News broke over the weekend that a cloud price war is kicking off, with Amazon Web Services cutting the cost of its Windows-On-Demand EC2 service by as much as 26 per cent. As someone with a personal art collection worth close on a million quid, you probably wouldn't consider renting a run-down apartment in a rough part of town no matter how cheap the bottom line cost.
Now swap 'apartment' for 'cloud provider' and 'art collection' for 'data' and maybe you can start to see where I am coming from. Interestingly, it's been the cloud service providers who realised quite quickly that cost wasn't everything.
But, and here's the important part, there has been a great improvement in the understanding of what the security issues are for cloud users, cloud providers and the regulatory compliance bodies with an interest in them both. Dodgy roofers may initially build a lucrative business based on cheap deals without any solid delivery substance, but they soon get rumbled and the customers end up employing a qualified and certified professional to repair the damage and do the job properly.
The media-fuelled scepticism about security in the cloud is dropping from, frankly, hysteria to sensible levels of questioning and concern. That's why I firmly believe that trust - and by implication security - is the single greatest adoption accelerator the cloud has got.
Google has announced it cloud computing platform will be even cheaper for businesses by reducing the price of virtual machines by 30 per cent.
This price cut refers to micro configurations, with standard configurations being reduced by 20 per cent and high-memory and small set ups by 15 per cent.
The changes mean the Google Cloud Platform is 40 per cent less expensive for many workloads compared to other cloud platforms, according to Urs Holzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google. Google has reduced its prices by more than half since November 2013, as it attempts to keep up wth lower-cost competition as the market becomes diluted by organisations in the space. What up-front costs SMBs are likely to face when migrating to the cloud, and when they can you expect to see a return on investment.
One of the challenges faced by companies of any size is calculating the costs associated with a move to a hybrid IT setup. However, this challenge is easily rectified once the assessment and analysis of your current IT estate is complete. Transitioning from an all on-premise infrastructure to a mix of public and private cloud doesn’t have to be a complex business, again as long as you are prepared and have your objectives firmly agreed, it’s a case of going through an assessment and migration planning programme.
In many cases, the organisation has been using Windows Server 2003 for many years, with installation cost written off long ago.
If you decide to do nothing and continue running WS 2003, you need to understand not only the security risks involved but, also the financial implications in running old hardware and eventually having to fund replacements.
However, if you opt for hybrid, you’ll find your financial director will be adding you back on his Christmas card list. This is borne out by Cloud Industry Forum research, according to its latest survey, larger organisations have been slower to move away from Windows Server 2003.
Nevertheless, small businesses still need to put time into researching and planning a move, as, thanks to tighter margins, any costs will have a greater impact. IT managers of such companies have to answer a couple of vital questions: What kinds of things a small business should be considering when trying to work out how much a migration to the public cloud will cost?
Know what you have As we’ve alluded to earlier, it’s impossible to migrate to the cloud, or work out how much doing that will cost, without first knowing what applications you have and how they work.
An audit is the best way to find out what kind of apps you have, who is using them and how often. While there will be a cost associated with this kind of discovery work, normally in the form of consultants’ fees, it could help avoid over-provisioning in the cloud, which is a common source of waste, as well as providing a migration strategy and illuminating any potential pitfalls that could lie ahead. Knowing what you are using now will also open up options that could be more cost effective than migrating everything you have to the cloud.
