By Neil Smith
A few years ago, infrastructure meant in-house servers managed by your IT team. Then cloud came along and companies started hosting a few applications on cloud and remaining on premise. In such a scenario often different companies managed each of the infrastructure offerings. However Gartner now predicts that by next year (2015) 20% of businesses will have no physical IT assets at all. As a trusted partner to IaaS providers we have witnessed that most customers require infrastructure, OS and application to be managed by the service provider.
We feel that an infrastructure as a service provider can always help customers draw value from cloud solutions. A managed service provider (involved in cloud infrastructure management) differs from a service provider that specializes in physical IT infrastructure management.
There are three key differences between cloud infrastructure management and physical IT management:
- Physical IT management focuses on maintain infrastructure as per customer requirements. An IaaS provider focuses on bringing services to the application stack resulting in improved cloud performance and benefits
- In a physical IT infrastructure based setup the infrastructure is built up and maintained under fixed specifications and configurations. An IaaS based solution however has the capability to provide elastic capacity, as per customer demand
- Physical IT management works well with specific applications. Most IaaS providers work with private and or hybrid cloud setups with a key focus on security and compliance
Making a choice between a physical setup and a private/ hybrid cloud is all dependent on the application in question. Ideally the nature of the cloud and the application needs should be assessed to determine what will be the best suited and most economical solution. As an example, a web-centric application requiring fluctuating resources, will benefit from a flexible public cloud, while a critical database environment could need dedicated managed hosting. As an IaaS provider your ability to provide an optimal solution as per your client needs could go a long way in helping them make a transition to cloud.
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