There are many reasons why a business should consider migrating to the cloud. The main driving factors are usually cost effectiveness or scalability without huge investment. For many businesses, no matter how small, the benefit of using cloud rather than on-premise equipment means that technology growth can be equally matched with business requirement, without the overheads normally imposed by purchasing and deploying IT infrastructure. Sometimes a hybrid approach of on-premise and cloud based technology is the best and only option for many businesses, but this is still a feasable option and can often work very well.
The biggest benefit of leasing cloud technology from Rycroft Solutions is that all of our server offerings with come complete with access to our monitoring solution at no extra cost, giving you real insight into your technology and how it runs.
Some key points to consider when deciding if a cloud solution meets your needs:
Cost EffectivenessA key benefit of a cloud based solution is cost. In comparison, a single on-premise server is more expensive to procure, power and maintain than a cloud based equivalent. Many cloud service providers are able to pass cost saving on to the end user through scale and the mechanics of server provisioning (often virtual compared to physical) which ultimately means more computing power at a fraction of the cost. Since the advent of "on-demand" server provisioning, the concept of powering up a server when you need it most and then turning it off when you dont can be achieved at the click of a mouse. This means that the business can do more for less and also pay for what is being used and not pay for unused technology.
Leasing and operational expenditureIn many cases, businesses find it easier to allocate resources to operating expenditure (OPEX) rather than capital expenditure (CAPEX). Investing in or leasing cloud based systems charged as OPEX, costing can perhaps be allocated to a monthly budget especially as systems can be instantiated or retired "on demand". The "pay as you need it" method means that your business can plan expenditure more accurately because the infrastructure charge can be allocated as a service only when its necessary. Alternatively infrastruture can be leased on a short or long term basis which also yields benefits to an organisation, not just freeing up capital to be invested elsewhere in your business. Leasing guards your business against the diminishing value of assets and there are also monetary and tax advantages because it is possible to deduct the full cost of lease rentals from taxable income.
ScalabilityOne of the most difficult challenges businesses face is coping with demand on infrastructure. In many cases demand can increase when a user base expands, during month or year end, or with seasonal fluctuations to name but a few. In these instances infrastructure is often over-provisioned because it is still in place during off-peak demand times, or emphasis is put on reorganising existing infrastructure to borrow from other areas to cope with demand. This often over stretches organisations even resulting in certain departments not being able to function when infrastructure is taken from them. By implementing cloud based systems if in a hybrid (on premise and cloud mix) or complete solution the ability to cope with these changes in demand can be done seamlessly, with greater flexibility and with limited budget.
SecurityOne of the biggest areas of concerns for using the cloud is security. In truth, well established cloud providers offer very high levels of security on par with on-premise equipment. According to Microsoft, businesses who use the cloud spend on average 32% less time during the week managing security than those who dont. Each server deployed in the cloud can be located in a completely private network with an IP range of choice. Each server can be individually exposed to the internet or remain exclusively accessible to your own internal network ranges. Access control lists can be implemented to control inbound and outbound network access to and from each server even for specific services and ports (e.g. for SSH or SFTP).
ReliabilityCloud computing offers a highly reliable environment where replacement instances can be instantiated rapidly. Clouds are often split into separate zones spanning multiple countries or regions. Well established cloud service providers offer 99.95% uptime within each region. This methodology is often an extremely cost effective solution for disaster recovery and business continuity.
Rapid DeploymentUsing on-premise methods it can sometimes take days or even weeks to commission, install and configure new server technologies. Compared to the cloud where instantiation from image to fully operational servers can take hours or even minutes. Some consider rapid deployment in the cloud to be one of its biggest selling points especially where servers are required on demand to match processing requirements.
FlexibilityUsing cloud based infrastructure, it is possible to instantiate server instances to meet your exact requirement. Choices are available for type of server (e.g. 32bit vs 64bit), its operating system (e.g. Linux vs Microsoft Windows), its storage and boot partition. Images can then be made of the type of server that meets all your requirements which can then be used to instantiate one, hundreds or even thousands of identical base servers. Another benefit reflecting the flexibility of using cloud based infrastructure is that server life expectancy can be managed discreetly by the cloud provider. Legacy hardware can be retired when not in use resulting in newly started servers always being provided on modern, up-to-date and energy efficient equipment.
HybridIn recent years many businesses have been looking to scale existing solutions by increasing the size of certain components that demand greater usage without having to scale an entire enterprise. By deploying key components in the cloud it is possible to maximise investment by gaining more computing power, sometimes "on-demand", without having to invest in on-premise technology at a higher price. The hybrid method can deliver a range of applications across a variety of different environments, even across international divides.
System ManagementMaintaining software and operating systems is a major fundamental task undertaken by every business. A large amount of time taken by any IT department is directed towards system management such as rolling out upgrades or patches, leaving very little time for strategy, development or day-to-day operational activities. Leveraging cloud based technology makes it possible to take an image of an existing production server, instantiate a second duplicate server and use it to test software and / or operating system updates. This replication approach means that both production and test servers can co-exist until such time that the test server can be an absolute replacement for its production counterpart, and all services can be repointed meaning very minimal, or no downtime at all.
Contact us today and we can help you evaluate the possibility of leveraging our cloud solutions, discuss leasing terms and implement a modern infrastructure for your business at a fraction of the cost of traditional on-premise equipment.
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