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A Buyer’s Guide to Cloud Managed Services

At the very moment an enterprise adopts a cloud solution, they need to strategize on how they are going to manage it. And to manage the cloud well, enterprises often take the help of service providers who can lift all the responsibilities of cloud management from their team. This is a buyer’s guide on things to consider while hiring a cloud managed service provider.

With rising trend of cloud adoption, effective cloud management becomes priority for most organizations. Typically, CloudOps is the practice of optimizing the IT services and workloads that run on the public cloud platform. CloudOps is about maintaining and monitoring the cloud, after deployment. Cloud operations includes the continuous improvement of business processes and functions for optimization in availability, flexibility, and efficiency of the cloud services that the business relies on to function properly.

 

CloudOps – an often-neglected part of Cloud Migration

It may seem that with all the monitoring tools, CloudOps is just about managing and monitoring the cloud services through a smartphone. However, the actual scenario is quite rudimentary. Earlier there were hardly any cloud migration, and cloud service management strategy that was meeting the existent workload and security requirements, as well as no strategy to scale according to the future needs of the business. If we consider the recent application workloads, they are proactive, which works well with the cloud system. This was not the case with the earlier workloads.

Due to this, the same team that was handling datacenter operations now handles cloud operations, without making required changes.

Thus, to ensure a smooth functioning of the cloud systems, many enterprises also prefer to hand it over to cloud managed service provider (MSP).

 

Why Cloud Managed Service Provider?

At the very moment an enterprise adopts a cloud solution, they need to strategize on how they are going to manage it. Managed cloud services cover monitoring, optimization maintenance and total control of the entire cloud platform to make the utilization efficient and more cost effective. And to manage the cloud well, enterprises often take the help of service providers who can lift all the responsibilities of cloud management from their team.

Here are some of the reasons why it is a good idea to reach out to cloud managed service providers:

 

Cost Efficiency

While investing in any technology, the cost to operate that technology is always a primary concern. While adopting a cloud solution, a business can optimize the cloud usage to keep the costs at minimum, however, without cloud cost management, these efforts might go in vain. A cloud managed service provider will ensure that you don’t end up spending more than required on cloud resources and services. An MSP can recommend you move your least used data to a cold data storage, thus reducing your cloud usage, while you still have access to the inactive data.

 

Optimum utilization of resources

When running projects on the cloud, you will need to make the most out of cloud resources. Talking about public cloud environments, they operate on a pay-as-you-use model, which needs you to pay only for the resources that your business uses. In such a scenario, the role of the cloud managed service provider is to make sure that all the cloud resources that the business is availing at that moment are used to its fullest potential. The MSP will plan cloud service management to ensure that businesses stop paying for resources that are not very helpful for your enterprise.

 

Reliability

A cloud MSP will monitor your network round the clock and address the issues whenever things are not running as defined. In fact, a lot of MSPs guarantee an uptime of 99%. Providers have the full control of your network, which allows them to identify problems as they occur and resolve them remotely. A cloud MSP will ensure smooth functioning of your cloud solutions, in turn delivering a better experience to your workforce as well as your customers.

 

Data security

Security has remained a major concern for any business that is starting their cloud journey. Adopting cloud security managed services for maintaining the security of the enterprise cloud operations is of utmost priority for any business, however, they often lack the knowledge required for cloud deployment. A cloud MSP is well-resourced with the knowledge and skillset necessary for operating cloud environment while also considering the data security.

 

Things to consider while choosing a Cloud Managed Service Provider

The market for managed services is vast and fragmented. Out of all the service providers offering managed cloud services , choosing the right one for your organization can become a baffling task.

Here, we have compiled a list of things to consider while you choose a cloud managed service provider for your business:

 

Domain Expertise

The first thing to evaluate a MSP is by knowing how well the service provider understands the complexities of your business operations, the challenges your business plans to overcome, and the competition landscape that you operate in. Before choosing a MSP, you need to make sure that they have the right pool of talent who has the required knowledge on technologies that are relevant for your business domain. Based on all these factors, the MSP should be able to come up with a suitable solution tailored for your business.

eInfochips has developed a Cloud Optimization Assessment Framework (SCOAF) in order to help organizations, optimize their cloud-based application in the areas including performance, cost optimization, security, operational excellence and reliability. For the cloud optimization, we engage with our customer in a two-phase process:

 

First phase: Assessment for Cloud As-Is State

In this phase, we assess the cloud infrastructure in all five pillars and check the life cycle management protocols and the asset allocation. Our cloud experts also perform security audit to cover different aspects such as policy adherence, vulnerabilities, industry compliance and customer privacy. We analyse performance and reliability by evaluating various factors including data backup, disaster recovery and auto-scaling.  Also, we carry out A NOC/Cloud operation audit & SLA/KPI identification for the audit mention all these parameters in the report we share at the end of this phase.

