INTERVIEW – Private cloud might be seen as the hosted equivalent of an on-premises infrastructure, with dedicated resources and security in place just as many organizations were used to. For some organizations however, the move to private cloud is still a huge step. Patrick Murray, a Microsoft Implementation Engineer at cloud hosting provider Steadfast, answers some questions regarding private cloud migration.
How does migrating from an on-premises infrastructure to a private cloud effect your cost of ownership?
“In order to properly answer this question, we need to analyze the pieces of total cost of hardware ownership. Of course, there is hardware cost itself, including servers, network equipment, hard drives and/or other storage, etc. However, other elements go into ownership as well. Staffing is one such cost; in order to have and maintain your equipment on site, you need people to manage, maintain and support said equipment. Warranty costs also factor into this equation, and must be maintained. Lastly, there is general maintenance, such as hard drive or other hardware replacements. Add all of these costs together, and you have a good idea of how much it costs to maintain your infrastructure.”
“By migrating to a private cloud, you alleviate almost all of these costs; you no longer need to worry about round-the-clock support, purchasing (and renewing/upgrading) hardware or replacement parts, warranties, or unplanned maintenance periods.”
Will migrating to a private cloud effect the reliability of an IT infrastructure?
“The short answer to this question is yes: positively. When dealing with onsite infrastructure, having bulletproof hardware sometimes isn’t enough; there are other factors that go into 24/7 equipment availability, most of which are outside your control. Power and network are two such factors. If the power goes out at your office, how long can your gear subsist on UPS batteries? Do you have UPS batteries? Have they been tested recently? Internet connectivity is similar; if your primary internet connection fails, do you have a backup? Migrating to a private cloud means you’ll be guaranteed a minimum of 99.99% uptime for both power and network, in a facility that is fully prepared for either a power or network failure.”
Although there is a variety of private cloud flavors available on the market, Microsoft is still one of the most well-known brands among organizations. As you’re a Microsoft Implementation Engineer at Steadfast, how is the Microsoft proposition able to build trust when it comes to private cloud migration?
“Almost all Microsoft cloud hosting providers are licensing partners with Microsoft under a Service Provider Licensing Agreement, or SPLA. Working with an SPLA relieves headaches when dealing with complex licensing for your servers; in most cases all you can simply tell your SPLA what you need, in what capacity, and they’ll handle the rest. All you see is one simple bottom line cost. SPLA providers can license the majority of the Microsoft enterprise catalog, too, including Microsoft Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange. Also, one of the largest benefits of moving to a Microsoft private cloud is the opportunity to take full advantage of the engineers on staff at the cloud hosting provider.”
Upgrading an existing on-premises infrastructure can be quite costly and time consuming. How expandable is an IT infrastructure when it would be based on a Microsoft private cloud environment?
“Simple expandability is a major tenant, as well as benefit, of migrating to a Microsoft private cloud. Most cloud providers have a 24/7 support staff, which means planning upgrades is as simple as sending an email. Most cloud platforms are easily upgradable; it’s simple to add memory, additional storage, or even additional servers to your configuration. Software upgrades, such as moving from SQL2012 to SQL2014, are just as seamless and – thanks to the SPLA – in most cases, provided at no additional charge to you or your company.”
About Patrick Murray
Steadfast’s Patrick Murray is a Microsoft Implementation Engineer with an extensive Windows system administration background. His professional passion lies primarily with Microsoft products and he has planned, installed, configured, administered, and provided support for nearly every major Microsoft product since 2003.
Founded in 1998, Steadfast is a Chicago-based IT infrastructure provider with fully redundant data centers in Chicago and Edison, New Jersey. Its services include managed cloud hosting, dedicated servers, colocation, hybrid hosting, and disaster recovery services.