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Oncore IT opens new UK Information Office for press & analysts to provide commentary about achieving best practice in the Cloud
London, UK – Feb. 22, 2012 — /BackupReview.info/ — The market is buzzing with interest and activity around the Cloud. But the bottom line is that many decision makers – particularly those in small to medium sized businesses – face real confusion trying to select a partner and working out the best way forward with the Cloud given the grandiose claims by some suppliers about what it can actually deliver in terms of reducing CAPEX, streamlining OPEX and so on.
That’s why at Oncore IT we’re opening an Information Office for press and analysts interested in the whole area of Cloud computing.
Technical and commercial experts are available to brief you about the practical realities of scoping, delivering and using Cloud services, with Oncore IT’s customers able to share with you their experiences of actually doing so.
Given the F.U.D [fear, uncertainty and doubt] surrounding the Cloud, this post outlines Oncore IT’s advice for companies about what to look for in a Cloud pitch to ensure IT and ultimately commercial success.
What should a Cloud partner’s DNA actually look like?
‘Must have’ things to look for are as follows:
But as the Cloud becomes the latest ‘Gold Rush,’ too many contenders offer the opposite – inflexible ‘standard’ solutions that fail to deliver to the expectation of the client.
To Cloud or not to Cloud. Is that really the question?
Of course, there are really very few technology items that are completely resistant to being delivered in a Cloud fashion. The issue is if that would be done at too high a cost. For instance, if an organisation has limited access to adequate bandwidth, it is unlikely it will be able to provision enough functionality this way.
At the same time, if a customer has useful bespoke software applications that really can only reside on a ‘fat client’ it is going to be more pragmatic to keep them where they are. The converse is just as true: if the customer wants to run a thin client environment in the Cloud but with a small user base for that application, the licensing impact may be heavy if the ISV then requires payment for the whole organisation.
The recommendation is that any use of the Cloud therefore has to meet a customer’s current (and desired longer-term) ICT landscape and requirements. The emphasis must be on total solution design, not ‘Cloud for Cloud’s sake’.
For those people who think a move to Cloud will eliminate the need for, say, any internal infrastructure at all, or minimal to zero hardware investment, it sometimes comes as a mild shock to hear otherwise. The rubric here is that ROI could be financial, production environment improvement or operational – never just financial.
Based on in-depth consultation and preliminary analysis – and only based on it – will a supplier worth the money proffer a template for a suggested new topology that may or may not include elements of, say, public, private or hybrid types of Cloud.
Perhaps it would be best to get back to basics. If it isn’t a guaranteed cost-saver or magic answer, why would I want to do Cloud again?
Establishing best practice in terms of using the Cloud as a delivery platform
This statement can in turn be decomposed as follows:
Infrastructure capability to ensure security
Competence and capacity to guarantee availability
Such an approach will be for naught but good intentions unless backed up by industrial-strength compute potential. In the Cloud context, this means the rented infrastructure or platform should be housed in a high performance facility.
It should not be necessary to add, but alas it probably is: none of this will be worth paying for unless it is well supported by a broad, experienced set of engineers at the partner end able to offer true round-the-clock and preferably local support.
Connectivity is king
It may also be highly desirable to obtain geographical dispersal. This is advantageous as it can mean much more robust security and longevity for your data. The best solution: datacentres in different countries – not just in-house duplication.
Service Level Agreements set expectations for the right Cloud relationship
Cloud can offer a sunny future
An impossible set of conditions? The truly exciting thing about using Cloud where appropriate with the right kind of flexible, competent and honest provider is that it seems the most convincing option the CIO has ever had here in ‘squaring the circle.’ But it stands or falls on what a Cloud partner can bring to the party and their ability to deliver.
Source: Oncore IT
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