As of 14 July 2015 Microsoft will no longer develop or release any updates or patches to Windows Server 2003. SMBs often hear that they are the ideal core market for cloud services, and most SMBs instinctively feel that they ought to be more agile than they are.
Cloud Computing is now a core deployment model for IT, yet our latest research suggests that whilst 78% of UK organizations have now formally adopted at least one Cloud-based solution, 92% of the same audience said they were not intending to place everything in the Cloud yet. The company has also announced it will be raising service level agreements (SLAs) at the same time, including automatic VM backups as standard across all levels of support. Phil Dawson, CEO of Skyscape, told Cloud Pro: “We have two levels of SLA, basic and enhanced, and, because of the stack within our platform, from data centres right through to vBlock right through to the software that we are running around orchestration, we have recognised we are delivering significantly better services than our SLAs have set out. He also talked up the Government’s G-Cloud initiative as the ten-day standstill before those who have made it onto the fourth iteration are announced ended today. This success on previous iterations of G-Cloud is in turn, Dawson explained, part of the reason the company has been able to carry out the investments in its infrastructure that have led to the price reductions and SLA upgrading that has been announced today.
Both improvements will be rolled out to all existing customers and be available to new customers from 1 November. Indeed, just a few years ago the overwhelming majority of IT executives would have said it was a negative one, with data being insecure in the cloud. Fast-forward several years and the insecurity argument has, as customer confidence and a better understanding of cloud security issues have improved, by and large been moved towards treating the cloud as just another environment where best practice can be applied to keep on top of data security. Cloud computing has become trustworthy and the unstoppable rise of Security-as-a-Service is proof positive of that.
The Total Economic Impact (TEI) study was commissioned by Alert Logic, a company operating firmly within the Security-as-a-Service space, so a certain amount of Mandy Rice-Davies Applies (MRDA) might be expected. Forrester maintained editorial control over the study and its findings, and Alert Logic was not involved in the client interviews beyond providing their names and contact details.
OK, so that composite customer profile I mentioned ended up being representative of one having a couple of datacentres and 10 globally distributed locations. It might not be traditional way to think of cloud security, but it's certainly provides food for thought to those larger enterprises looking to leverage the financial savings that the cloud can offer. The cloud as a distribution channel for security services, as a provider of security for our desktop data and network resources, is certainly proving to be a way forward and not just for the larger enterprise as demonstrated in this study; SaaS can be scaled down to fit the needs of the smallest organisation whilst still saving money in my experience as security vendors take advantage of the market aerodynamics being provided by the cloud right. Increased efficiencies, streamlined processes and business agility aside – it may be a four letter word, but cost remains a main driver for SMBs to turn to third-party cloud-based providers to run back office services.
The decision to move your organisation's IT to the cloud certainly isn’t a trivial one, as it demands dramatic changes to the sourcing and delivery of IT products and services.
More than one in five small businesses now use business applications in the cloud, such as invoicing, business planning and customer relationship management, compared with two years ago when just 8 percent of respondents reported using them, according to the most recent report, Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain produced by The Open University Business School. And many of them are indeed recognising cost savings and increased profits as a result, according to research among 1,300 UK and US-based companies by Rackspace Hosting published in May.


