What Are Managed Cloud Services: Benefits and Solutions
Author: Mathieu Ferland
Cloud services are becoming increasingly popular. However, to integrate public and private cloud storage services, significant adjustments are typically required within companies’ IT infrastructures.
For those seeking to take advantage of the flexibility of cloud services without completely outsourcing IT, managed cloud services might be perfect for you.
What are Managed Cloud Services?
Managed cloud services (MCS) are specialized services that deliver partial or complete management of clients’ cloud resources or infrastructure. Typically, MCS handle cloud management responsibilities ranging from migration, optimization, configuration, security, to maintenance.
Fundamentally, MCS enables organizations to maximize benefits from cloud services while also minimizing internal time and costs. In practice, clients can access MCS for public, private, and hybrid clouds at any point in their cloud adoption lifecycle.
Oftentimes, organizations look for MCS before migration to get help determining which cloud resources best suit their needs as well as to ensure that configuration is performed correctly.
Overall, managed cloud services provide partial or complete cloud management for public environments, as well as Hybrid IT. Generally, each managed cloud service provider (MCSP) offers different value, taking care of certain cloud management aspects, whether migration, optimization, security, configuration, or optimization.
What is Hybrid IT?
MCS also delivers Hybrid IT, a blend of on-premise and cloud-based services that has emerged as more businesses migrate to cloud environments. Hybrid IT can be adopted as either an interim solution, while businesses transition to the cloud, or as a long-term deployment in a blended environment.
Typically, most companies choose hybrid clouds to balance the benefits and issues of public clouds and private infrastructure. However, as needs and cost implications change, organizations can choose to transfer workloads between their private and public clouds.
This, in turn, provides companies with the flexibility and security they require, while offering a scalable and cost-effective solution.
Pros of Managed Cloud Providers
MCSPs help organizations to determine the exact services that best fit their workloads. They can also help them better understand pricing models that are most cost-efficient for their needs, or how they can configure services to better optimize performance while minimizing costs.
So, generally, most vendors provide clear reports or performance metrics for existing resources and give suggestions for improving configurations.
Most MCSPs employ a flat tiered, subscription-based approach to accommodate various customer demands. This approach affords organisations more flexibility in their budgeting. Additionally, it could also help them ensure that they are only spending what they intend to spend each month on their expenses.
Such a tiered, subscription system of support provides greater flexibility for different client budgetary needs as some providers even provide a credit system for services. This can prove helpful, enabling organizations to access support during times of high demand, in exchange for lower support during slower periods. This is ideal for businesses with fluctuating or seasonal schedules like tax or audit companies.
Integrating Cloud Services
MCSPs provide excellent integration support, especially if an organization seeks to create a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.
Hybrid clouds environments often dictate more complex configurations than single-cloud or cloud-only deployments. So, MCSPs can help an organization to ensure that any hybrid cloud resources they choose are smoothly connected to their existing systems. Thus, helping guarantee that employees access resources without issues.
Cons of Managed Cloud Services Providers
Optimization and Performance Challenges
Usually, optimization of cloud resources means utilising lower data storage tiers, or lower performance options. While this is acceptable for most data and applications, for some resource intensive ones it can create issues.
So, if an MCSP doesn’t carefully prioritize assets, organisations may find that their data is slower to access, or that processes take exceedingly longer than expected. Because of this, it’s critical to extensively discuss with MCSP the impacts of any “optimizations” they make to verify that they meet your exact needs.
Optimization and Performance Challenges
Despite billing being predictable, MCSPs do come with a substantial cost implication to one’s cloud budget, depending on the level of services and the complexity of their systems.
While this can be offset by reduced spending on in-house resources and optimization of cloud resource costs. However, if an organization has not carefully calculated their budget to account for this, they can end up spending more than they intend to.
Security and Privacy Risks
Cloud MSPs, like public cloud services, employ a multi-tenant model. This consequently means that MCSPs are responsible for multiple customers at once, and that all these customers’ data is stored in one location.
This multi-tenant nature can pose security risks, unless the MCSP has strict security measures in place. For example, one organization’s system can be affected by another customer’s if an MCSP accidentally uploads the wrong data during migration.
To avert such instances, ensure to carefully review the security measures your chosen provider uses to ensure that your data is as protected as possible.
What is included in MCS?
MCSPs seek to deliver affordable, scalable capacity and availability by focusing on two types of services:
- Storage as a Service —Most offer scalable storage solutions that include built-in data protection, simple management, and interoperable S3-API compatibility. Additionally, some support multi-tenancy with native QoS and billing, and white label user interfaces.
- Backup and Archive as a Service—MCSPs also provide object storage solutions as a backup target, deployable at any location that requires capacity storage, and scalable as needed. Most MCSP also provide data protection facilities and erasure coding options.
Does your Business Need One?
Generally, the main advantages of MCSPs are resource optimization, cloud integration, and flat, predictable spending. That being said, MCSPs can serve as a replacement for in-house cloud IT, or even as a supplement to in-house teams.
Furthermore, they are recommended when an organization has a combination of existing technical debt, a greater need for redundancy, security, or processes that can’t be transferred off-site, like offline services.
Why Choose V2 Cloud as your Provider
V2 Cloud is a managed cloud-hosted desktop provider that offers automatic data verification, automated erasure coding and replication, and encryption capabilities to enable organizations to easily manage stored data according to bucket-level policies, such as backup scheduling and lifecycle management.
Besides helping to store data securely and efficiently with hybrid configurations, V2 Cloud also provides comprehensive assistance and consultancy to guide organizations on which cloud resources might best meet their cloud requirements. Thus guaranteeing that setup is completed appropriately.