Cloud services are all the rage now. You must have heard the term as well. But did you understand it? If not, you are at the right place. Let us explore all about Cloud Managed Services in this article.
What are Cloud Managed or Management Services?
Before we talk about cloud management services, we need to understand cloud computing. Every organization has a set of information or data that is generated and needs to be processed in a specific manner, for the business processes to run smoothly. Earlier, these data were stored locally, and the processing of the data was also done locally. With the advancement of internet connectivity and capacity, these activities (Cloud Computing) can now be done on the cloud – i.e., the business processes are run via the internet instead of on a local device.
You have the option of using either a public cloud (delivered via the internet and shared by different organizations), a private cloud (fully dedicated to your organization), or a hybrid cloud (a composite environment using a combination of public & private clouds).
The most common examples of cloud computing are:
- SaaS: Software-as-a-Service is probably the most widely used form of cloud computing today. Salesforce, Zoom, and Slack are well-known SaaS providers. The products from these service providers help companies automate business processes, simplify communications, and promote collaborations within the teams, without investing in the development of bespoke software.
- IaaS: Use of Infrastructure-as-a-Service is picking up fast. IaaS providers like DigitalOcean and IBM provide a virtual computing infrastructure that is typically used as a testing environment for software, hosting websites, etc. Notably, IaaS is capable of creating multiple virtual computing devices within seconds.
- PaaS: Platform-as-a-Service providers allow users to utilize their platform for developing and deploying software and apps without investing in server or hosting space, data storage space, or security. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a prime example of the same. Developers use AWS Lambda to run code, and its pay-as-you-go model helps them to scale up effortlessly as the platform is equipped to increase server or hosting space allocation as per real-time requirements.
- Data Storage: Even a layman today understands the value of cloud storage space. With everything going digital, from photographs to music, the storage space in our devices (mobiles/laptops/tabs) is often too inadequate to cater to our storage requirements. Providers like DropBox, pCloud, and Google Drive use cloud computing to solve this issue.
Cloud Managed or Management Services (CMS) allow you to manage and oversee all your cloud computing activities from one point. Very simply put, CMS is a form of outsourcing – instead of managing your IT in-house, you are utilizing the services of a specialized third-party expert to maintain your IT infrastructure over the internet, to help you deploy business solutions quickly and efficiently, at a fraction of the cost.
Predictably, the management requirements will differ based on the type of cloud you are using.
For most ongoing businesses, the movement from an on-premises environment to a cloud environment is perhaps the most daunting. Some companies offer automated migration via a SaaS model or migration tools for self-service. However, the good news is, most CMS providers offer managed migration, better known as Cloud Migration Services, to help businesses move their server workloads, data, files, processes, enterprise applications deployed across disparate physical, virtual, or cloud platforms and products to the cloud. Azure, AWS, Google, and Cisco offer tools and services to help migrate your workloads as well as applications.
There are also specialized Cloud Migration Vendors who you can be employed to help with the movement. Avaya, Capgemini, and Infosys offer splendid cloud migration services for Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.
Manage, Optimize and Enhance Cloud Efficiency with Cloud Management Services:
What are the benefits that Cloud Management Services can provide to your business? By outsourcing the management, maintenance, and optimization of your cloud computing systems to a specialist (the Management Services Provider or MSP), you can be assured of:
- Reduction in the costs involved in building an IT infrastructure and maintaining a dedicated IT team.
- Increased cyber-security and better compliance: It can be very costly to secure servers on-premises, and breaches can cause you to become non-compliant with local laws. However, since the CMS is designed to specialize in these areas, you can rest assured that your data is safe.
- Smooth Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Building redundancies and protecting your on-premises servers can be complicated and costly. Investing a lesser amount in CMS ensures that in case of a disaster, your business will continue to function with minimal downtime.
Your IT team also needs to efficiently manage the CMS. Things that can help in keeping your cloud budget in check without hampering business operations are:
- Optimization of Workload to Cloud Service Fit: The usage, history, and operational cost of each workload is analyzed and matched with available configurations of cloud services to deliver recommendations on the right workload to service fit.
- Cloud Infrastructure Cost Optimization: Cloud costs and complexity grow proportionately with infrastructure. Next-generation cloud optimization solutions may be explored to correctly predict and analyze broader efficiencies like app performance, risk analysis, etc.
- Workload Automation & Optimization: Modern cloud optimization solutions also allow organizations to automate the implementation of certain recommendations.
6 Ways to Maximize ROI with Cloud Management Services:
- Define the Baseline: A baseline generated with a free tool like the AWS Cost Explorer will give you a quick but comprehensive understanding of expected cloud spending.
- Review the Architecture: AWS, for example, recommends its users to follow its Well-Architected Framework and further generates a personalized Well-Architected Review (WAR) to identify architectural changes that can optimize cloud costs.
- Right-Size Your Instances: This is a primary way in which you can control cloud costs. Invest in Spot Instances, Reserve Instances, and Savings Plans. Apart from server sizes, servers can be optimized for memory, database, computing, graphics, storage capacity, throughput, and more. Right-Sizing helps you achieve peak performance from the resources you are paying for.
- Find Unused or Unattached Resources; Identify and Consolidate Idle Resources: This is possibly the easiest way to reduce cloud costs. Temporary servers that have not been turned off, or storage attached to terminated instances that have not been removed add to your bills. Next, identify idle resources and consolidate computing jobs onto fewer instances.
- Heatmaps: An automated heatmap will show you peaks and valleys in computing demand and will help you assess start and stop times.
- Multi-Cloud or Single Cloud: If you are using multi-cloud solutions to avoid vendor lock-in, you may risk losing potential volume discounts by a single cloud vendor.
Realize Your Cloud Journey with Maximum Value:
Cloud Services make up close to 33% of an average organization’s IT budget these days. The reason is simple – cloud computing and cloud management services ensure that your organization’s initial IT infrastructure setup cost is low. Banking on these services, you do not need to invest in (and worry about) compliances, security or data breaches, cyber-attacks, etc, but have complete visibility, transparency, and control over your cloud computing applications.