Perhaps you’ve already moved some of your infrastructure or you are just now getting to the stage in your IT strategy where you are giving the cloud some serious consideration for the first time. Certain events make for particularly advantageous opportunities to pull the trigger and move to the cloud.
When you plan for a hardware refresh, you typically spec for growth. You have a significant capital expenditure for something that you may not fully use for a couple years, if ever. Contrast this with the cloud, in which you only pay for what you need, with the flexibility to add more resources as you need them in the future.
The labor and skills required to stand up hardware, as well as install software and security, factor into the cost of a hardware refresh as well. You don’t have to worry about this when you move to the cloud.
Finally, hosting your own infrastructure requires you to build in redundancy and disaster recovery/business continuity measures and be concerned about cooling, security, primary and backup power, and fire/flood protection. Cloud providers expertly handle all of this for you.
Although colocation provides the advantage of moving your workloads offsite, the risk of a server crash remains, and you still carry the burden and expense of hardware refreshes. Cloud hosting avoids all of this, and you could redirect the budget you’re currently paying for rack space rental to pay for your cloud hosting.
If you choose to move your collocated servers to the cloud, you can control the move yourself (it might even be within the same data center), and you can move workloads incrementally, for example, transfer the load on the oldest server first. Often, providers give you access to convenient web-based admin tools that keep you firmly in control of managing your cloud infrastructure. Plus, compared to colocation, you would gain the other advantages that the cloud offers including resiliency, redundancy, flexibility, and more.
Deploying a new business application provides an ideal opportunity to rely on resilient, at-the-ready cloud hosting. Along with the advantages mentioned above, cloud avoids the capital expense for software licenses and the labor involved with installing, maintaining, patching, and upgrading software in-house.
Keeping up with the changing demands of the business can be a guessing game. When business leaders decide to launch a new offering or campaign, or if your business fluctuates seasonally, you would benefit from the cloud.
These use cases are ideal for a cloud environment because of the high availability and redundancy, plus you can manage them the same way you would an on-premises server. The Cloud also gives you flexibility to support changing business demands and scale both up and down for seasonality. Go ahead and surprise and delight your boss and internal customers with your infrastructure scalability superpowers. They never have to know it’s powered by the cloud.
When it comes to IT, you want to be strategic. Fortunately, the move to the cloud doesn’t have to be a guessing game.
A MegaPath cloud capacity assessment will give you detailed insight into the actual capacity and resources required to move your infrastructure to the cloud.
Here, I’ll simply start with advice: Don’t wait for data loss, natural disaster, or hardware crash to prompt you to consider a move to the cloud. One company that made the move in the midst of disaster was Drew’s Entertainment (PDF). In fall 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck during the company’s office relocation, flooding its data center and ruining the entire server network.
Fortunately, in anticipation of the move, the company had just transitioned to Hosted VoIP so Drew’s was able to keep communicating without interruption. Instead of replacing their physical servers, the company implemented a Cloud Hosting solution as well as Hosted Exchange, ensuring that their corporate data and email communications would be safe from future natural and manmade disasters. This decision reduced the company’s server size from six physical servers to three virtual servers and enabled them to resume operations within two days.
This is just one story that demonstrates the value of the cloud. Call us to discuss how to give your company’s story a happy ending.