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.
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Imagine this: It’s 5 AM and a pager goes off in a home. To fix it, a person reaches for the terminal that is hooked up to a 9600 baud modem. He works on it for hours to set up the connection and fix the issue remotely. He checks the communication settings including the baud rate, parity, data bits, and stop bits; edits and restarts the data load job and then monitors the log to make sure the system works fine.
Sounds like the ‘80s, right?
Well, we still face a similar issue with the cloud in today’s age – simply replace the ‘pager’ with a ‘smartphone’ and the ‘modem’ with a ‘Wi-Fi enabled laptop’. This is commonly referred as cloud operations, or CloudOps.
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 quiet rudimentary. Earlier there were hardly any cloud migration and cloud native 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.
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.
Here are some of the reasons why it is a good idea to reach out to cloud managed service providers:
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 to 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 also ensure that businesses stop paying for resources that are not very helpful for you enterprise.
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.
Security has remained a major concern for any business that is starting their cloud journey. 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 cloud managed 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:
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.
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.
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 is capable of meeting the compliance and security concerns. A lot of service providers adhere to ISO 9001 or ISO 27001 standards. On the basis of 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.
As part of the “Mapping the cloud maturity curve” survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in March 2015, 100 consumer electronics executives were asked to identify their organizations’ top business drivers behind cloud adoption. The top-three drivers for cloud technologies were 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 consists of 13 million devices spread across 4 geographies and more than 4000 servers on AWS. 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.
Highlights of the provided solution
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
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
$1.3 million in savings
Uptime increased from 99.75% 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
Scalability enhanced from 5 million devices to 13 million devices
Up to 20% AWS cost reduction
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-based 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 managed 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:
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.
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 are typically provided by CSPs.
A managed service provider usually bundles their solutions with third-party products your business needs.
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.
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 cloud managed 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 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 cloud managed services market is growing and in which industries?
According to a report by Markets and Markets, the cloud managed services market 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.
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
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.