Cloud Products and Services

CloudComputingCloud products and services are only in their infancy, but new and exciting technology is being released at an incredible rate. One example of something new is Kim Dotcom’s newly launched Mega cloud storage service with its free 50GB of storage. What really got my attention with this announcement was that the data would be stored encrypted; it is nice to see security being built into the offering from the beginning. There are a few bugs that are being reported, but hopefully it is the start of the push to secure the cloud.

With all the application and services that are available, does the average small business need the expense of physical infrastructure within their organization?  I just had a meeting with a client, and we talked about consolidating their physical infrastructure as much as possible and then migrating what was left to the cloud. During our conversation, we broke down the different applications that were needed to run the business, to look at these applications separately.

There were three main areas that would cover most of their current applications and services:

  • Messaging: Email and Communication
  • Business Application:  Sales and/or Business Application
  • Data:  Files Shares, Data Storage

The decision became a real “no-brainer” in that their sales application and data was getting moved to the cloud. The decision was also made to move email and communication to another cloud service provider, which left data and file shares to also be outsourced to the cloud. This arrangement now provided all the services needed to run the business from a few different vendors.

I believe this is going to be the future for the small business moving forward, and I also believe larger companies will end up following suit with at least specific applications and services that will resolve a specific company pain point.

Now here is an interesting thought to share. For some small companies that start out by outsourcing services they need to the cloud, at what point would they get to a “certain size” where they start to pull data and services back in house to regain command and control? Would there be some magic number of employees before attempting to move services back in house, or would this new breed of business owner continue to stay focused on outsourcing to the cloud?

In conclusion, we are at the very tip of the iceberg of what the future has to offer with regard to cloud computing and anything-as-service. What will be interesting to see is how things change in the future—how current steps, procedures, and implementations change based on the number of companies that will start and maintain a cloud presence pretty much from the company’s inception. Will these tech-savvy businesses help to change the way IT will function into the 21st century?

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Steve Beaver (192 Posts)

Stephen Beaver is the co-author of VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center and Scripting VMware Power Tools: Automating Virtual Infrastructure Administration as well as being contributing author of Mastering VMware vSphere 4 and How to Cheat at Configuring VMware ESX Server. Stephen is an IT Veteran with over 15 years experience in the industry. Stephen is a moderator on the VMware Communities Forum and was elected vExpert for 2009 and 2010. Stephen can also be seen regularly presenting on different topics at national and international virtualization conferences.

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2 thoughts on “Cloud Products and Services”

  1. Hey Steve,

    How did you address the reliance on network connectivity with your client? Do they fully understand the risks associated with moving everything to the cloud (primarily around network reliance and security)?

    I’m just curious whether they looked at obtaining redundant network connectivity to alleviate some of the risk of their ISP going dark. I fully endorse using the cloud – especially for SMB where IT skills are typically in short supply.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hey Ken,

    Great to hear from you. Yes network connectivity was discussed and the client believed outsourcing to the cloud had the best and most cost efficient network redundancy then what we would be able to provide if things were in house. Yes security was a topic of discussion but was not a big enough concern for the client to change plans at this stage.

    This reminds me of the DR discussions that used to take place but dot not seem to really take hold until after a major disaster happened.

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