud that you fully control, manage, and don’t share with other customers
- Hybrids – the majority of large companies are an ideal fit for cloud services with some applications (like storage) but may have other equipment that can’t be virtualized (like AS400 servers or a Cisco Call Manager). Many carriers are great at offering hybrid solutions that can accommodate both standard dedicated hosting services and cloud services from the same facility.
How Paradigm Technology Group Can Help:
What we have found is that although all the vendors are touting cloud, very few of them have found a way to clearly communicate how it can benefit your organization. We can help you navigate the myriad of fragmented options and help you determine whether cloud is a sound and viable alternative for your company.
If you have servers on-site today, IaaS will allow you to:
- Upgrade you to newer, more powerful equipment than you could afford to buy independently
- Give you the ability to house your equipment in a collocation facility that has redundant power, bandwidth, and equipment – something companies rarely can replicate at an office building
- Turn your spend from CAPEX to OPEX
- Eliminate the need to upgrade and update your servers – these costs are included in the monthly fee and become the responsibility of the provider
- Reduce bandwith costs – bandwidth is much less expensive to buy at a colo facility than at an office building
If your servers are already in a traditional colo environment, IaaS will allow you to:
- Pay about the same as you pay monthly but instead of just buying the empty rack space with power and ping, you could get all new equipment for roughly the same costs
- Save you money on telecom services – we have seen entire projects cost justified with the savings generated by less expensive bandwidth and DR site connectivity offered by IaaS providers