 

Second Phase:  Gap Analysis and Recommendation

In this phase, we carry out gap analysis based on the assessment we had done during the previous phase and suggest best practice that deliver cost effectiveness for the cloud infrastructure, well curated policy implementation, vulnerability remediation plans, data back-up, and performance enhancement action. At the end of this phase, we provide a detailed Cloud Optimization Assessment Report.

Are you planning to Optimize your Cloud Spend? Read a sample report to get a preview of the scope of information you will receive.

 

Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Management

While a lot of businesses prefer to use Azure for easily deploying Windows workloads, they might also be lured to go with AWS and Google Cloud Platform for their wide portfolio of services. It can be a great idea to combine the best features of all the cloud platforms and reap its benefits. However, the integration of the cloud platforms is more complex than we realize. Go with a MSP who can manage your hybrid cloud by meeting your security and interoperability requirements.

 

Compliance Requirements

Based on your industry, your business will require to meet a set of accreditations or certifications on top of the common data privacy and security requirements. Before hiring a cloud MSP for your business, it is crucial to check the third-party certifications to verify that your MSP can meet the compliance and security concerns. A lot of service providers adhere to ISO 9001 or ISO 27001 standards. Based on your industry, you can also check for HIPAA, DSS, PCI, GDPR, etc.

 

Technology Services Roadmap

From the initial days of colocation centres and renting racks, the managed services market has come a long way. With microservices and containerization, the application deployment model has been revamped and the cloud utilization has increased drastically. The managed services market is still growing and there is a rising need for end-to-end integrated services. Thus, your MSP should be able to leverage the latest technologies including machine learning, artificial intelligence, and IoT to keep up with the evolving market trends.

 

eInfochips Success Story: Cloud Monitoring and Optimization for Consumer Electronics

With the advent of cloud computing, electronics industry saw the opportunity to redefine their customer relationships by improving governance, revamping operations, increasing transparency, and expanding their business agility.

Some of the leading electronics companies are utilizing cloud computing to:

• Revamp Operations: Migrating to the cloud results in simpler and quicker processes that can drive internal efficiency. In addition, cloud solutions highly reduce complexity by providing improved governance and access to broader data to manage risks.

• Revamp Business Model: With cloud accessibility, third-party services can be extended to the ecosystem of consumer electronics, bringing new opportunities for open collaborations. With such changes, new business can be pursued and innovation can be introduced to the overall business model.

• Revamp Revenue Model: With increased transparency in the operations, time-to-market can be enhanced and relevant partner services can be incorporated with ease. On top of that, customer relationships, data and several other assets can be monetized.

 

The top-three drivers for cloud technologies mostly are faster delivery of new IT services and capabilities, reduce costs, and to boost customer demand

eInfochips is providing cloud managed services for its client, a US-based provider of smart home products. The client has a multi-million-dollar infrastructure based on AWS, which has 22m devices deployed in 5M+ homes with 15+ variants, at 4 different geographies and more than 4000 servers on AWS.  Primarily, they offer a cloud-based platform with a variety of connected devices such as security cameras. When it comes to counting of Videos uploaded per day on their Cloud platform, it is more than Instagram & and when it comes to hours of video uploaded per minute on their platform it is more than YouTube. Overcoming scalability and high infrastructure costs were the primary concerns of the client. At the same time, the cloud security was loosely implemented, and they were facing higher time-to-market due to manual deployments and lack of incident management process.

