Cloudy, with a chance of it not working…
At CNC we are trying not to get caught up in all of the hype surrounding cloud computing. We believe that in certain circumstances it has its place but it is certainly not right for everyone.
Our main concerns, which apply to both cloud and hybrid approaches, are:
- By moving your applications into the cloud you are going from communicating with your local server over a high speed local network to sending and receiving data over your broadband connection.
- Even with the bandwidth available from the latest ADSL technologies (Infinity for example – yes we will be discussing this in a future blog!) this is like going from driving along a 4 lane motorway with no traffic to walking along the pavement!
- None of the vendors are addressing how you actually connect to their Data Centres and applications – with good reason, in most cases the bandwidth just isn’t up to spec. As such they are washing their hands of it and leaving the responsibility in the hands of you or partners such as ourselves.
- Remote Working applications such as Terminal Services and Citrix dramatically improve performance for remote staff and have their place in a cloud solution but sufficient bandwidth is still key.
- Reliance on broadband for application access is dangerous; if it fails – and ADSL can and does go down – your employees cannot get onto their application and your business processes grind to a halt.
- You can combat this to a certain point with resilient dual broadband solutions (we provide them so ask us if interested) but this will never be as reliable as a local network
The Hybrid approach keeps the basic processes such as printing and file access local which allows you to maintain the reliability and performance of an on premise solution for these activities.
Depending on which applications you push out to the cloud, performance and reliability needs to be accessed over the broadband connection.
- Does reducing the complexity of the server really reduce your support requirements?
- What do you do if you want to customise your email or calendar or public folders?
- What if suddenly one of your employees can’t send or emails from one of your key customers are not getting through?
- If you are using a traditional SBS server and we are supporting it for you; you would call our ServiceDesk and we would get it fixed. You are kept informed what’s happening and when the problem is fixed. Sorted.
- If you are getting your email from a hosted provider you or we are going to be liaising with a call centre where you are one of a thousand plus users, where you are likely to be put on hold and where your email solution is a one size fits all approach.
- Good luck trying to get your problem sorted or customise what you already have.
- Reducing initial hardware and software and on-going support costs; what’s not to like?
- The monthly fee’s may look good initially but that storage space soon mounts up with emails and it’s going to cost you.
- As regards support – see above, if support is included you or your support company is still going to have to speak to the provider to resolve an issue; how long will this take and how much is your or your support providers time worth?
- What is this going to cost you over the long term? Over three years what are the costs versus a traditional approach?
CNC have customers running On-Premise, Hybrid and Cloud solutions. We work with the client to understand their exact requirements and circumstances before we recommend any solution. We do not sell solutions based on hype or because it’s being pushed by the vendors.
Which approach is right for you is dependent on a number of factors including those above. If you are unsure as to which way you should go contact us for a discussion before you buy into a solution for another 5 years only to possibly find out it was the wrong one.
In the next Blog we give you a quick insight into SBS 2011 and discuss whether it’s worth upgrading from your current operating system.