Cutting through the business cloud jungle – An overview of benefits.

 

By Stefan Schmid | 01.05.2017

 

Switching to the cloud does not necessarily mean completely outsourcing IT to an external data centre as there are several options that cover all stages between that and having an own infrastructure. For example, you can outsource a part of your IT or switch to the cloud step-by-step. The right cloud solution for your needs is out there.

When most companies think about the cloud, they think about fully outsourcing the in-house IT to an IT service provider’s data centre. This is, however, not the complete truth or rather only one of many possible options As professional cloud providers like Bechtle also offer partial outsourcing in which the customer only procures one part of its IT externally such as hardware, single applications or dedicated services from a data centre. There are several options open to customers between completely running IT in-house and fully outsourcing it to the cloud.

 

There are some good reasons not to outsource the complete IT to a cloud provider. Sometimes it’s a company’s fears about its own security measures that see them first outsourcing crucial components such as backup, antivirus and antispam tools and monitoring.

 

Other times, it’s financial considerations that are behind slowly making the move into the cloud or the opportunity to get to know the cloud provider without making any commitments. Another argument for taking a step-by-step approach is that it allows companies the chance to introduce its employees to the cloud and make any necessary internal changes gradually.

 

The optimum solution and process of course also depends on a company’s requirements. There are currently three different versions on the market: Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service and Desktop as a Service. As an introduction to these three options, as already mentioned, there is also the possibility to procure individual services.

Procuring single cloud services.

Procuring single cloud services from a cloud provider is a good option if a company does not have the resources or expertise to handle individual, important areas or it is looking to switch to the cloud step-by-step.

 

Possible cloud services:

  • Backup
  • Antivirus
  • Antispam
  • Data sharing tools such as Sharefile
  • Web services DNS, hosting, e-mail
  • Device management
  • Monitoring

Infrastructure as a Service

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the cloud provider makes the complete IT infrastructure including storage, hardware, servers and network components available in a data centre. The customer rents the infrastructure it needs and accesses the virtual system via data lines while the cloud provider takes care of hosting, operations, and maintenance. With this service model, the customer is responsible for provisioning systems and applications itself.

Benefits of Infrastructure as a Service:

  • The cloud provider rents out the infrastructure in the data centre
  • Customers only maintain its systems, applications and end devices
  • High computing power
  • Infrastructure flexibility
  • High availability
  • High reaction speeds in the case of adjustments
  • Transparent invoicing
  • Dynamic scaling

Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) goes a step further than IaaS: The customer has no access to the infrastructure, but procures applications directly via the internet from the provider’s data centre. The provider is obliged to make sure the best infrastructure is made available and technical requirements are of little interest to the customer. The applications remain the property of the cloud provider who invoices the customer for the licences. The customer is only responsible for end devices (PCs, notebooks, tablets, smartphones).

 

The only pre-requisite for using Software as a Service is having an internet-enabled device (smartphone, tablet, notebook, PC). Most importantly of all, fees for use and operations depend on the number of users and the customer only pays for what it needs. Using the SaaS model also saves software procurement and operating costs as the provider takes on all management responsibilities as well as other services such as maintenance work and updates enabling the customer to completely focus on its core business.

 

Professional data centres like Bechtle store saved data according to the highest possible international security standards. In addition, the customer can individually configure every single employee’s desktop, only adding applications that they really need.

 

Benefits of Software as a Service:

  • The cloud provider provides the infrastructure, systems and applications
  • Customers only maintain their end devices
  • Quick implementation
  • Easy to manage
  • Always up-to-date with the latest releases and patches thanks to automated update and patch management
  • Security is always at the highest levels
  • SaaS applications can be used immediately

Desktop as a Service

With Desktop as a Service (DaaS), the provider provisions the entire desktop meaning that all components work in harmony—from the data centre infrastructure to the end device software. Customers benefit from maximum performance, availability and security with a minimum workload.

 

A single PC desktop eats up a lot of money—a fact which the managers at SMEs aren’t often aware of. Desktop as a Service does away with the multitude of licences you can’t keep tabs on and high maintenance costs for office computers, server hardware, and software components. DaaS provides turn-key standardised desktops that can be affordably procured from the cloud, independent of the end device and including all applications required. The most important apps and data are available from each end device, no matter where they are.

 

Benefits of Desktop as a Service:

  • The cloud provider provisions all IT
  • The customer no longer has to take care of a thing. All your bases covered.
  • End-to-end service
  • Maximum security
  • Transparent costs per user
  • Focus on core business
  • No more internal IT resources needed

 

SMEs have very different needs depending on their infrastructure and system landscape, but the doors that professional cloud services open are so varied that there is guaranteed to the right cloud solution for each. But which that is may not be obvious at first glance, so get in touch today. Full outsourcing isn’t always the answer.

 

The author and cloud expert.

Stefan Schmid has been part of the Bechtle family for 19 years and is responsible for the planning and integration of individual client server solutions. As a customer adviser, he sees it as his personal mission to not just satisfy his customers, but to make them happy. In his free time, he cultivates berries and vines—15 varieties to be exact.

 

Stefan Schmid

Cloud Sales