Virtualising your IT infrastructure and migrating to the cloud will most likely bring significant gains. However, eliminating the management of your IT is not one of them!
Many business leaders turning to the cloud think that they will now avoid tasks related to the monitoring and management of their infrastructure as well as the backup of their data. But the vast majority of these tasks remains virtually the same, whether one is in a physical or cloud environment.
For example, the use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will provide the infrastructure necessary for the deployment and operation of your systems. However, you will still need to manage the virtual machines (VMs) and ensure the proper functioning of applications.
Here are 3 types of tasks you must assume, whether your systems are physical, virtual or in a cloud environment.
Obviously, with a cloud infrastructure, there is no monitoring to be performed on the physical components of the servers, the status of hard drives, or the power source.
However, in a cloud computing infrastructure, it still remains very relevant to monitor, for example, everything related to networking, available disk space, the health of the servers, antivirus, security patches, connection failures to the domain and potential network intrusions.
It is true that certain management tasks are completely eliminated by the cloud, such as the replacement of physical components due to wear or breakage.
On this point however, one must keep in mind that:
- 1. The human resources related to the management of physical hardware represents only a small part of total costs of IT management (we’re not referring to the costs related to the acquisition of equipment, but rather to the maintenance.)
- 2. Workstations are still physical and will require management, unless of course you turn to the virtualisation of desktops (VDI) in cloud computing. This has the effect of reducing the maintenance of workstations and the support to users.
Anything that is not physical basically requires the same management, for example, the installation and configuration of software, the management of the active directory, antivirus, software patches, and the creation of new user accounts.
Backup and Business Continuity
An infrastructure hosted in the cloud does not automatically ensure data backup.
Within the framework of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) type applications, what is assured is that your file server and your mail server (for example) are available, not that the data is saved, however. So, if files are deleted by user error, a malicious act or an infestation by a virus, it may be impossible to recover the data if there is no backup in place.
Backup operations are therefore as essential as with a physical infrastructure. Moreover, it is the same for business continuity. Even in a cloud computing environment you need a disaster recovery plan to restart services and resume operations. Are you immune to a bankruptcy or a natural disaster occurring at your cloud service provider?
Managed services reduces your IT management, whether physical or in the cloud.
The option that more and more companies are choosing to significantly reduce stress and the costs related to IT management is the use of managed services. You can, based on different levels of service, entrust the monitoring, management and backup of some or all of your systems; physical, cloud or both, to a partner specialising in that field.
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