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What does cloud infrastructure mean to a client?

Cloud infrastructure consists of all hardware and software components that are needed to support the delivery of cloud services to the customer.  By simple definition for my old IT heads, it’s a hosted solution. (Meaning you don’t have the server in your closet or under your desk)

This definition above is from a very popular vendor in cloud services and simply put without all the dramatic overly used tech words. Still the definition while there doesn’t explain what it means to you; “The Client” (I added the simple definition) Let’s dig into this a bit more so we can get an idea of what and how cloud evolved.

In the Beginning

In the old days, and I think I am old enough to remember when clients were interested in getting their business online. There was a very common model used for every client that was interested in obtaining IT services for their business. The items that were used were the following.

  • Server – a place to store your files
  • Network switch – provided centralized connectivity for your all computers including the server
  • Internet – Normally through a provider such as Verizon (only available at that time)

All computers used the server to store files, the server also provides some internal components required for connectivity including giving your computer the capability to connect to the internet. This model of networking has been the template for at least two decades.

While this was the original model for clients, it became very expensive to maintain. There were power requirements, upgrades to the operating systems, application updates, and internal personnel that were required to add IT support as part of their job duties. This again, was two decades of physically adding new hardware and software. Also, explaining to the client “This is required” is a hard sell because there were no intentions on purchasing additional hardware or software to maintain the tech in your business.

INTRODUCING CLOUD

Through the years, concepts of cloud had been introduced but you didn’t see the word “Cloud” being used when Hotmail and Yahoo were introduced. Those systems were in fact cloud-based. As the years went on and we wanted more, other early cloud solutions were introduced: Co-Location and Application Service Providers. 

Co-Location was a service where you move your existing server from your closet and install it into a data center ran by popular internet service providers.  This was a seriously expensive option, and most clients would not sign up because it was just as expensive as keeping it under your desk.

Application Service Providers (ASPs) The ASPs provided collaboration applications which were installed on your server. These were desktop applications such as Skype, Lync, and other collaboration tools. This was becoming a popular option for clients. It provided the capability of using the applications online while not having a copy on the internal server in the closet.  While that part of tech was simmering, our favorite vendors were in the lab developing a service that would become a monster phenomenon.

Hosted Email = CLOUD

Hosted Email = CLOUD

Application Service Provider

Co-Location

Cloud Magic (All of the Stones)

One of our favorite vendors, not mentioning the name because everyone has their own favorite vendor. This vendor introduced a system where you could have software, hardware, and platform services.  The term used for this new tech was called “CLOUD”, with cloud you can take all the services you currently have for your business and basically host them with a vendor. This included some internal services required to stay in your closet. (I say that with love)  So, let’s look at how this changed the industry based on what the “Good Old Days” presented.

As you recall in our previous discussion the following was a requirement for the client.

  • Server (Not Required)
  • Network Switch (Required)
  • Internet (Required)

Server

Internet

For cloud, there are only two of the options listed above that are required to support your business. The network switch and the internet.  All the other services, hardware and software upgrades are hosted in the cloud. That server that was sitting in your closet, drawing heat, killing your electric bill, require constant upgrades, and required someone to go onsite when the power was out to reboot, (My favorite) is now GONE. That problem is a past problem and now someone else’s problem.  But you are still on the hook for the charges for your server. This is only if you choose to use the server. In most client cases they don’t need a server because the vendors have provided a service which allows you to collaborate within your own cloud environment. This service is called Software as a Service. (SaaS)  Here are some additional components to cloud infrastructure.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Office 365

This is a very popular cloud service that allows you to utilize the most popular programs you use as a business. Programs such as Office 365, Google Suite/Workplaces etc. are very popular software as a service package. This requires no server and allows admins to manage the product for you. You end up paying for the licenses as you normally do with any software package you purchase. The difference is you purchase based on devices. You used to buy a CD/DVD for each user. (User based licensing) Now you buy per device. In context, it’s cheaper because I can buy a single license and install it on at least five computers. The caveat to this is a single license is still a single license. So, if installed on multiple computers, the name used to install will have to be the same name for all computers.  Rebnetik offers solutions that include Office 365 and work with Google workspace customers with their current offering.  

Click here to discuss your solution and requirements

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

This service allows you to purchase virtual hardware to create a server environment. This would be your server in the closet. Now, this service still has the same issues are your server in the closet with the exception, you don’t need to worry about it powering down during a power outage. The pricing for the server is cheaper because you are not paying to maintain the server physically, your cost is cheaper because you pay per hour and have the option of saving cost by purchasing per-year options, etc.  Rebnetik team can assist you with the IaaS solutions. Whether this is an existing or new implementation. 

Click Here to Start Your Cloud Journey with REBNETIK

Platform as a Service

Like SaaS, this service provides specific applications to be used in a cloud environment.  Applications such as SQL is a very popular Platform as a Service package. Just the application and no server is a lifetime of headaches that have just disappeared. No need to worry about the server, you just create your database and maintain only your database.

Conclusion

I know it was long and reading this much is horrible (at times) but clients should know what does cloud infrastructure mean to a client. Simply put, it removes the headache of trying to maintain the physical attributes of your “Server in the closet”. Your normal day to day maintenance including hardware and software updates is pretty much a figment in the past.  Cloud infrastructure provides you as the client a better way of managing your IT systems for both you and the company used to manage your IT systems.

That’s it and hope this helps in your understanding of what cloud infrastructure can do for your business.

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