Clarity in the Cloud. Defining cloud services and the strategic impact on businesses.

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1 Clarity in the Cloud Defining cloud services and the strategic impact on businesses.

2 Table of Contents Executive Summary... 3 Cloud Services... 4 Clarity within the Cloud... 4 Public Cloud Solution... 4 Private Cloud Solution... 5 Hybrid Cloud Solution... 5 Public, Private, Hybrid Decision... 6 Business Impact... 6 Benefits of cloud include:... 6 Pricing terminology... 7 Finding the right cloud provider... 8 Cloud Promises: Price/Functionality... 8 Additional Options: Services/Support... 8 Cloud implementation prepare for change... 9 The First National Technology Solutions Cloud Difference... 9 About First National Technology Solutions Contact Us

3 Executive Summary The term cloud computing has been repeatedly used in both the business and consumer world. It is important to define the term in order to fully understand how the business community utilizes the technology, providing clarity and strategy, resulting in the transformation of IT infrastructures everywhere. Cloud technology is not new and neither is the technology that powers the cloud but the ways in which it is defined, used and interpreted has come full circle. Cloud technology is used by startups and Fortune 500 companies in various ways and with the advancement of technology it is creating a demand on cloud providers. The convenience, speed, agility and price are allowing companies of every size to find the right solution, and cloud provider for their unique way of doing business. Cloud technology changes the way companies do business by allowing them to deliver IT infrastructure faster and be more elastic with their IT infrastructure capacity, resulting in lower costs and the ability to advance past their competition. Kim Whittaker, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Cloud computing is a vision companies use to make their technology work for them in ways never thought possible. Virtualization technology is enhancing time to market, cutting costs, using the best of breed hardware and proving as an efficient way to move, store and backup large amounts of data and meet strict compliance and regulatory standards. To help make the vision a reality and turn strategy into a competitive advantage, understanding the various cloud offerings, knowing how to choose a cloud provider and reaping the benefits of cloud technology are the first steps in turning your IT infrastructure from a foundation to an evolving, cost cutting business component that can propel you past your competitors and solidify your very existence for the future. 3

4 Cloud Services With the progression of virtualization technology and hardware evolution, multiple terms have emerged to define how businesses utilize cloud services with their company. Web hosting Cloud Services Applications Dev/Test Big Data Cloud services are the foundation behind multiple business services. It powers websites, applications, allows for efficient movement and storage of data, and allows for development and testing environments. Within the cloud foundation there are three popular terms used to describe cloud technology including: Public Cloud, Enterprise (Private) Cloud and Hybrid Cloud. The technology behind each solution varies and it is important to understand how each solution differs and how the end solution fits within your existing IT infrastructure and future business growth strategies. Clarity within the Cloud Providing clarity between the three types of cloud computing is the first step to understanding the technology and over all architecture supporting your critical systems and IT infrastructure. Public Cloud Solution The following attributes not only help define the term public cloud, but serve as a guideline to the service offered by a third party vendor. These attributes include: multitenant environment, shared physical hardware with other companies, pay per use, utility model of hourly/daily billing, self-provisioning of servers and server resources, hardware varies dependent on operating system, utilized for development, test and production environments. Business use: low risk, low cost solution for IT infrastructures that require self-provisioning, quick deployments and have multiple development and test environments. 4

5 Private Cloud Solution Private cloud services are also referred to as Enterprise cloud solutions because they are typically for high performing, critical systems. The attributes defining private cloud are: enterprise class hardware, redundant hardware configuration for greater uptime and availability, delivered in a secure dedicated environment with defined resources allocated to the client, add or subtract resources as required, and security is top of the line. Typically it is a pay per use model based on server configuration with either a daily/monthly fee or fee based on the overall allocation of resources. Business use: critical system hosting on enterprise hardware that is efficient and highly secure with built in redundancy for complex and/or dynamic IT infrastructures. Hybrid Cloud Solution Hybrid solutions are a mixture of Public and Private Cloud solutions which may also include the combination of physical hardware and virtual solutions to support the client s entire IT infrastructure. Typically a business utilizes this solution if they want to keep their production system running on new or current hardware but need an application development environment to do development and testing and are looking for a lower cost-alternative instead of purchasing additional hardware for the development/test environment. It is important for companies to keep their production environments and critical systems in a fully redundant environment with guaranteed uptime with additional services, whereas their testing environments do not require the same service levels and additional services. Business use: low cost option for less critical test environments and preservation of previous hardware investments. Hybrid cloud is the most popular use of cloud technology combining physical and virtual hardware to virtualize where and when it makes sense for your company. Hybrid Cloud Public Cloud Private Cloud 5