Marcus Robbins, head of Microsoft Solutions at Capgemini, says cloud services allow spend on IT to move from Capex to Opex: “It recognises that people need to work on more of a consumption model. Nonetheless he concedes that many SMBs probably don’t have an accurate picture of their existing pre-cloud IT investment, making any meaningful comparison of cost savings pretty much impossible. CIF’s own research shows that cost, while important, trails behind business flexibility and agility as a driver for cloud adoption.
The cost of implementation and ongoing maintenance and support is certainly a significant number that is taken out of the equation with a cloud-based approach, by removing the need for costly maintenance contracts or the need to buy in specialist and expensive IT expertise. Today’s IP video cameras are easy and inexpensive to deploy, thanks to transmission of data via Ethernet. Let’s take a look at all the capable hardware available now (or coming really soon) that could very well be the one productivity device a user needs.
We take a look at some of the most eye-rolling, nails-on-the-chalkboard-sounding words and phrases used in the channel. There are so many ways to monitor your health and fitness with current and emerging consumer technology. Company executives at this week’s Automation Nation event shared frank thoughts with ChannelPro-SMB on ConnectWise itself, its competition, and trends in managed services. In interviews with ChannelPro at last week’s Channel Link conference, Tech Data executives teased several forthcoming initiatives.
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Launched within a day of one another, the new systems help channel pros compare projected expenses before choosing a public cloud, and then monitor ongoing usage and expenses. In a telling sign that capitalizing on cloud computing’s pay-as-you-go efficiencies can be a complex challenge, two vendors have introduced free tools for evaluating, monitoring, and optimizing cloud costs within a day of one another. The first, launched yesterday by Framingham, Mass.-based cloud management vendor Unigma LLC, helps channel pros see in advance what each of the three top public cloud vendors will charge to host a given workload, so they can choose the most cost-effective option for their clients.
The second cloud cost tool was introduced today by Spiceworks, the Austin, Texas-based membership organization and managed services tool provider. Recent Spiecworks research shows that only 25 percent of IT professionals believe cloud services are more economical than on-premises infrastructure, possibly because they lack hard data on cloud service utilization and efficiency. After just five minutes of setup, Spiceworks says, IT professionals can use the new tool to see daily and weekly trend data on spending as well as compute, storage, database, and networking usage. That’s exactly what the new system delivers too, according to Bruce Gilbert, chief technology officer at Fort Worth, Texas-based Spiceworks member YSTA Services Inc. Dropbox CEO Drew Houston has declared that the company will not be dropping the prices of its cloud services despite growing competition from Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
All of Dropbox’s competitors have been rampantly undercutting each other in order to attract new users. The news from CEO Drew Houston, however, is that the company will not be attempting to compete for price.
The company will be aiming to improve on user tools such as newly acquired sharing app Carousel and Office collaboration product Project harmony.Its faith in the success of extra products and services may be unfounded, though, as Carousel has been struggling in the app store since release. Although Houston places pride in the usability of his company’s service, Dropbox has had its fair share of issues, too. The company recently celebrated hitting 300 million users, 100 million of which it claimed to have gained in the last six months. Moving to cloud can entail a calculation on the return on investment - what are the factors to consider? It’s not hard to understand why so many businesses are choosing cloud-based technology resources over their on-premise predecessors. But while it’s becoming easier to find and to implement cloud services to meet your business technology needs, it’s not getting easier to make an informed decision – and not just because there are so many options available to managers. Identifying your needs and comparing these with multiple product and service offerings from multiple vendors could lead to some complicated spreadsheets before you even consider the costs.
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Herkese Merhaba, Sizleri Office 365' in yeni Yonetim Merkezi ile tan?st?rmak istiyorum. This follows similar news from Google, which has already announced a four per cent price drop. In fact, I would say that it's not the race to the bottom for pricing, but rather the race to the top for security that is driving cloud adoption.
I am not saying that a demonstrable ROI has no impact upon a purchase decision when it comes to the cloud, but I am saying that it's demonstrably not the only ingredient in the mix. They ‘got’ that to deliver a sustainable cloud solution they also had to deliver more than a fluffy-round-the-edges-promise of security and privacy. Rather than running around shouting that the sky is falling in, people have calmed down a little and started examining the best ways to ensure the roof remains intact and leak-resistant. Thankfully, there are less and less cowboy cloud providers in the industry today and more and more certified professionals. Remove the hysteria from the equation and businesses can see beyond the red mist and appreciate that the answers given are appropriate rather than designed to misinform.
So forget those price cuts, they are just a natural step in the evolution of any service as it gains popularity at the speed the cloud has done. Customers such as Descartes Labs have already found them to be a great option for workloads like Hadoop MapReduce, visual effects rendering, financial analytics, and other computationally expensive workloads," he said. Once you know what you have to move, and where you’re moving it to, you are then in a position to start the cost analysis.
Having sweated the asset for so long, finance directors will suddenly be faced with the need to commit real expenditure to an issue they've not had to worry about since the middle of the last decade, whether that expenditure is for on-premise or cloud. If you decide to replace your entire IT estate with new kit, this will require a large up-front CAPEX investment. With the OPEX model, there will be no upfront investment, and the service can be scaled to suit your businesses requirements. As well as laying the groundwork for a cloud migration strategy, it also offers the opportunity for a spring clean, allowing you to discover if you have too many or two few software licences, for example, or something that has fallen out of use completely. Microsoft also has a range of assessment and planning documentation that can be used for this. Choosing to grapple with an unsupported system and face the consequences, hoping for the best is one option on the table.