Also, there was a lack of application monitoring with only infrastructure monitoring in place and there was no Backup and Disaster recovery strategy. There were frequent outages and broken builds, which resulted in an inferior customer experience in terms of reliability of service and providing proactive communication when there was an anomaly observed. This was particularly affecting their reputation and losing advantage over their competition, which meant a potential loss of huge revenue and customer base.

eInfochips’ team offered cloud managed services covering AWS infrastructure management, monitoring, NOC services and troubleshooting and root cause analysis to prevent any outages. The team also carried out a Cloud Optimization Assessment and introduced an implementation plan to improve KPIs on five pillars, namely Cost, Security, Performance Efficiency, Operational Excellence and Reliability.

 

Tools Leveraged

Kubernetes/EKS, Ansible/ Chef, Jenkins / Harness, JUnit, SonarQube/ Veracode, Harness, Rancher, jFrog/Artifactory,Ansible, Python, Instana, AppDynamics, PagerDuty, Grafana, Qualys, Splunk

 

Highlights of the provided solution

  • Infrastructure/Application monitoring
  • 24×7 NOC Support (L1), DevOps (L2/L3), CloudOps (L2/L3)
  • Disaster Recovery and Backup Management
  • SLA and Incident Management
  • Cost Optimization- Instance right sizing and reservation, Clean-up idle, under-utilized resources
  • Security Management- Implement cloud security managed services and setup centralized security assessment process, Vulnerability Assessment/Penetration Testing implementation, Advanced Shield for DDoS protection
  • Performance Efficiency- Microservices on ECS/EKS, Kubernetes Cluster Implementation, Analysis and implementation of new AWS services
  • Operational Excellence- SOP for Production outages or other P1 issues, DevOps CI/CD Automation
  • Reliability- Implementation of AppDynamics on SaaS platform, Implemented High Availability for Critical Components, Define Backup and Monitoring policy, Disaster recovery strategy

 

Benefits the client realized

  • Uptime increased from 95% to 99.95%
  • Incident Resolution jumped from 85% to 100% Issue Reopen Rate got reduced to less than 5%
  • MTTI (Mean Time to Identify an issue) < 5 minutes
  • Reduction in repetitive incidents: 30%
  • Scalability enhanced from 6 billion devices to 22 million devices
  • 85% build efficiency gain
  • 100% deployment success

 

What are cloud managed services?

Managed cloud services involve outsourcing your regular IT management for technical support and cloud managed it services to automate and optimize your business operations. It usually opts when the organization’s internal IT team does not possess effective skills to maintain a cloud environment.

To keep up with the market updates, organizations had to hire a third-party cloud service provider to manage their cloud computing, application vendors, networking operations, storage, and security. A managed cloud service providers are often more affordable than in-house teams.

 

Differences Between Cloud and Managed Service Provider (CSP vs MSP)

Cloud computing and cloud managed IT services function on the same principles, but their methodologies and initial offerings are somewhat distinct from one another. Let’s take a closer look at their key differences:

 

CSP MSP
On-Prem Vs. Cloud As You Can Guess By The Name, They Are A Cloud-Based Service Provider. MSPs Are More Focused On Hosted Or On-Premises.
Cost CSP SaaS Services Improve Mobility And Flexibility While Reducing Capital Expenditures. MSP Has Limitations And May Cost More (Depends On Expertise).
Local Vs. Global Based CSPs Can Fix Problems Remotely, Which Allows Them To Have A Much Broader Radius (Managed Global). Most Managed Service Providers (MSPs) Target Local Customers Within A Certain Radius Of Their Location To Have One Of Their Representatives On-Site.
Third-Party Solutions Third-Party Solutions Are Typically Provided By CSPs. A Managed Service Provider Usually Bundles Their Solutions With Third-Party Products Your Business Needs.
Reliable System Uptimes Are Often 99.99 Per Cent Or Higher Since Providers’ Infrastructure Is Designed To Be More Resilient And Redundant. It Cannot Guarantee What Will Be The Uptime Of Your Software Or The Applications.
Updates Quick OTA Updates/Removal Of Software. Time-Consuming, Requires Changes On-Premises.

