Posted by: ATuzzo
Cloud Computing, DaaS, desktop virtualization, IT assets, SaaS, Server Management, virtual desktop
Should You Run Your New Business in the Cloud?
Why wouldn’t you? Most mid to large-sized companies have old infrastructure and investments in hardware (servers, network, datacenter), licenses and personnel/resources that limit their ability to move to the cloud given the cost already sunk into a physical environment. CIOs and security officers also have concerns about security in the cloud. However, just because your applications and data are no longer sitting on premise, doesn’t make them any less secure. The reality is that most cloud providers are leaps and bounds ahead of companies in creating an incredibly secure architecture with multiple layers of physical and virtual security.
Startups and small to mid-sized businesses (“SMBs”) in particular are well-positioned to take advantage of the cloud – they can avoid making big investments in hardware, perpetual licenses and resources, and don’t have a legacy infrastructure to worry about; instead the cash can be used to grow the business and focus on innovation. Startups and SMBs now have a leveled playing field – they can have access to the same resources their enterprise counterparts have had for decades. They can also benefit by leveraging the cloud service provider’s expertise and resources as most of them don’t have staff with the capacity or necessary certifications. This could help make a business more agile as cloud providers give a business the ability to scale up/down, reduce costs, and assist with IT management/support headaches. Pay per use is the new trend and businesses that don’t capitalize on that may not be around for much longer.
The truth is most businesses already know about these benefits. Some are making the move to the cloud, but most recognize that the paradigm shift is happening – it might not be this year or the next, but eventually all things will be cloud. It just doesn’t make sense to have on-premise hardware and do all the management and support in-house. The question then becomes how much cloud and what cloud? Public? Private? Hybrid?
Most companies are working with over four cloud providers – this seems shocking until you add up all the different components like SaaS (CRM, accounting, etc.), IaaS (servers, network, storage, desktops, etc.) and other hosted services (VoIP, UC, etc.). While SaaS and other hosted service providers will be tough to consolidate given the vastly different nature of the services, it would be a prudent business practice for companies to consider consolidating their IaaS cloud needs. When there is a disaster or any issue with business continuity, companies should demand a single point of accountability (SPOA). This ensures quick recovery and getting back online with little impact to day-to-day business activities. Some companies might think the best idea is to work with the largest IaaS provider in order to ensure a smooth and stable environment – but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When disaster strikes or even for normal support calls, companies stand a much better chance of higher quality of service if they aren’t customer number 103,857,365. Furthermore, several of the larger IaaS providers had major outages last year leaving customers without access to their infrastructure.
The startup IaaS providers are far more innovative then some of these large enterprises. For example, at dinCloud, we’ve figured out a way to secure virtualized network resources and automate Active Directory synchronization from a physical to a virtual environment, while providing a complete virtual private datacenter, or an extension of a customer’s on-premise footprint to the cloud. We can offer a proprietary end-to-end solution for its customers providing them with a SPOA in the cloud. This is a very unique perspective – our customers on the east coast suffered no business disruption during the recent hurricanes and storms. Most businesses out in that area had their applications failover to different datacenters (perhaps on the west coast), but what good is that when the large IaaS providers like Amazon struggled failing over to other datacenters or employees don’t have physical access to their work desktops? dinCloud’s unique IaaS offering allowed its customers in the northeast to run business as usual, just from the cloud.
In the end, cloud providers offer free proof of concepts to address any concerns around performance, service level agreements, and support, so why not take them up on the offer and begin your inevitable journey to the cloud?
Saad Shahzad is Chief Strategy Officer for dinCloud, a Los-Angeles based IaaS provider, offering hosted virtual desktops, servers, and cloud storage. Follow @dinCloud on Twitter.