How Much Cloud Do You Really Need?

By: Bill Kleyman| - Leave a comment

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There’s really no doubt that the term “cloud” has reached a level of maturity. Organizations know where they can incorporate it, where there are benefits, and – for the most part – can understand where there are drawbacks. However, as we look at today’s business landscape, we see that many organizations still have some questions on how to properly leverage cloud technologies.

Specifically, the conversation revolves around: How much cloud do you really need? The reality is that almost every organization operating now has to interact with the Internet in some way. Arguably – they are already using the cloud. However, when we look at the modern data center, true cloud services aren’t always required. In some cases, organizations simply deploy private environments without access to a public cloud platform. It’s important to understand that there is a lot of flexibility when working with a data center provider. One of the most powerful solutions is a hybrid option where all services can be utilized in concert. The key is finding a partner and data center provider that can unify these services for you. Specifically, a hybrid infrastructure solution should ensure:

  • Performance and scalability of all workloads
  • Availability and visibility across the infrastructure
  • Agility and adaptability as needs change
  • Consultative support to right-size your solution and navigate technology options

Once properly delivered, the hybrid solution can create direct ROI by deploying a design that will maximize data center space and optimize the overall IT investment.

It’s important to remember that there are a lot of powerful solutions outside of just “public” cloud options. Consider the following:

  • Managed hosting and data center services. As new demands become more complex and as the business environment expands at ever-increasing speeds –organizations are moving towards some type of managed service as a viable option to offload their environment. In fact, managed services offerings are an aggressively expanding field. The managed services segment is already slated to grow at double-digit rates over the next four years as business demand increases for reliable IT and telecommunications alternatives to fixed costs, according to a new report by Insight Research Corporation. The Insight report noted that the 2013 global managed services market topped at $152 billion. In the U.S., businesses ranging from enterprise to SMB will continue to spend $34 billion managed IT services. And through 2017 and beyond – managed services spending will increase 11.6 percent annually. In the U.S. alone, this means the market will balloon to $51 billion.

So, why is this happening? More organizations are moving towards Internet-based services and the cloud to deliver business functionality. These can be in the form of simple information or entire applications. Not only is this increasing in frequency – this also increases complexity. From an organization’s perspective, options around managed services enable corporations to handle this growth, while outsourcing the most complicated elements to the skilled data center service provider.

  • Colocation services. With so many options for the customer, one of the simplest to select from would be a colocation services. Many organizations already have an environment but need to make the decision as to what to do next. Do you transfer your entire data center to a provider? Or, are you able to take a part of it and put into a colocation? In many cases, the jump from local data center to a colocation isn’t too daunting. The first step is to select the right type of partner that can help you with the migration or expansion. Next, colocation services can really be customized to what the organization needs. Whether your environment calls for “pay-as-you-go” cloud or dedicated servers, colocation may have a role in helping you meet those needs. These logical extensions can then be extended into a cloud option or integrated with a managed service offering to help you “right-size” your environment and gain the performance, control—and value—you seek.

In today’s diverse IT infrastructure, it’s crucial to work with a data center and/or cloud solution which can adjust to the agility needs of your organization. This means adapting to your needs around infrastructure, user count, and workload delivery. In some cases, this might be a full cloud model – while in other scenarios a managed data center services solution is the right choice. However, the most important concept to remember is that you must have an option around flexibility. That might mean deploying a managed services cloud environment as well. The ability to deploy a hybrid data center model not only increases your ability to deliver more services, it develops a more cost-effective infrastructure capable of scaling on demand.

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About The Author

Bill Kleyman

Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies

Bill is an enthusiastic technologist with experience in datacenter design, management, and deployment. His architecture work includes large virtualization and cloud deployments as well as business network design and implementation. Bill enjoys writing, blogging, and educating colleagues around everything that is technology. During the day, Bill is the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at MTM Technologies, where he interacts with enterprise organizations and helps align IT strategies with direct business goals. Bill’s whitepapers, articles, video blogs and podcasts have been published and referenced on InformationWeek, NetworkComputing, TechTarget, DarkReading, Data Center Knowledge, CBS Interactive, Slashdot, and many others. Most recently, Bill was ranked #16 in the Onalytica study which reviewed the top 100 most influential individuals in the cloud landscape, globally.

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