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Cloud is not just a hosted service

February 21st, 2012 Blog, Cloud Platform

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Backbone Connect are currently helping customers to build their own cloud computing environments from their own IT infrastructure.

A common misconception of cloud computing is that it is a service provided from someone else’s infrastructure. Technically it is software controlled environment running on IT hardware and virtualisation.

To start to understand what this software achieves it is important to know the difference between cloud vs virtualization.

Virtualisation alone is NOT cloud computing. Virtualisation is often aCloud Enablement key component to a cloud computing platform but is not the finished product. Virtualisation technology pools hardware resources from multiple usually underutilised hardware devices and makes the resources available as a single pool from which virtual servers draw their requirements.

Cloud computing is a layer above virtualisation which allows many additional features and benefits for example, hybrid computing environments which use a combination of physical & virtual server farms, multiple hypervisor control meaning you can choose to use different virtualisation technologies for different servers, simplified management in that you can manage these multiple infrastructures from one control panel, automation of many IT tasks, and ease of provisioning.

Cloud computing is also an IT methodology, not a service. Cloud Hosting, SaaS, IaaS etc are services provided by companies who use the cloud computing to provide their services efficiently.

Companies who provide any hosted services using cloud computing choose to do so for one simple reason, it enables them to provide enterprise class services to SMB’s efficiently and profitably.

They do this by deploying cloud computing software on top of their physical and virtual IT infrastructure.

This software carries out menial tasks without human intervention making those tasks more cost effectively and quickly. What tasks:

Provisioning – Single application instances, entire user’s accounts, servers and groups of infrastructure get provisioned with the click of a button.

Capacity planning – scan your entire network for unused resources in 10 minutes rather than weeks of manual investigation.

Reporting – automate reports showing usage, costs and health to run every week and avoid time consuming compilations of multiple information.

Test & Dev – roll out server and desktop upgrades, patches and fixes across an entire WAN with an automated script.

Management – Have one central control panel from which you can manage desktops, servers, storage and network saving hours of time logging in to multiple software consoles.

The time saved in these and other efficiencies from cloud software enables cloud service providers to make money even when selling an Exchange Mailbox for less than £5 a month.

Another huge benefit of this cloud software is the ability to create hybrid environments of multiple hypervisors, physical machines and even third party hosted services in which all the above tasks can be centralised and managed.

Now many businesses outside of the IT industry are using this software to make their own infrastructures more efficient and less costly.

Though the ability to deploy cloud computing across internal infrastructure has been reasonably hidden to mid-market and enterprise businesses as the focus has been on supplying the ever growing public cloud market, many non-IT industry businesses are adopting this technology in-house and numerous established software providers are fulfilling the requirements.

The cloud computing model has received so much interest because of its claims to reduce cost and simplify IT, however uptake in businesses that are either to large or for whom data security is essential has been slower than expected because the options have been to move data a server processes to a hosting providers infrastructure.

With a private cloud in-house businesses are now able to realise the benefits of cloud computing on their own infrastructure eliminating the risks associated with the hosted model.

Our mid-market and enterprise customers are using these software packages to put efficiencies in to their complex data centre environments and are saving £££££££ in capital and operational IT costs.

For more information on how Backbone Connect are deploying cloud computing to our customers why not give us a call to discuss.

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