Your simple guide to cloud computing

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1 your workplace technology partner Your simple guide to cloud computing #UnderstandTheCloud

2 introduction HEAD IN THE CLOUD? IT is rapidly moving from a function that is run, managed and maintained in-house to an outsourced service hosted in a secure environment and managed by a specialist provider. Cloud computing services are attractive because they enable businesses to transfer the responsibility of running on-premises hardware and software to a specialist provider, who manage the hassles and costs that otherwise burden IT departments, such as software upgrades and hardware maintenance. Over the next 5 years, the need for a local on premise IT department will be dramatically reduced. The days of large upfront costs are gone, meaning high capex expenditure on infrastructure, expensive maintenance and ever increasing energy bills will soon be things of the past. Cloud is a pay as you consume technology which means you can budget your IT costs into a monthly manageable sum. A private cloud solution enables the hosting of a range of services from IT data and applications, to disaster recovery and telephony which provides significant cost savings. As a business resource, IT today looks a lot like electric power did at the start of the last century [when it was routinely produced by individual businesses rather than utility providers]... executives are routinely sidetracked from their real business... by the need to keep their company s private IT infrastructure running smoothly. MIT Sloan Management Review, Nicholas Carr. 2

3 did you know? DID YOU KNOW? SOLD In the next 5 years, 75% of all IT processing will be done in the Cloud. In 2015, end-user spending on cloud services will be more than 115 billion Businesses fully utilising cloud computing save on average more than 15% on their IT spending. 82% of companies state they have saved money by moving to the cloud. 80% of cloud adopters saw improvements within 6 months of moving to the cloud. 3

4 benefits THE REAL BENEFITS Scalability: Get the specific amount of power you need, when you need it, enabling you to increase and decrease levels to suit your businesses demands. Cost Savings: Thanks to the utility pricing model of the cloud, you only pay for what you use. Avoid upfront hardware costs, as well as the costs of maintenance, software upgrades, power, and the manpower to manage it all. Disaster Recovery: A full back-up solution of not just your data but your entire server operating system and applications. Accessibility: Host all your data and systems via a secure leased line connection which provides a high-speed private link between you and your provider. Resilience: Protecting your business against any potential IT failures that could cause down-time or disruption, fully backed-up to provide a complete disaster recovery solution. Business Focus: When you rely on the cloud, you can apply your time and money towards your business priorities, rather than worrying about your IT infrastructure. 4

5 difference Dining Table Dining Table ON-PREMISE OR HTED WHAT S THE DIFFERENCE? Believe it or not, the basics of cloud computing and the differences between on-premise, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-asa-service (PaaS) and software-as-as-service (SaaS) can be explained by using the example of making a pizza. On Prem Iaas Paas SaaS On Prem In each scenario you re still having pizza, however in some cases your business Tomato Sauce Tomato Sauce Tomato Sauce Tomato Sauce takes responsibility Toppings and Toppings expense for managing Toppings all elements Toppingsof the process, whilst in the latter you let a specialist do the work for you. You made at home Iaas Paas SaaS Take & Bake Managed by vendor You manage Dining Table Pizza Delivered What s pizza got to do with IT you may ask? Change the diagram into IT and it starts to become clearer how it translates into the different Cloud services: Dining Table Went Pizza Dining Dining Table Tomato Sauce Toppings You made at home Dining Table Tomato Sauce Toppings Take & Bake Managed by vendor You manage Dining Table Tomato Sauce Toppings Pizza Delivered Dining Table Tomato Sauce Toppings Went Pizza Dining Software Platform Infrastructure Managed by vendor You manage IAAS Infrastructure as a Service PAAS Platform as a Service SAAS Software as a Service The Pizza as a Service example is quite simple and can be explained as: Software Platform Infrastructure IAAS Infrastructure as a Service Managed by vendor You manage PAAS Platform as a Service You can make a pizza at home where you re responsible for buying all of the ingredients and providing the equipment and energy to cook the pizza. You can purchase a pizza from the supermarket but cook and eat it at home. Have pizza delivered to your home and just provide the environment to eat it in. You can go to a pizza restaurant that provide everything you need. SAAS Software as a Service The benefit of the dining out model or SaaS is that your business outsources the entire process to a specialist provider who takes responsibility for everything, including the upfront cost of purchasing the infrastructure, maintaining the equipment, storage, security and running a team of specialists. 5

