Managed Services nowadays are very different from the way we use to run traditional IT desktop or server management system. They are so advanced and complicated, that it is becoming difficult to cope with the new challenges the Cloud brings; with more services, DevOps processes and other new technologies. As part of this transition, Azure Managed Services Partners (MSPs) and the customers are adjusting to the new opportunities the Cloud has to offer.
In many cases, Azure Cloud Services make things simpler, faster and often cheaper. However, while solving the problems traditional hardware system or on-premise data center have Azure Cloud also created new challenges. While Startups and newly born companies understand and embrace the latest technologies and trends, things are more complicated for larger and more “old-school” traditional enterprises. This is where MSPs come into play. The Cloud revolution brings with it new solutions and opportunities, however applying them is not simple. With years of experience working with the Azure Cloud, CloudZone helps customers to understand new technologies while explaining the pros and cons of applying them.
Enterprises are slowly discovering the many benefits of Cloud automation, which enables their ability to control, monitor and manage complex and large systems, programmatically. This too is very different from traditional data center environments. However, to be clear, no piece of code was ever able to get a new Dell R430 server installed and configured in 60 seconds, the code can only orchestrate dozens of servers with the same configuration and related services up and running.
The DevOps process can benefit from this in particular; starting with Auto-Scaling, then moving to Continuous Integration (CI), and finally to Infrastructure-as-Code. These increasing levels of automation, process, and complexity are key areas where an MSP can help customers understand, implement, and succeed. MSP services are especially suitable for traditional enterprises which usually have very little exposure or experience in these areas. The MSP helps jumpstart customer efforts, guide their processes and ensure early success.
Traditional MSPs and Cloud MSPs do similar work but under different circumstances. Traditional MSPs help with monitoring and maintenance just like Cloud MSPs, but, because the cloud is a new platform that is constantly evolving, working with a Cloud MSP is key in keeping up to date with new emerging technologies.
Cloud Managed Services vs Traditional Managed Services
Speed, efficiency & control
With Cloud Managed Services, things move quicker, whether it’s buildup, monitoring, or alerting. Since the physical hardware is already up and running on the cloud provisioning of servers is that much faster. Once the provisioning is finished, the configuration can be sped up only if the MSP truly embraces a DevOps approach and make the environment “infrastructure as code”. Cloud MSPs have full control and visibility on the environments they manage, enabling them to complete tasks on the spot. Traditional MSPs however, have to do a lot of ordering, waiting, installing and testing which eats up a lot of time.
Traditional Data Center vs Cloud Data Center
A traditional data center hardware-based, hardware based, and stores data within a local network. This means your MSP will need to perform updates, monitoring, and maintenance in-house. This can slow things down and cause inefficiency. The Cloud sits on an off-premise data center and stores data anywhere over the internet. The Cloud’s location is redundant, so your Cloud MSP can perform any update, monitoring and maintenance from any location, making things quick and efficient. In addition, since cloud vendors have multiple data centers in various geographic locations, your cloud MSP can safeguard availability during outages.
The job of every MSP is to make things easier for their customers. However, it’s much more difficult for a traditional MSP to handle some issues. In order to fix a situation, traditional MSPs have to make phone calls, order parts, wait for shipping, installation, and so on. Cloud MSPs have a much easier time with a guarantee that everything is taken care of 100% by Azure, giving the end customer piece of mind.
Ease of Operation
In the Cloud, everything you need is but a click away, which is why it is easy to perform dev tests and quickly setup new environments. Traditional MSPs will have a more difficult time getting things done. Ordering parts that can take months to arrive, finding the right people to install them, and then testing to make sure everything is working correctly, can become a tedious and long process.
The role of an MSP is to guide customers through a methodology of best practices and also help them to best apply new technologies and processes, to grow their business, meet their needs, ensuring a better future. The combination of traditional support, operations, innovation, automation, planning & transforming, and a joint view to the future is the key to MSP success in and on the clouds in the 21st century.