In the last three decades the industry has changed dramatically, cloud is often anecdotally referred to as your servers in someone else’s datacenter. As the technology leaders Microsoft, Amazon and Google drive adoption of their services they have radically reshaped the distribution of datacenter services. They are known in the industry as Hyperscalers and in computing terms, hyperscale is the ability of an architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system. In achieving this they manage and ever-growing global datacenter footprint which they server the global needs of their ever-growing customer base.
The boundaries have blurred between what data live inside your organisations physical infrastructure and data services running in the cloud. This has made it even more difficult for IT Professionals to secure and protect the intellectual property.
Three Cloud Services
Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS) is challenging the cost to serve traditional on premise data centers where the organisation staff or outsourcer manages physical datacenters, server, storage and networks.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is challenging the cost to develop and deploy data services. PaaS is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud, with resources that enable you to deliver everything from simple cloud-based apps to sophisticated, cloud-enabled enterprise applications
Software as a Service (SaaS) is challenging the cost to operate on premise productivity and collaboration tools. SaaS allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps over the Internet. Common examples are email, calendaring, and office tools (such as Microsoft Office 365).
Cloud Tenant Management
Customers today operate predominately in a hybrid scenario and maintain some services in their own or collocated datacenters and have adopted some IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
At iSquared our customers maintain a mix private cloud infrastructure on premise, in collocated datacentres and consume a mix of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Each Cloud Service is typically consumed through the providers administration console and handles security, data protection and maintenance in a slightly different way.
Cloud Tenant Management is a service iSquared deliver to our customers to take care of the complexity involved in building, operating and optimising these cloud environments.
A typical blend of cloud service providers within our customer ecosystem include:
- Microsoft Azure Public Cloud Services
- VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Services
- Microsoft 365 Productivity and Collaboration Services
- F-Secure Protection Services
- Mimecast Email Protection Service
- Veeam Data Protection and Ransomware Services
At iSquared we charge a tenant management fee where our IT Professionals handles the administration of the cloud services we reseller as a Cloud Services Provider.
Cloud Adoption Consulting
While cloud services offer scale and reduced operational overhead careful consideration needs to be given to the business case of adopting these services. Failure to do so can result in escalating operational costs with little return on the investment.
iSquared consult to our customer on the business problem they are trying to solve. To achieve this we need to explore the overall strategy, business motivation and outcomes. Part of this process is reviewing the financial and technical considerations to support the business case when selecting which Cloud services or mix of services makes the most sense for the customers unique scenario.
Cloud Architecture Consulting
Good architecture is vital and is often overlooked by IT Professional who are focused on deadline and delivering services to the business at an ever-increasing pace.
iSquared customers benefit from nearly two decades of designing, building and managing Private Cloud Infrastructure against strict regulatory and compliance requirements. The team at iSquared consider the requirement to serve the applications as well as the resilience (uptime) and continuity (recoverability) services required to achieve the organisations goals.
Architectural consideration iSquared typically include:
- Servers (VM)
- Windows Servers
- Linux Servers
- Managed Disk
- Block Storage
- Object Storage
- File Storage
- Virtual Network
- Load Balancer
- VPN Gateway
- Express Routes
- Firewall Perimeter Security
- Vulnerability Monitoring
- End point Protection
- DDoS Protection
- Credentials Encryption
- Data Protection
- Secondary Site Replication
- Identity Management and Access Control
- User Identity Authority
- Conditional Access
- Multi-factor Authentication
- Availability (Uptime)
- Uptime Service Level Agreement
- Disaster Recovery
- Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) “how much data loss is acceptable”
- Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) “ how much time loss is acceptable”
Cloud Tenant Deployment
Once a customer has considered the business case and defined the success metrics the next step is deploy the services as per the Cloud Architecture.
iSquared customers benefit from our collective experience in deploying hundreds of tenants for our customers. The team at iSquared work on repeatable recipes designed to simplify the deployment and adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements.
Deployment focuses on configuring the new tenant with the features and services the customer needs and lists all the company employees and defines what rights they have on the tenant.
Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Consulting Services
Customers today are still invested in their own datacenter facilities, many are thinking about and already getting out of the datacenter business. This has see the massive increase in datacenter facilities where customer can implement their own equipment in someone else facility with access to various global networks. This reduces the overhead of physical datacenter management, security , access control, power protection and cooling. Many facilities now offer uptime service levels better than those a customer could achieve in their own facilities.
While moving can offer some attractive benefits , many customer are still in the midst of a “return on investment” cycle and those on premise workloads needs to be maintained and integrated with workloads living in hosted facilities or in the cloud.
One of the biggest challenges is the various operating environments, on premise environments have been built and maintained over decades in some instances. These environments are optimized for the customers ways of work and are generally very feature rich. Cloud Services in contrast have the depth of services but consumption is on demand and priced as such. This will often lead customers to sacrifice features and services in favor of OPEX saving which in the cloud.
At iSquared we live in all three paradigms as part of our daily operations, we maintain numerous customer premise datacentre’s , we run our own datacentre’s for resilience and disaster recovery and we run workloads across a number of Cloud Providers. This experience allows us to guide customers to consider their motivations and the business outcomes supporting the motivations. During a consulting engagement we will consider both the financial and technical considerations. We will consider your digital estate and how we realign the customers operations to support organizational alignment. Your technical team will need to learn new skills and the business operations will need to evolve to consume cloud services where it makes sense to do so.