6 Public, Private, Hybrid Decision Service, security and stability are the largest differentiators between the three cloud components. See how each cloud offering compares within the following categories. Public Cloud Private Cloud Hybrid Cloud Hosting Hosted with provider Hosted with provider Hosted with provider or at organization Resources Publically shared resources Private virtual resources Single client, physical hardware and virtual technology, private and public resources Connectivity Connectivity over internet Connectivity over Internet and private network Connectivity over Internet and private network Security and Reliability Shared security, uptime not always guaranteed Highly confidential information, redundancy and uptime requirements Combination of security levels, redundancy and uptime needs Functionality Self-provisioning, elastic, speed to market, pay as you go, lab infrastructure Elastic, speed-to-market, secure, redundant, enterprise class hardware, pay for what you use Choice of technology, control, agility and secure Business Impact Understanding the impact on your business is important when deciding to move forward with a cloud solution. Cloud solutions provide additional capabilities and flexibility to be utilized within your IT infrastructure. Cloud solutions may not be the best decision for your entire IT infrastructure. It needs to be utilized where it can provide the greatest value, efficiencies and overall performance. Benefits of cloud include: 1. Reduce capital expenditures (CapEx) moving from physical hardware to a virtual environment will eliminate costly hardware investments and life-cycle refreshes. 2. Improve time to market cloud providers have built-in capacity and inventory providing you access to resources immediately, reducing the amount of time needed to provision services and improving time to market for your business. 6

7 3. Increase agility cloud gives you the flexibility to add and remove capacity at any time, allowing you to be responsive to peak work-loads without paying for the excess capacity when it is not needed. 4. Minimize software licensing right-sizing the hardware capacity to help reduce unnecessary software and database licensing. 5. Latest and greatest technology - take advantage of best-of-breed technology that has been tested and perfected. Leverage redundancy of hardware without having to make the large capital investments that may be cost-prohibitive. 6. Agility at your fingertips manpower is at a minimum with the ability to configure servers with a few clicks of a mouse. 7. Increased scalability utilize server resources only when you need them. Perfect for businesses that have peak seasons and need bursting capabilities only a few times a year. 8. Resource pooling Storage, processing and memory are pooled so the resources are assigned as needed giving you a more cost efficient solution. 9. Redundancy Many cloud providers offer disaster recovery solutions in the event of a data center outage. 10. Automatic updates your cloud provider will handle all of the security enhancements, server maintenance, updates and patching for you. Pricing terminology There are multiple ways to contract for cloud services. Here are the top four ways pricing is configured for cloud services. Usage based Per hour or per day fee Fixed Monthly fees based on configuration Predefined server packages CPU (computing power) and RAM (memory) built into packages Customized configuration Granular pricing based on CPU and RAM to prevent over buying 7

