Here's my latest article on how my Company helps other companies migrate their servers to the cloud.
According to Channel Web this week, 30% of infrastructure investment for companies is now devoted to the cloud.
You may of heard of 'Infrastructure as a Service' and 'Software as a Service' - these fast growing, modern IT platforms allow for businesses to take 'best of breed' technology and remove it from the office, putting them in a safer place – the cloud.
I don't know about you, but if my office was to burn down, get burgled, lose power or internet, I want to know my business can carry on fairly seamlessly and continue to trade. A bit scary, but over the years I’ve seen it happen time and time again, and sad to say – not all companies manage to recover from their subsequent data loss or damaged reputations.
So what's your path to the cloud?
You need to have one. It's not whether you do or you don’t, it's when and how do you do it?
You owe it to your staff, your family and your own sanity to plan your migration and protect your valuable business data as soon as possible. Keeping your data on-site nowadays is like walking a tightrope!
So, if 30% of spend is in the cloud - where do you spend yours and what on?
Planning a cloud migration
First you'll need to understand your IT assets. How many servers do you have? What programs are running on them? And how valuable is the data they hold?
Draw a picture, I always do and it helps me to plan my strategy.
The trick is to think of all your servers as apps (applications). The hardware is fairly irrelevant. The software applications running your business are the assets - all you need to do is move these assets into a data centre that you trust.
Connecting to the data centre is all about connectivity... You’ll need a fast, solid and reliable internet connection and a router to connect your office network to the data centre network.
How will the Data Centre host my servers?
Virtualisation is the key here; you’ll need to understand the basics because this is what will give you peace of mind and value for money.
At Denwa we use VMware, which is the World’s No. 1 virtualisation software platform. Basically VMware is installed on a huge server (often worth tens of thousands of pounds) in a data centre rack. The server is much more reliable and resilient than most businesses can afford.
Once installed, your IT person can create virtual PCs within VMware. We call these virtual machines (VMs).
So in essence, if you have 3 servers in your office, you create 3 virtual machines ready to host your applications. It’s as easy as that.
How resilient is the cloud?
The really magical part is what VMware then does to protect your servers. Where VMware comes into its own is the resilience. If you are conscious about down-time and want to ensure your new server environment is built with high availability in mind, then VMware tools are ideal for providing you with five ‘nines’ up-time (99.999% up-time).
VMware can take snap shots of your virtual machines on a schedule (each hour, day, week etc). These snap shots are full backups and therefore can be easily restored within minutes if you have a failure.
In addition, if you want geographical resilience and failover, then most cloud providers have more than one data centre environment available in different locations in country. Therefore you can pay to have a mirrored solution in a different location and if your data centre host goes down (god forbid!) then you can failover automatically to another server.
What I really like about cloud is the scalability of the infrastructure... As your business grows you just log onto a control panel and increase the hard disk space or speed of your servers. No more major upgrades attracting capital expenditure investment; just pay monthly and scale up and down as your business demands.
Interested in Cloud? Then you need to speak to Denwa.
We’re fanatical about cloud computing and telephony and have an easy to understand platform for you to work with.
Our cloud team are ready to take your enquiry and help you plan your safe and secure path to the cloud.
Author: Rob Scott - CEO@Denwa