Not All Public Cloud Are Created Equal

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Public cloud is compute and storage services offered on demand. By tapping into these services, organizations can gain agility, the ability to grow and shrink in footprint in seconds and a pay as you model. Last month, we conducted a webinar about public clouds discussing their similarities and differences. We specifically focused on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and IBM SoftLayer. Today we examine, briefly, how these three public cloud providers handle security and provisioning.  We invite you to view our entire presentation here for a more detailed discussion.

Security

A common question from organizations of all types and sizes is how does the security work? First, let’s look at Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS has a shared security platform. You the customer are responsible for security in the cloud and AWS is responsible for the security of the cloud.  Below is the AWS security break out – what you do and what they do.  You can clearly see where the “responsibility line” is drawn.

 

AWS Shared Security

IBM SoftLayer takes this same approach of shared security, but SoftLayer allows you to tap into third party software to move the “responsibility line” up depending on what you want or don’t want to manage.  That is not an option with AWS.

Finally, Microsoft Azure also manages the security of the cloud and requires you to manage the security of the data in the cloud, but the key difference is Azure works on a fixed security process. Azure has a required set of procedures that you must follow inorder to guarantee not only the security of your data but also the security of the cloud.  IT teams versed in Microsoft thinking will be able to make sense of this security format much easier than teams new to Microsoft.

Provisioning

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are true public clouds so provisioning can be completed within minutes.  With AWS this ease of set up also means that you can easily grow which can also mean run into budget/spending surprises so monitoring AWS use is very important. One notable difference between AWS and Azure is that Azure is more difficult to de-provision. Once you increase your performance level on Azure, reducing your footprint can take time.

IBM Softlayer is a bit different. Using Bare Metal, SoftLayer actually offers you your own physical hardware in the cloud so you have more control.  This can take longer to provision, up to 48 hours.

Evolving Solutions is here not only to help you weigh what public cloud option is best for your organization but also to assist with set up and management.  We will work with you to ensure your cloud solution is SAFE – Secure, Accessible/Available, Foundational and Efficient.

Again we invite you to view our entire public cloud presentation here or contact us with questions.

Why SMBs Should Consider the Cloud

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Last month Joe Lyden, Evolving Solutions Cloud Sales Specialist, and James Keating III, Evolving Solutions Business Technology Architect, discussed current cloud trends during a lunch webinar. Over the next two blog posts, we will look at several parts of that discussion. Today, let’s focus on cloud solutions for data protection and important factors for cloud success.

How important is your data?

  • 81% of companies that have experience an outage in the past 2 years were down for more than 2 days
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster
  • 51% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) have an IT business continuity plan in place. Flip that number and it could mean that 49% are not fully prepared
  • $10,000 is the estimated average cost of a single data loss incident

In today’s marketplace where you are expected to be “on” 24/7, data protection and business continuity are key to staying competitive.  Through the cloud, SMBs can now more than ever access cutting-edge, reliable data protection, disaster recovery and business continuity solutions at an affordable price point. Disaster recovery as a service is becoming an important and affordable entry point for many businesses when it comes to cloud adoption.

Small and medium-sized businesses especially are stretched when it comes to time and resources, but in today’s marketplace you are still expected to provide reliable, always on service. Cloud solutions allow SMBs to do just that – providing any-sized businesses with enterprise-class technology.

Take a step back.  The cloud is “not magic pixie dust” as Joe Lyden points out in the webinar.  Just like with other technology projects, you must have a clear cloud strategy, specific objectives and a clear understanding of what will integrate well. Testing is also extremely important.  The right cloud partner can help SMBs navigate cloud solutions available and weigh in on what would work best for your situation.

Look for our next blog post on Wednesday, April 27th where we will cover current cloud trends. You can also listen to Joe and James’ full Cloud Trends webinar here.