Benefits of choosing a cloud managed service provider

  • Cost saving: Manage and reduce costs associated with maintaining your network by outsourcing cloud services.
  • Billed monthly: You can choose how much you want to pay for IT services when using managed cloud services , and you will receive a consistent bill each month
  • Service levels: Cloud service providers give you more control over service quality, performance, and support.
  • Security: Cloud security managed services  ensure the security and safety of all cloud applications and services. Businesses and operations can keep running during a disaster with minimal disruptions.
  • Quick response: Enterprise-level monitoring and remote cloud services can deliver quick response times to your business.
  • Centralized service and application: In a managed cloud network, all servers and applications are managed centrally that results in increase in the employee production, access data to remote users within the same network, and building back up, storage, in a centralized network.
  • Future proofing technology: By migrating to cloud managed environment and relying on the cloud MSP, your data centers are maintained up to date with timely technological updates.
  • Reliable and robust Infrastructure: A managed cloud service provider will offer robust infra support by monitoring, scanning, reporting, patch updating, and integration and aligning network operations to meet business goals.

 

How fast the managed cloud services market is growing and in which industries?

According to a report by Markets and Markets, the managed cloud servicesmarket is expected to reach $116.2 Billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 13.3 %.

Mostly, the cloud managed services saw growth in the industries of BFSI, Telecom, IT, Healthcare, Govt. and public sector, Retail & Consumer goods, Manufacturing, Energy, Travel, Hospitality, and Mining.

It is also said that during the forecast period, the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) segment will grow faster than the overall market CAGR.

 

Here are few trends to watch out for in cloud managed services

 

Distributed Cloud Management: The landscape of cloud management is shifting towards greater distribution. Organizations are looking to manage resources seamlessly across different cloud providers and data centers, enabling more robust disaster recovery and reducing latency.

 

Quantum Computing Integration: With quantum computing on the horizon, cloud providers are exploring ways to integrate quantum processing into their managed services.

 

Blockchain as a Service: As blockchain technology gains momentum beyond cryptocurrencies, cloud providers are offering Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) solutions. These services enable businesses to deploy, manage, and scale blockchain networks for various use cases, such as supply chain management and smart contracts.

 

Cloud-Native Networking: Cloud-native networking is becoming a focal point. With the proliferation of microservices and containerization, cloud providers are offering advanced networking solutions that can dynamically adapt to the needs of cloud-native applications.

 

Data Lakes and Analytics: Data-driven decision-making is becoming increasingly essential.

 

Sustainable Cloud Services: With growing environmental concerns, sustainability is taking center stage. Cloud providers are making significant efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, offering green cloud solutions and tools to help businesses track and minimize their environmental impact.

 

Zero Trust Security: The paradigm of Zero Trust Security, which treats all network traffic as untrusted, is gaining traction. Cloud providers are incorporating Zero Trust principles into their managed services to enhance security in an age of increasing cyber threats.

 

AI-Powered Automation: Automation is being supercharged with AI. Managed services are increasingly using artificial intelligence to optimize cloud operations, automate routine tasks, and even predict and prevent issues before they occur.

 

Cloud Sovereignty Solutions: Cloud providers are responding with solutions that allow organizations to comply with these regulations while still benefiting from the cloud’s advantages. These unique trends demonstrate the evolving nature of cloud managed services and how they are adapting to meet the changing needs of businesses and the broader technology landscape.

 

Looking for a Cloud Partner for your Business?

eInfochips has helped many Fortune 500 companies and start-ups, from diverse industries, to embark on their digital transformation journey by leveraging computing infrastructure in private or public cloud. We deliver Cloud and DevOps consulting which defines the right cloud strategy through our Cloud Assessment framework and then creating an implementation roadmap with service and deployment models.

Once the implementation is complete, we provide cloud infrastructure and operations management & support, ensuring scalability, availability, and performance. We fuel cloud adoption through DevOps workflow automation and creating continuous integration and deployment pipeline, encouraging microservices architecture and dockerization.

 

Why eInfochips for Cloud Services?

  • 10+ years of IoT edge to cloud integration experience with large complexity and scale
  • Cloud native and DevOps focused digital transformation
  • Business value focused Cloud Operations
  • 70+ DevOps/CloudOps tools expertise
  • Cloud Partnerships: AWS Partner, Azure IoT Partner, Microsoft Partner

To start your cloud journey, get in touch with us.

Picture of Riya Savjani

Riya Savjani

Riya Savjani was an Inbound and Corporate Marketing Executive at eInfochips. Being a Computer Engineer, she enjoys exploring and experimenting with futuristic technologies. She is a writer who is fascinated by the business world, so she tries her best to summarize how enterprises can leverage trending technologies. When not writing, you will find her binge-watching her favorite shows.

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