Hybrid cloud computing — the future of IT?

There’s been quite a bit of industry talk recently about the increasing adoption of cloud computing, with particular attention directed at the way in which organisations are making their move into cloud. Importantly, the talk is backed up with numbers.

One trend that has been identified and picked up by a number of commentators is the move towards a hybrid cloud model — a strategic split between on the one hand, hosting data and applications in a private (usually on-premise) environment, and on the other, procuring public cloud resources to look after other compute workloads.

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Archive posts

Cloud to the rescue? Announcing our new cloud Disaster Recovery service

For many businesses, putting a contingency plan in place for their IT is an expensive job. It might well involve investing in and maintaining a second physical infrastructure. All that costly hardware sitting there waiting for a piece of the action — a fateful day that may never come.

But of course, you absolutely need it there, just in case. It might even be part of your best practice certification obligations.

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Are myths about the cloud holding you back from adoption?

In the fast-moving world of technology, cloud has been around for a long time — especially if we think about it in “Internet Years“. However, because it means different things to different people, the term itself is still open to interpretation, and certainly still suffers from the stigma associated with so much marketing hype.

And then of course, there are the myths that have lead to concerns over data security and resilience. The result is that many organisations are still hesitant to adopt cloud, despite the fact that the enterprise cloud has now reached a point where it is considered a legitimate and progressive IT and business model.

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Guest expert: Mobile working and BYOD (but not as you’ve heard it before…)

We’re always saying it, but flexibility is one of the big advantages of cloud. For some, that flexibility is all about being able to deploy resources on demand and that’s as far as the story goes. However, that’s a very high-level view. What about if we think about how cloud can be used to make the working lives of end-users (that’s you, me, even “Technical Dan” sat next to me in our support team) easier and more productive?

In the latest of our Guest Expert posts, Steve Barker of Sistena Limited takes us through a hectic day in his life as director of a busy IT services company. Read on for a refreshing illustration of how the ins and outs of mobile working saves his day…

As always, Capital Radio rings in my ears at 6:30am.

Reaching over to do the usual multi-task of hitting the snooze button and grabbing the mobile, I slyly open one eye to take a quick look at the calendar entries dictating the day’s movements.

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4 IT headaches, and how cloud computing can help ease the pressure

IT budgets being swallowed up simply by Keeping The Lights On (KTLO), delays in deploying new hardware and the knock on effects for business development… IT teams these days have a lot to cope with when dealing with traditional physical infrastructures. Can cloud computing in the form of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) help?

This infographic from Andy Monshaw of IBM (via CloudTweaks) illustrates four of the big challenges that IT teams and their organisations are increasingly facing as IT continues to take a more central role in the day-to-day operations of the modern business.

The graphic reports that on average, around 70% of IT budgets are consumed by operations and maintenance. That leaves just under one third of IT expenditure for the important concern of strategy and innovation (far from an ideal balance as previously noted) and an inefficient use highly skilled IT staff.

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Stats round up: the real word on cloud and the enterprise (infographic)

Some interesting statistics here courtesy of CloudTweaks and Aryaka, about how cloud computing is viewed — and importantly — actually being used by the modern enterprise.

Of particular note for us are the findings around what we think is one of the key benefits of an outsourced, virtual data centre. The infographic reports that of the 1,300 companies surveyed, 60% indicated that cloud computing had cut down the time that their (evidently expensive!) IT staff lost to infrastructure maintenance — “keeping the lights on”, so to speak. Vitally, this allows skilled IT teams to reallocate time to spend on the much more productive pursuits of strategy and innovation.

Indeed, as part of what the infographic alludes to, the most effective IT teams are those which are able to devote more of their valuable time to IT strategy than maintenance — a balance that is far easier to achieve when the responsibility for the physical infrastructure can be delegated to a cloud services provider.

What do you think, do you agree with the findings presented here? How do you see Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) impacting your business?

Power-up with hybrid cloud

If you’re already using a virtualised local IT infrastructure, then we don’t need to convince you of the advantages of private cloud.

No doubt you’re already benefiting from the simplified management that comes from being able to control all of your computing resources from a single point. You may even have had a pat on the back from the people in charge of the purse strings, who have seen the reduced capital costs that have been possible through server consolidation and being able to squeeze the most out of the hardware you already have. Not to mention the improved experience of your users and customers that comes from the added resilience of a cloud environment.

What if you could power-up these advantages, and add even further benefits to your virtual infrastructure? By linking your private cloud with a trusted public cloud you can. Here lies the compelling case for hybrid cloud: it’s cloud as you know it, but this time it’s free of limiting factors.

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We’re VMware Hybrid Cloud Powered®!

We’re pleased to announce that we have achieved “VMware Hybrid Cloud Powered®” status with our cloud technology partners, VMware.

vmware_hybrid_powered partner

This is an important milestone for us and signals the recognition of both our investment in, and commitment to, the leading technologies available in virtualisation and cloud computing.

The VMware Hybrid Cloud Powered program involves meeting criteria to give customers the confidence that their computing workloads can be easily migrated between their existing cloud/virtualised environments, and the Hybrid Cloud Powered public cloud service offered by the provider. This direct interoperability allows organisations to take advantage of compatible public clouds like those offered by 1st Easy, to form so-called “hybrid” clouds, and gain the ability to consume computing resources in the most efficient and flexible way possible.

In conjunction with obtaining this status, we’re offering free test drives of our cloud platform: 30 days full access to your own virtual data centre, so that you can get real hands-on experience of the hybrid cloud — after all, there’s nothing like trying something for yourself to truly understand it and the benefits it can bring.

If you’re interested in getting your own cloud test drive, you can visit our sign-up page, or contact us for more details.

Shared hosting, dedicated server or cloud server — what’s best for you?

You’ve chosen your hosting provider (hopefully taking into consideration some of the ideas suggested in our 10-point guide!) and next you need to decide on the hosting platform you’re going to use: should it be a shared account, a physical dedicated server, or a virtual server in the cloud? In this post, we’ll take a look at each hosting type in turn, summarising the benefits of each platform.

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Cloud multimedia (learning resources)

Short of trying something for yourself we think these videos from our cloud technology partners VMware, do a nice job of quickly conveying many of the key concepts and benefits of cloud computing for business.

With the selection we’ve shared on our website, we’ve tried to cover a range of interests — from a simple overview of cloud strategy and how it can help an organisation to achieve IT (and ultimately) business agility, through to more specific content such as a walk through tour of vCloud Director with a VMware engineer, and how it is used to manage a virtual data centre.

Take a look for yourself here: Cloud multimedia (learning resources).