This puts your organization and applications at risk. But what does end of support really mean for you and your business?
However, our exclusive survey reveals a widespread belief that this commonly held view is a myth.
For us, the whole framework has started to mature and we have seen the volume of contracts we are winning grow as a result,” he said. Just how positive that impact actually is depends on who you talk to and when you last spoke. Indeed, cloud-based security services provide one of the most positive impacts I can think of. Even allowing for the inward looking aspects of this report, there were still some very interesting figures to come out of it which can be excised and used when building a financial case for SaaS implementation no matter who is doing the provisioning. The TEI study determined that, over a three-year period, the use of SaaS would avoid labour costs associated with threat research, security monitoring, log management and web application firewall management in the region of ?428,000. Security-as-a-Service can mean that your organisation doesn't have to employ or hire  analysts for log monitoring and management, for threat research and investigation or find the capital expenditure and ongoing upkeep costs of in-house infrastructure. So, be it basic anti-malware protection that is delivered via the cloud through to full-on SaaS solutions, the bottom line is the same: the cloud is both changing the way security services are delivered, and changing expectations of how much they should cost. Nonetheless growing swathes of SMBs are making the leap as ongoing economic uncertainty prompts them to turn to smarter uses of technology to reduce their overheads. The study, conducted in association with Manchester Business School and research company Vanson Bourne, found that almost two thirds of SMB cloud users surveyed had benefitted from a reduction in IT costs and a third of SMBs had saved between ?5,000 and ?30,000 on IT spend by implementing cloud computing. But digging beneath the headline figures is, experts say, no trivial endeavour, warning that some of the dramatic headline savings claims of cloud versus on premise equivalents have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Named the Cloud Cost Monitor, the free utility provides expense and utilization analytics for Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services Infrastructure-as-a-Service accounts.
Armed with that information, they can then save customers money by identifying cloud services that are unused or consuming excessive bandwidth. Google announced that it would be dropping its prices by between 32 and 85 per cent in March 2014, only for Amazon to follow suit a day later. Despite the fact that hosting 100 GB of data costs 80 per cent less to do so on Google Drive than on Dropbox, Houston wants the firm to concentrate on quality and user experience.
Its simple interface has in the past lead to customers accidentally pasting their share links into search bars and leaking valuable data.
The prospect of acquiring, and then maintaining, on-premise software and hardware has become progressively less appealing.
Another big hurdle in the decision-making process is cost: working out how much you can expect to spend on various cloud and on-premise alternatives, or on maintaining the status quo, is complex. Behind the seemingly transparent ‘all-inclusive’ monthly fees of an individual SaaS provider lurk the multiple charging mechanisms of the many, with their assorted monthly and annual contracts and commitments.
Sure, it may not appear that way if you are the kind of person who absorbs headlines without bothering to read the full story that always follows.
Cheapness would not be a driver in considering where to live with your valuable art collection. It was just a couple or three years ago, pretty much, but things have changed big time since then. It's not all locked down tight yet, but then the cloud is no different in this respect to any other computing device: the only 100 per cent secure computer is the one that's still in an unopened box and remains that way.
The glue that helps to seal the deal is trust, and the roofers that have been applying it are the cloud providers along with their roofers’ mate in the shape of more responsible media reporting. From this viewpoint of trust, both parties in the cloud deal can move forward in an intelligent manner and the decisions made can be seen as more mature. Once the race to the lowest price point has been run, security questions will still remain and it's the providers who answer them with the most maturity who will win out. On the face of it, small businesses should have an easier time migrating than larger organisations, as they likely have fewer bespoke apps to worry about and, indeed, fewer workloads overall. At the same time, however, IT security professionals would have tempered that view somewhat by pointing out that the cloud has never been inherently insecure and that cloud-based data can be secure enough.
Be that in terms of email security, identity management, tokenisation and encryption, web application firewalls (WAFs) or security information and event management (SIEM) SaaS is changing how we view the security services landscape. Indeed, Forrester based its findings on interviews with Alert Logic customers to produce a composite customer profile. Add to that the estimated cost of infrastructure capital and maintenance when looking at a traditional 'in-sourced' security equivalent and Forrester reckon there's another ?372,000 to be deducted.
All of these are outsourced to the cloud solutions provider, and all are wrapped up in budgetable fixed fee.
Around three in five SMBs said they had been able to reinvest more money back into their business as a result. And this is particularly the case as the range of accessible cloud alternatives (which promise to relieve you of these and other hassles) has grown. Cloud software tends to be easier to implement than on-premise software, but no two business scenarios, SaaS ERPs or implementations are identical – and the same is true for other types of software.
On-premise is charged as a typical up-front licence, hosted is charged monthly (similar to SaaS).
Not only would you have the impression that security issues 'remain a stumbling block' but it may simply seem impossible that it could be anything other than a cost-driven move that makes the cloud such a tempting proposition.
Value for money would still be a prime consideration though, but that's a whole different ball game and entails the bigger picture view, which includes taking how secure your collection would be into account when doing the maths.
In the last two years, in particular, we have seen a major shift towards - and acceptance of - the cloud, yet the cost savings argument hasn't changed.
It's also making a big change to the business bottom line, if a new study from Forrester Consulting is to be believed. However, those customers did have diverse IT infrastructures and a range of different security and compliance requirements in order to provide a broad generic economic framework that could identify costs and benefits etc. So that composite customer is saving around ?925,000 (as a risk-adjusted figure) on security over that three years, or a tad over ?300,000 per year.
Will this be on a single or multi-tenant basis, this sentence merely hints at the complexity of the cost calculations in your future.



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Comments

  1. 10.06.2014 at 14:30:33


    Also highlighted some lesser-known hassle-free.

    Author: SEVKA
  2. 10.06.2014 at 10:50:14


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