Microsoft Cloud & Azure

Moving to the Microsoft Cloud & Azure

Many companies are developing “Cloud First” strategies. A cloud first strategy is an organizational commitment to evaluate cloud-based solutions before considering other alternatives. Unlike a cloud-only strategy, it doesn’t entirely eliminate other solutions, allowing for greater flexibility. Cloud first doesn’t mean “cloud only.” This is a more sound approach than simply assuming that all business solutions will move to a Cloud platform.

Microsoft Cloud & Azure Overview

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of moving to the cloud
  • Hybrid Cloud
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • On-Premise BYOL Licenses (License Portability)

Advantages

  • Can be quick and easy to create a new server

Typically, it takes several days or even longer to provision a new server on-premise. This has to do with the procurement of the server (if necessary), its networking, its configuration, and the security related to all that.

  • No need to worry about hardware upgrade

When hardware has reached its end of life (or fails catastrophically), there is little concern for the subscriber as the hosting service provider would provision a replacement. However, the rules around licensing this new server could change, so it’s always a good idea to engage with a licensing expert.

  • Can be less expensive than on-premise solutions

Often, Miro finds that the solution requires less computing power than originally thought. Many hosting service providers have far more powerful servers than their on-premise counterparts. Provisioning properly is a function of understanding how the application is architected.

  • Security is generally thought of as more thorough solution as typically found on-premise

The hosting service provider would have a lot of effort focused on ensuring the security of their environment. However, quite a bit of setup and monitoring of cloud deployment is the responsibility of the Client.

Disadvantages

  • It can be more expensive to maintain than on-premise solutions

A cloud solution involves a workload inside the firewall being constructed – or ­re-constructed, in the case of migration – outside the firewall. Miro has seen where a decision had to be rendered differently because of the network implications. This is often a capital expense. But there often are operating expenses as well as subscription services tend to fall into that category. The ROI can make a cloud deployment unattractive.

  • The process of migrating workloads to the cloud can drain significant time, energy and resources

The time of subject-matter-experts can be consume substantially. This is time that would be otherwise spent on other tasks. Once migrated, there could be issues with access, security, availability, and performance that would consume more time from the subject-matter-experts as well as the business users.

  • Telecommunication costs can be higher

Moving an on-premise application to the cloud often involves creating a “pipe” through which the traffic would be funneled from the business center. And, quite frequently, this capability must be redundant. Depending on the architecture of the organization’s network or even their geography, the costs associated with telecommunications can be prohibitive.

  • Security can be a concern if it is primarily handled by the client’s IT people as they would be less familiar with the Public Cloud environment than their on-premise environment

Security teams may not have “hands on” to the servers or might be stymied by the security concerns of the hosting service provider. This is especially true where the servers are shared (i.e., multi-tenant). But single-tenant or dedicated instances are typically more costly.

  • May not meet regulatory compliance standards

Though most of the larger hosting services providers offer a solution for HIPAA or other regulations, some do not. And, if such regulatory compliance is available, it is often more expensive. Overall, there are many good reasons to leverage a Cloud solution, but it is important to see it as just another consideration along the path of implementing a new solution for your organization. An organization ought not make a blanket statement to go “cloud first” if they haven’t prepared properly or the transition is cost-prohibitive. This is where an organization can solicit the advice of experts in the area of transition and, critically important, licensing.

Microsoft Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid-Cloud has become the most common reality for organizations. Most organizations of a medium-to-large size will have some IT solutions that must remain on-premise due to functionality or business constraints.

Advantages

  • Hybrid solutions allow you to maintain a higher level of flexibility to choose the best environment and solution which most effectively addresses specific business problems
  • If you have a base of on-premise licenses then you can apply them against the Cloud, or use them to support an on-premise solution

Disadvantages

  • Hybrid solutions require you to maintain two different environments in some manner as well as well-performing and highly-available communications between them
  • You may also find it more difficult to integrate any on-premise with Cloud due to potential latency challenges, as it is vital organizations evaluate the additional network bandwidth requirements that such solutions would likely need

Microsoft Software as a Service (SaaS)

This is an application solution that is provided at a subscription price and is entirely Cloud based. It involves all aspects of the solution, including both hardware and software. Startups or small organizations are better positioned to support an all Cloud-based set of IT solutions, since they have no legacy applications, and can more easily shift from any they actively have in place.

Advantages

  • Generally provides a complete offering that addresses a particular business need. Example: Office, including e-Mail
  • These usually offer a good level of basic customizations to modify the solution so that it best fits the need for your organization
  • The applications are available virtually anywhere and from virtually any device which can be important to mobile workforces

Contact Us

If you have an urgent question regarding your software licensing or a software audit, please contact Miro right away.

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