Curious about how the cloud and MSPs go together? Here are 5 common end-users questions for MSPs.
1. How will the cloud save me money, I already own my hardware?
Your infrastructure ages. If you recently bought new on-premises hardware, you should most likely keep it and get the value you purchased. As you are using your on-premises infrastructure, the cloud can still be available as extra compute horsepower when needed. You may not need the cloud 24x7, but think about the times when you need extra compute power. Instead of buying more hardware, just take advantage of the cloud when needed and turn it off when you’re done with it.
2. Why do I still need an MSP if my infrastructure is in the cloud?
You will still have infrastructure that needs to be patched and managed. Moving your infrastructure to the cloud will eliminate the headaches of hardware management, but you will still have an infrastructure and there is no one better than your MSP to ensure your infrastructure is in “tip-top” shape.
3. If my infrastructure is in the cloud, how can the MSP optimize my infrastructure?
Having someone outside of your organization ask questions on how to reduce infrastructure and costs, is a good idea. By having your infrastructure in the cloud, your MSP can spend less time managing your infrastructure and more time understanding your business and how new solutions can optimize your business. Do you still handle papers every day? Do you need to? Your MSP can help eliminate paperwork and automate business practices. The great part about the MSP model is the MSP only succeeds when you succeed. Think of your MSP as part of your team that can leverage their extensive background to continue to streamline your business from an IT perspective.
4. If my infrastructure is in the cloud, can I go see it? Where is it located?
This can be an interesting discussion, but the value of the cloud is that your infrastructure may move between different physical servers as your needs, and the needs of other cloud customers evolve. You can pick the Azure Region that will contain your infrastructure, which means your infrastructure will be located at a physical location, but as far as identifying the actual servers that contain your infrastructure, that is like aiming at a moving target. The other good thing to know is no unauthorized people are allowed physical access to any of the cloud servers. Microsoft has many industry certifications, more than any other cloud provider, to ensure they follow industry guidelines when it comes to the care and maintenance of the cloud infrastructure. You can read all about Microsoft’s certifications and what they entail here.
5. What if Azure has a problem with the Azure Region I selected, am I out of business?
First, each Azure Region has triple redundancy for your data and virtual machines. This ensures that a hard drive failure, or even a storage system failure, does not impact your infrastructure. What would the triple redundancy within your datacenter cost?
Microsoft also has multiple power providers supporting each Azure Region and complete backup power, including generators in case there is a power failure in the area. You can even enable geo-redundant replication to ensure your infrastructure is replicated to a second Azure region. As far as how you should choose the Azure Region for you, as well as a better understanding of your redundancy options, check out our article on how to select an Azure Region.