Building an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model in-house is daunting, if not unreachable, for the vast majority of SMEs and ISVs that seek true business agility minus the technical complexity and costs associated with this ambitious IT rollout.
While there is a natural tendency for IT leaders to exercise maximum control over their hardware, software and application development, in terms of security, performance and competitive advantage, there are endless difficulties with managing dedicated severs or internal cloud platforms in-house.
The key word is “manage” since employees and customers from locations around the world (using a bevy of devices including smartphones, tablets and PCs) are accessing networks, servers and storage over the Internet. Pursuing a 99% uptime with adequate amounts of bandwidth requires full-time server and network administrators and a stomach for over-provisioning resources at higher costs.
A recent whitepaper confirms that the majority of companies, roughly 56% now, recognize the advantages of outsourcing this responsibility to managed hosting providers in the form of colocated servers and/or cloud hosting. While the former gives IT managers absolute control over dedicated servers in a remotely managed environment, the latter offers a number of flexible permutations, including private cloud services or hybrid cloud configurations which allow IT departments to meet PCI DSS requirements and security policies associated with storing and accessing health or financial data.
Choosing a publically hosted cloud allows ISVs and bigger enterprises the ability to move non-critical apps to the cloud first (or to use it as a test bed or sandbox for new product development). Over time as the IT department becomes more comfortable with cloud resources and it can migrate further on-premise components to the hosting provider.
“When asked if [IT leaders] would choose a vendor that gave them the option to easily switch between hosted and on premise, just over half (52%) said they would, with 37% saying no,” said the GFI white paper.
Basically, the larger the company, the higher the percentage of respondents who said they would choose a vendor offering this hybrid delivery model.
With the increasing maturity of hosted colocation, cloud and managed application services (including Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SharePoint), ISVs and IT Managers are finding few roadblocks to migrating resources to a remote hosting environment.
In particular, an ISV can leverage these benefits on hosting datacentres:
- Mirror an existing on-premise portfolio in the cloud
- IT leaders can choose which product to implement on colocated or cloud infrastructure.
- Anti-spam, anti-virus on premise or in the cloud email archiving on premise or online or both together. Or consider leveraging a dedicated server or colocated box to generate same results through your own team.
- Extensive monitoring capabilities in house or remotely.
- ISVs can mix and match and switch back and forth as their business needs change.
- Opportunity to choose only those services that are required without having a full-blown installation. In other words, you can get your feet wet by testing new products with a public cloud before migrating mission-critical hardware or other apps (e.g. databases, email software) to the hosting provider.
- More sophisticated models are available by exploring hybrid cloud models or a combination of colocated dedicated servers with additional public cloud resources.
All of the above are guaranteed with a 99.9% uptime and a team of professional cloud engineers certified in VMware and Xen OnAPP Configurations. The best of breed managed hosting server providers also conform to ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 standards, delivering further Quality Management and Information Security.
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