How Managed Cloud Services Can Help Your Organization
Managed cloud services are internet-delivered technology services that provide businesses with the ability to store, manage, and process data on remote servers. Cloud servers are maintained and managed by a third-party service provider who handles all of the technical aspects of cloud computing. This means that businesses can take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing without having to worry about the complex technical aspects.
However, navigating the often confusing and rapidly evolving landscape of cloud-based technology services can be a challenge. Every industry has its own jargon, and in complex fields like IT, terminology can quickly become difficult to keep track of. In the context of information technology, the terms managed services, cloud services, and hosted services are sometimes used replaceable but they have different, albeit sometimes overlapping, scopes and definitions.
What Are Managed Cloud Services?
Managed services, cloud services, and hosted services all relate to providing technology services, but cloud services refers specifically to the delivery of IT services over the internet from a shared pool of resources.
- Cloud Service Provider (CSP): Manages the underlying infrastructure and provides the IT services to the client, who only pays for what they use. Cloud services are typically focused on delivering a broad range of IT functions, such as computing, storage, and network services.
- Managed Services Providers (MSP): Outsourced IT service delivery where the provider is responsible for monitoring and maintaining an IT environment and provides ongoing support for specific IT functions, like network management, security, or backup and recovery.
- Hosted Services: Typically refers to delivery of IT services over the internet, rather than on-premises, but not always. Hosted services can be distinguished by their breadth; whereas a CSP likely offers hundreds of standard services, hosted environments are often made up of a smaller set of customized tools.
It’s also important to understand the distinction between the three dominant models of cloud computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). All rely on the cloud to deliver their functionality but differ in the level of control and responsibility they offer to the user.
- IaaS: Virtualized computing resources such as servers, storage, and networking where users are responsible for managing the operating system, storage, and deployment of their applications.
- PaaS: A platform for the development, deployment, and management of applications and services. The provider manages the underlying infrastructure and offers a suite of associated tools and services.
- SaaS: Access to software applications over the internet where the provider is responsible for managing the infrastructure, security, and maintenance of the applications.
In all cases, what is critical is that businesses choose the type of service that best fits their needs based on the specific requirements of their IT environment.
The Benefits of Working in a Managed Cloud
Cloud services help organizations of all sizes and from across industries reduce costs, increase scalability, and improve performance. With the cloud, businesses can scale up or down their computing resources as needed, allowing them to be more agile and responsive to changes in the marketplace.
In addition, cloud services are generally less expensive than traditional IT infrastructure, which can help businesses reduce their overall IT costs. Many cloud managed service providers also have security measures built into their services, which can help to protect organizations’ systems from cyberthreats.
Plus, cloud services are optimized for today’s modern, distributed workforces. With cloud services, hybrid and remote teams can access their IT resources from anywhere, using any device with a secure internet connection, which increases productivity, flexibility, and employee satisfaction.
Cloud Management Fundamentals
Cloud computing is dramatically changing the way that IT MSPs deliver services. With the cloud, IT MSPs can offer a wider range of services, such as cloud backup and disaster recovery, as well as manage more complex IT environments. And, by leveraging cloud computing technologies, MSPs can improve their operational efficiency, reduce costs and improve the quality of their services.
The core methodology for achieving these goals is referred to as cloud management. It is the process of managing and overseeing cloud computing resources, including servers, storage, and applications. Cloud management typically involves tasks such as provisioning, monitoring, and reporting on cloud resources, as well as configuring and maintaining cloud security. The overarching goal is to ensure that cloud resources are used effectively and efficiently and that they meet all organizations needs.
Key cloud management responsibilities include implementing, tracking and optimizing:
- Digital Resources: Managing virtual machines, storage, and networks.
- Security: Protecting against cyberthreats and meeting security policies and standards.
- Compliance: Ensuring that cloud services meet all regulatory requirements, such as data privacy and security laws.
- Cost Controls: Limiting cloud services expenses, including for usage, data transfer, and storage.
- Performance: Monitoring and improving the performance of cloud services to ensure that they meet service level agreements (SLAs).
- Incident Response: Detecting, diagnosing, and resolving problems with cloud services to minimize downtime and ensure continuous service delivery.
- Change Oversight: Managing and controlling changes to cloud services, including deployments, upgrades, and configuration changes to ensure that they are done in a controlled and effective manner.
Understanding Cloud Management Platforms
The most robust tools for managing cloud hosting are cloud management platforms (CMP). A CMP is a software solution that provides a centralized interface for managing cloud computing resources. With a CMP, businesses can manage and monitor their cloud resources and respond to any issues or problems that arise. Some of the most popular CMPs include Amazon Web Services (AWS) Management Console, Microsoft Azure Management Console, and Google Cloud Platform Console.
CMPs can automate many of the tasks involved in cloud management and provide a single view of all cloud environments, making it easier to manage multiple cloud services. An MSP with cloud expertise can leverage CMPs and take on complete or partial responsibility for monitoring, maintenance, and optimization of cloud environments.
Getting the Most From Your Cloud Investment
When using cloud services, businesses need to be aware of several key considerations. They need to ensure that their data is secure and protected, both from external threats and from internal errors. Organizations intending to leverage the cloud must also investigate issues related to interoperability and integration and confirm that their cloud services are compatible with their existing systems and processes.
Ultimately, smartly managed cloud services provide businesses with a cost-effective, scalable, and secure solution for storing and managing their data. They can take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing without having to worry about the complex technical aspects. However, it’s critical to carefully consider the costs, security, and management of cloud services, and to work with a trusted and experienced IT MSP to ensure every cloud environment is optimally managed.
Razor Technology is your trusted IT managed service provider. Save time and money on your IT and cloud services by calling Razor Tech today.