PEI has been involved in the deployment of a range of cloud services for years. Whether its Microsoft’s Office 365, Cloud Backup or some other service, we’ve been there.
Every business that chooses a cloud resource is faced with the same problems. How they address these issues will determine if they’re having a good or bad experience. In the vast majority of the cases, companies that are dissatisfied with their cloud tools have failed to address one or more key infrastructure elements.
Core Networking – The workloads and data flow that are created using a cloud resource are different than an internal platform. Expanded bandwidth and network redundancy are keys to performance and stability. Older routers and switches and their legacy configurations may be inadequate.
Security – Your security and firewall rules need to be assessed and modified to fit the new work loads. If these are addressed as an afterthought, your initial cloud experience is going to be disappointing.
Provisioning – The bandwidth requirements to handle cloud can be very different from traditional internet traffic. Messaging, conferencing and video are all big bandwidth consumers. Understanding your headcount and expected usage BEFORE you subscribe is critical. You also need to factor in the time it takes for new provisioning to take effect.
Wireless – the impacts can be similar to the Core Networking impacts. Running on older wireless infrastructure or consumer-grade equipment can be a real problem. Running cloud resources on your mobile devices can also spike your data consumption rates. Factoring that into your mobile service contracts is equally important.
Management – Doing away with a premise-based IT resource can reduce your immediate management requirement, but you need to modify your system and resource management practices to reflect the new cloud-based services.
Cloud IT holds the promise of significantly reduce your IT spend. Considering the aforementioned infrastructure modification are going to impact your costs and need to be included in your Total Cost of Ownership comparison. Having a partner that understands all of these elements and is experienced in the entire cloud model will go a long way to helping your realize the savings you expect.
Tim Krueger, PEI