6 Afffordable, Capex Free pay monthly #UnderstandTheCloud ON-PREMISE Vs CLOUD HTED difference On-Premise Cloud Hosted your workplace technology partner Difficult to scale as business grows Local network and servers Unstable and unreliable Costly to maintain and keep updated Expensive capital cost Vs Easy to scale and add new upgrades Stable, fast and secure Cloud hosted server In-house IT support Cost to recruit, manage and train staff Cover required during holiday or sickness May not have specialism in all areas of IT Knowledge on all areas must be kept up-to-date Vs Outsourced IT support Hosted in secure private data centres Access to an expert team with a range of knowledge Service Level Agreement (SLA) guarantees service 24/7 Dedicated team monitoring systems and servers 24/7 Expensive to maintain Easy to scale and add additional telephones Scaling is expensive PBX phone system Vs VoiP telephony Software based meaning no hardware to purchase and maintain Difcult to upgrade Stable, fast and secure telephone calls Features such as Presence information and Voic to Lines & calls ISDN30 lines are twice the cost of SIP trunks Expensive for multi-site businesses Vs SIP Trunks Economical receive more resource for your money Calls costs and line rental are expensive Up to 50% cheaper than traditional phone lines Flexible and scalable instantly add or remove new trunks Backup via tapes / network Calls 25% cheaper than traditional telephony No charges for calls between different geographical offices More expensive than cloud based back-up Degradation of tapes could cause loss of data Complicated and slow recovery process Unsecure, data can easily get lost or stolen Broadband link to internet Unsecure security risks, hacking or viruses Unreliable and NO Service Level Agreement (SLA) Contention means slow speeds at peak time Unable to send large files, video or voice Vs Vs Hosted DR Allows SMEs to introduce Enterprise level DR plans Backed-up and replicated at 2nd data centre Instantaneously backed-up Fibre connection Guaranteed upload and download speeds Fully uncontended line easily recoverable in a matter of minutes means no sharing with other users Service Level Agreement (SLA) and uptime of 99.9% Flexibility to turn bandwidth up or down 6

7 difference WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CLOUDS? Public Cloud Private Cloud Hybrid Cloud Is based on shared physical hardware which is hosted publicly and has multiple users sharing the same resources. It s a cheaper option which may suit small businesses but does not provide a secure environment; think of services such as Google, Amazon or Dropbox. Many cloud providers give access to a shared cloud via the internet which doesn t provide a true managed environment and relies on the businesses existing firewall to prevent viruses and security failures. A bespoke infrastructure purely dedicated to an individual business which is hosted either on-site or at a service provider s data centre. The private cloud delivers all the agility, scalability and efficiency of the public cloud, but provides far greater levels of control and security, making it ideal for medium and large businesses or those with strict data regulation and governance obligations. EBC Group s Private Cloud enables customisation to best suit a business s specific requirements including dedicated and/or hosted environments, something that cannot be achieved in a public cloud. Offers businesses the best of both worlds and provides both security and flexibility. For example you can use EBC Group s Private Cloud whilst also keeping some of your servers or applications in-house, which will provide extra control and resilience. 7

8 difference DIFFERENT IT SETUPS Key Internet wall IT Team Disaster Recovery Solution On-site server Back-up tapes All services are run, managed and maintained from within the business On-site hardware, servers and PBX phone system. Broadband link to the internet and calls made over ISDN30 lines. Back-up via tapes or network A traditional on-premise setup is expensive to run, manage and maintain. It s less flexible and difficult to scale to multiple sites as your business grows Connection to providers data centre is via the internet meaning you risk losing everything if you lose access Reliant on businesses own firewall protection against internet viruses and spam back-up only, does not provide access to applications or instant availability of data Dedicated leased line into Private Cloud Dedicated infrastructure and/or hosted environment within the private cloud Fully replicated to a secondary data centre providing virtual machine, back-up and disaster recovery solution. Access to the internet via EBC Group s secure leased line Flexible and inexpensive to scale to multiple sites PBX telephony services backup EBC Secondary Centre Cloud VoIP telephony Secure services and web Managed print Hosted telephony Information Portal On Premise Public Cloud Private Cloud 8

9 Q&A NOT ALL CLOUD PROVIDERS ARE EQUAL It s a big step for your business to migrate some or all of its data and applications to the cloud. When your business is deciding whether to host your services in the cloud it s important to consider how your data is being stored and to find out as much as you can about the specialist provider and the data centres they use. Over the next few pages are 10 questions that you should consider when choosing a cloud provider. 2 Where geographically are the data centres located? Ideally, you want your provider to have direct access to their data centre, whether this is onsite or within easy reaching distance. Those providers who distance themselves from the centres are unable to physically access your data should they need too. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group s data centres are onsite, secure and maintained regularly by our in-house team of specialists. 1 Does the provider own their own data centres? If the cloud provider does not own their own data centre then they and you will be relying on a third-party, which raises a number of risks to access the data. Such as can they guarantee that the data is secure? What happens if something goes wrong, can they access the data immediately? What happens in the event of disaster, such as fire? IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group own 2 secure dual data centres which we have immediate access to 24/7, with the secondary data centre providing replication and fail-over. 3 What Tier data centre is it? A tier system provides a simple but effective means for measuring and benchmarking data centres and identifies whether a particular data centre is suitable for your business needs. Quite simply, the higher the tier the more stringent (and therefore secure) the data centre is. Tier 4 is usually the preserve of companies looking for the highest level of security, such as banking groups and military organisations. IDEAL ANSWER: To be secure you should be looking for a minimum of a tier 3. EBC Group operates as a tier 3 data centre which is suitable for even highly regulated businesses. 9

