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Cloud cloud cloud…cloud could oohhh cloud. It has been over 12 years since the phrase “cloud computing” entered the main stream, and even though the idea of cloud computing is even older than that, many organisations have an idea of what it is but do not know if they could or should be using it.

It isn’t the be all solution which many evangelists claim, but it is a solution which could benefit your business. It can be a difficult topic to broach, with questions such as

  • Is it beneficial o put a certain application or business process in cloud?
  • Should all out IT services be moved to the cloud?
  • Is it cheaper or more expensive?

At Majestic, we have several clients who leverage Cloud services and infrastructure in one way or another. We utilise several providers including Microsoft, Amazon and Google as well as others as appropriate in each case.

I would like to give you a quick rundown of some of the key considerations and benefits of cloud services.

It's not all or nothing

Cloud solutions are not an all-or-nothing proposition. You do not need to move everything to the cloud - you can pick and choose depending on different factors:

  • Cost
  • Security
  • Disaster Recovery (Backups and Redundancy)
  • Business Continutity
  • Speed
  • Many more

Once the reasons for a shift to cloud have been established, there are number of ways you could consume such services:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service) - Emails -  Move just your email hosting to the cloud while leaving other business-critical applications local. This is the most commonly used service as you do not need to worry about scheduling server maintenance or worrying about costly hardware failures. This is all taken care by SaaS provider, and we take care of managing the accounts, access permissions and the rest.
  • SaaS & IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) - Emails and virtualised servers -  Move your emails and some of your applications and databases to the cloud while keeping others on premises. Some of our clients have critical applications which they would like to have accessible by their customers or the general public, or just some users while they our out of the office. Utilizing IaaS allows for a more relightable external connection from anywhere. It removes the worry that a localised disaster in your office or a critical hardware failure, stops your operations, as that is all provided by IaaS provider. Worry free infrastructure, while we continue to manage the environment just as we would if everything was on your premises.
  • Paas (Platform as a Service) - For example, we could move just the data or database component of your application into the cloud while leaving the application itself on premises. Your data (in fact, all data) is expanding quicker than you realise. Instead of having to worry about buying and installing more physical drives capacity into an ageing server, additional data can simply reside in the cloud. Put simply, additional data storage capacity can be provisioned instantaneously, without the need to deal with hardware upgrades.

All of these services operate under an Operating Expense (OPEX) cost model. This means that you typically pay monthly for what you use, rather than buying actual hardware outright (CAPEX). This is where Majestic comes in. We asses what you need and what you don't, what would be the optimal mix of services, and how much it would all cost under each model, so there are no hidden 'gotchas'.

  • Disaster recovery and backups are not always provided by default, so this is really important to consider while reviewing these options.
  • Data and services are typically hosted in one location. If yo need further redundancy (and there are several reasons why you might), then this would also introduce additional costs.

It can become confusing trying to understand the myriad of options and the costs associated with these options. Choosing, and making a decision about what’s right in each instance can be daunting, but here is a quick breakdown of how each of these cloud services help you:

  1. General benefits - Low upfront costs, High Service Level Up time, No physical server hardware at your premises.
  2. IaaS - No physical service maintenance, Minimise interruption  if your network goes down, No storage maintenance or unplanned OPEX costs, Low to no monthly maintenance downtime
  3. PaaS - No runtime maintenance, No middleware maintenance, No operating system maintenance
  4. SaaS - No application maintenance, No data maintenance

All of these options ultimately mean a more resilient IT environment is correctly chosen.

In Summary...

The Cloud is essentially a powerful set of tools that can be leverage to improve your businesses output as well as reduce load on IT. This in turn frees up resources to concentrate on other business-enabling activities, along with generally improving service up time.

Though it can get confusing and costly if not planned and implemented correctly, we work withe these technologies every day and can therefore provide the right advice, reduce associated risks, as well as help with a smooth beneficial transition.

Talk to us today about how we can assist your organization with your cloud journey.