8 Finding the right cloud provider There are multiple cloud providers offering a variety of cloud solutions now you have to find the right provider to architect your IT infrastructure into a productive, efficient and secure cloud environment. Cloud Promises: Price/Functionality Price multiple pricing models exist for the variety of cloud solutions. Most providers offer a variety of pricing plans that include hourly and monthly fees and can provide you an estimated cost based on your capacity and technology. With any pricing make sure you get a break down of all fees including migration, CPU, RAM, network utilization, storage and backups. Security understand both the physical and technical aspects of the security measures in place by your provider. From encryption to authorized personnel; what regulations, security certifications and processes does your provider follow and are there proactive steps being taken to monitor for security vulnerabilities. NOTE: If you are utilizing public cloud how is your data segregated from others. Contract Terms flexibility, scalability based on the increase or decrease of usage; are there any penalties for going over or under set parameters. Data Location know where your data is being processed and stored especially if you have strict compliance and security standards you must follow. Who has access to your data and how can you retrieve your data if you ever need to bring it back in-house. Migration does the vendor assist with migration, support open standards in the cloud infrastructure, eliminate downtime by mitigating risk so the migration doesn t disrupt the business. Service Level Agreement (SLA) what is the uptime SLA offered (often marked in percentages) and what has the past performance been by the provider. Do they offer financial credits or contractual outs without penalty for bad service provided? Next ask yourself if you need additional support for your cloud environment beyond the technology offering. This support can include monitoring, patching, data backup and the ability to help with performance issues or outages. These services are not included in many cloud offerings so it is very important to understand what you are or are not getting with your cloud solution. Additional Options: Services/Support Operating system support it is important to understand if the provider can offer any support for the operating systems your company utilizes. Do they offer skilled certified engineers to assist with strategic planning and overall management and support for your systems. By 2020, spending on cloud technology is expected to increase from 10% to 69% of a company s IT budget. 63% of those using the cloud said they are already seeing benefits from cloud deployments. Monitoring and management - up/down monitoring and alerting, outage notifications, reporting, ticket requests and resolution standards. If you are a business that operates 24x7 do they have a Service Desk or dedicated account manager you can contact if there are issues. Disaster recovery redundancy of your systems and offsite storage of data so you are prepared in the event of a disaster. What services come with your cloud solution (if any) and what do you need to contract for in order to be able to come back online in the event of an outage or disaster. 8

9 Once you find a cloud provider that offers the technical infrastructure and fits within your budget requirements you are ready to move forward with your cloud solution. Cloud implementation prepare for change Change the word often dreaded by many people within an organization it will be up to you to prepare, inform and encourage the implementation of cloud technology. From daily IT users to Senior Management even customers, everyone will be impacted by the implementation of cloud technology. Cloud technology goes beyond IT, it will impact speed to market, budgets, customer experiences and the strategic planning of the future of your company. You will be able to meet the demands of other senior management who want to launch new products, implement application use within the business, improve customer experiences through created efficiencies and allow for your IT staff to utilize the latest and greatest technology in the market. With preparing for the positives you also have to prepare for negative feedback and user experience. Address the fears head-on with honest and straight forward answers. Typical fears include: fear of the unknown, losing control or jobs within your IT department, and the most common security. Build confidence around each of these from the beginning and you will be off to a great start. It is important for your benefits to outweigh your fears and once you are moving in the right direction as a leader, your organization will follow. The First National Technology Solutions Cloud Difference Helping you control costs and achieve your company s IT goals, you will have confidence in our service offering to help you be more effective, efficient and confident in delivering your product or service to your customers. Cloud solutions your business needs and the difference our company offers: Cloud solutions for all operating systems including: Windows, Linux, Unix, iseries/as400 and Mainframe. Flexible and quick turnaround timeframes on contract negotiations. SSAE16, PCI, HIPAA certified Tier IV data center. Assigned Service Account Manager, technical Project Managers, certified engineers and Command Center available 24x7 to manage and keep your critical systems up and running. Full suite of managed services available a la carte to meet your business needs. Granular pricing model for right-sizing your infrastructure. US based data centers headquartered in the Midwest. 9

10 Offering virtualization technology to companies for over 15 years, First National Technology Solutions will work with you to ensure you have the right solution for your company now and well into the future. About First National Technology Solutions Recognized as a leader in the managed services industry, First National Technology Solutions provides hosted and remote managed services to companies nationwide. Specializing in cloud technology and data center services, our focus is on personal service, guaranteed uptime and finding the right solution for enterprise customers that fits their unique business plan of today and strategic growth for the future. For over 20 years, First National Technology Solutions has been a large contributor and a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the midwest s largest financial holding companies, First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska has grown into the largest privately owned banking company in the United States. First National and its affiliates have $17 billion in managed assets and nearly 5,000 employee associates. Built on the stability of their parent company and fueled by innovation, First National Technology Solutions is and will remain your preferred partner in technology. Contact Us To learn more about First National Technology Solutions and how cloud services can impact your company and help you overcome IT challenges and position your company for the future contact a First National Technology Solutions representative. Phone: Web: 10

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