10 Q&A NOT ALL CLOUD PROVIDERS ARE EQUAL Questions continued > 4 Does the provider have direct physical access to the data centres? Operating an in house data centre can have numerous advantages, including greater control, capacity, power and security. Direct physical access allows your provider a higher degree of control over facilities, ensuring the centre is secure, and that any issues are addressed with immediate effect. Essentially, if your provider outsources to a third-party, you are not only entrusting your sensitive data with the provider, but also a further source that you know very little about. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group has direct access to our dual data centres, running them directly from our premises in Halesowen and Northampton. 5 Do they own the hardware or are they just reselling someone else s service? It is common to find IT companies that are resellers of various hardware and software brands. Although some do offer a good range of services, your provider may not have control over a resold service, which means if anything goes wrong they are unable to do anything about it. Most importantly, if you wish to get hold of your critical data, you are obliged to go via a third party. 6 How often are they backed up? Back-ups should be performed on a regular basis, and should be frequently carried out by your provider. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group backs-up every night as a minimum, or more frequently depending on the requirements of our client. 7 How many data centres do they use? A good provider should ideally have more than one data centre, making the over-all service secure and robust. If one data centre were to fail, you can be safe in the knowledge that any additional centre can still continue supporting your critical data. Additional data centres will also provide the capacity to keep pace with your business if you choose to expand. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group has 2 state-of-the-art data centres, located at our headquarters in Halesowen and in our regional premises in Northampton. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group is fully equipped with our own hardware, and does not out-source to a third party. 10

11 Q&A NOT ALL CLOUD PROVIDERS ARE EQUAL Questions continued > 8 What is their uptime or SLA (service level agreement)? An SLA or uptime is simply the contracted agreement that indicates what the provider is obliged to offer. A good provider should be able to address all aspects of hosted data centre services, such as network connectivity, power & cooling and server hardware. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group retain an industry leading uptime of % 9 What security checks do they do? In order to meet the changing requirements of compliance and data protection, data centres are now typically designed with perimeter security, access systems into rooms, CCTV and locked cabinets as standard. However, it isn t just physical checks that are considered important, but also the invisible checks on electronic security. A reliable data centre provider should be carrying out regular penetration tests on your network firewall, helping to improve and maintain security and access. Crucially a provider should be able to show evidence of these tests, in addition to the electronic security measures that are in place. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group is equipped with some of the most up to date and secure technology to ensure our data centre stays fully protected at all times, allowing us to exceed industry standards. 10 Do they have multiple independent network and power feeds to their infrastructure? It is essential to confirm if your provider has multiple fibre and power leads. Multiple fibre leads ensures your provider and data centre are still able to operate in the event of roadwork damage to any fibre cabling. Whereas, multiple power feeds, preferably one from mains power and the other from a generator, will ensure that any downtime is counteracted by making a seamless switch automatically. IDEAL ANSWER: EBC Group has multiple fibre feeds to their data centre, including a Virgin and BT presence. We also have the means to switch to a powerful onsite generator in the unlikely scenario that we experience power loss, as well as having the support of an additional data centre for full backup and security. EBC Group privately owns two state-of-the-art, secure data centres based onsite and maintained by our highly trained, certified team. There are multiple fibre feeds to our data centre, including a Virgin and BT presence and onsite generator. Fully backed-up each evening (more frequently on request). We retain an industry leading uptime of %. 11

12 about WHO ARE EBC GROUP? EBC Group are an award winning provider of IT, telecommunications, print solutions and document management services. As a total solutions provider, our model is designed to provide a viable solution for your business, helping to improve efficiency and save money. We have a proven track record of providing businesses with a new IT infrastructure at no extra cost. We privately own our entire IT infrastructure which means we can provide businesses with their own private cloud, hosted within our primary data centre with a fail-over from our secondary data centre, providing a true disaster recovery solution. EBC Group also has the ability to connect all of a business s outlets directly to its private cloud through private managed fibre circuits. This enables us to host a range of other services, including Disaster Recovery, Telephony and Print. Bringing all of your services together and managed by EBC Group will provide you with the most cost effective solution for your business. We work closely with businesses of all sizes across both the private and public sector, treating every customer with the same high level of service and attention to detail. Our commitment to provide a tailored and bespoke solution for each project we implement is how we have successfully built our customer base for over 25 years. Through continual investment, development and training in the upcoming areas of IT, EBC Group ensures it is at the forefront of future trends and can bring a substantial level of the highest qualifications and certifications from most major IT and communications providers including Dell, Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, Veeam, BT and Virgin. Our expertise helped us win the Best Private Cloud Project at the centre Solutions Awards. your workplace technology partner 12

13 next steps WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW? Identify Start by identifying the people within your business who should be involved in the migration including in-house technical expertise and key stakeholders. Your next steps with EBC Group... 1 Discover more about Cloud Computing by visiting /IT-services Review Review your IT environment to determine what data and systems could be hosted within the cloud. Select Select a cloud hosting provider that meets your needs for reliability, trustworthiness, transparency, and accountability. 2 Learn more in-depth information by attending one of our free Understand the Cloud workshops. /events 3 Speak to us for free advice or let us investigate your current set-up to create a tailored solution for you. Call us on: or your workplace technology partner 13

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