By Robert Karcsay, Structured Connectivity Specialist, SD-WAN & Cloud, CCNT #662000
If you have decided to move your systems and data to the cloud, you are among a growing number of businesses looking to stay competitive and remain nimble. But to achieve your business goals without blowing up your budget or your people, there are three critical factors for cloud connectivity you must consider before making the move: Capability, Capacity and Cost.
Capability: Which cloud(s) and carrier(s) are up to the task?
1. Capability: Which cloud(s) can achieve your workloads’ desired level of performance? Which transport carrier(s) can deliver the connection(s) you need?
There are several cloud providers out there, many of which are household names: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure (Azure), Oracle Cloud, and many more. To determine which cloud providers will fulfill your requirements, you need to have a very clear picture of the applications and workloads that power your business.
The next step is to consider how your business will connect to the cloud. Not all transport options are alike. Some companies use their public internet connection because they feel like it is easy and inexpensive. What was not considered in this scenario was the cost of cloud configuration and egress charges. Plus, not all cloud providers design optimal connectivity via the internet, although the most popular SaaS solutions, such as Office 365, do.
Some private transport connections, like Point-to-Point layer 2 connectivity, will reduce latency and improve data security. In contrast, others like OTT (over the top) public internet and some IP VPN services that terminate service at the edge of the cloud, offer a more open or shared connection. Using public internet may be a suitable option if you retrieve data less frequently or just need a redundant connection.
Choosing the right combination of cloud and transport carrier can deliver the performance you need and not break the bank. On average, Structured sees customers paying 60-70% more than they need to because of an inadequate architecture.
Capacity: Do you have enough time and staff to manage the migration?
2. Capacity: Do you have the resources, primarily staff and time, to manage your cloud migration?
If you have ever moved, you know that you risk lost keepsakes and broken dishes without the right moving company. Similarly, moving to the cloud is not as simple as packing up your data and sending it over to the data center.
Preparing, planning, and confirming are essential components of any cloud migration – and these are steps that require a lot of time and careful analysis.
Many companies do not have the personnel and resources to effectively deal with competing crucial business priorities like a cloud migration, enterprise security, end-user experience, and on-prem infrastructure management – never mind the ability to also dispatch everyday “emergencies.”
This is where Structured can help. We can manage your move to the cloud, end-to-end, from planning to verifying that your systems are up and running as expected. We deal with the transport carriers, SDN network providers, and cloud providers, and keep you informed along the way.
Cost: How will you measure and manage total cost of ownership?
3. Cost: Since Gartner predicts that public cloud spend is projected to hit nearly $4 billion in 2022, cost really should be your final consideration. Without the right level of capability and capacity, your total cost of ownership (TCO) could be three times as much as your lowest connectivity transport quote.
Many factors will determine the total cost of not only moving to the cloud but maintaining your cloud environment over time. It is important to understand upfront how dependencies like licensing, application accessibility, usage, and downtime will impact your total cost of ownership. For example, egress charges from Azure vary by connectivity type if you connect to Azure via the internet versus a private Azure ExpressRoute connection. I would strongly recommend learning how to use the Azure calculator via a YouTube training by John Savill.
Fortunately, Structured is well-versed in the intricacies inherent in cloud computing platforms and is prepared to help you choose the best solution for your needs and your budget.
Cloud Connectivity is Key to Cloud Strategy
Cloud computing — be it public, hybrid, or multicloud — can no doubt create more efficient and effective operations across the enterprise while enhancing workforce and customer experience. That said, without first considering the three Cs of cloud computing – capability, capacity, and cost — you may be less than satisfied with the performance and miss the potential for a sound return on investment from your cloud strategy.
Want to get more advice about planning your move to the cloud or evaluate your current setup? Please contact Structured today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.881.0962.
About the Author
As the Connectivity SME for Structured, Robert Karcsay (Robb) supports Structured Account Executives with managed SD-WAN and internet & cloud connectivity options for clients of all sizes. A 30-year technology veteran, he is experienced with the technologies and products from prominent telecommunication and cable network companies. Robb has significant expertise working with various transport solutions and transmission facilities in voice, data, and video communications systems. He also has professional business experience and a deep-rooted understanding of real-world business needs as he has owned and sold different telecommunication and internet companies.
Robb lives in sunny Arizona with his wife Ellen and their cat (that is dog-like). He enjoys pumping iron and riding his road bike with Ellen on the canals around town. He also enjoys exploring the local restaurants and is in search of the perfect éclair like his dad used to make.