What is IT Infrastructure Cloud Hosting?
Infrastructure cloud hosting allows an organisation to rent the hardware and operating system software needed to run business application software. Business application software typically includes ERP software such as SAP Business One but may include all the software needed by a business.
This could include applications such as Microsoft Office to a standalone program running on its own small server. Once this software and the associated data is migrated to the cloud it is protected, monitored and backed up continuously in a highly resilient Data Centre environment designed specifically to house computer hardware. For a relatively small additional fee, Disaster Recovery solutions can also be provided to mitigate against a system failure in the primary Data Centre. With this option, a customer’s entire hosted environment (data, operating software, business software) is replicated to a secondary Data Centre.
Laptops, PCs, thin client devices and printers are still required at the customer site to access the hosted applications via the internet, a suitable IT network also needs to be in place. Some applications will remain ‘on-premise’ running on their own hardware and successful infrastructure cloud hosting projects will take these variables into account and ensure that disparate systems are integrated where necessary.
Why host my IT Infrastructure?
Here are the top three reasons why companies host their IT Infrastructure in the Cloud:
Convenience: By renting infrastructure in a Cloud Hosted environment, businesses no longer require onsite hardware (that has to be renewed and replaced to meet the changing requirements of ERP software).
System Resilience: The software and data running on a Cloud hosted system is automatically backed up by your Cloud hosting partner. Typically, incremental backups take place every hour. The system itself will almost certainly be monitored by the partner - alerting them and you to potential problems before they become an issue. For a relatively small additional cost, the entire system environment (programs and data) can be replicated out to a Secondary Data Centre. In this scenario, the impact of a failure at the Primary Data Centre will be minimised and the business will be up and running on the Secondary Data Centre in less than 4 hours.
Cost Transparency & Planning: Renting infrastructure allows a business to move to an operational expenditure model for easier budgeting and planning. It is not necessarily less expensive to host IT Infrastructure, that will be dependent on whether the business can save money on IT department staffing costs, however hosting does provide a level of predictability that is difficult to achieve with on-premise solutions.
What should I be aware of?
Moving to an infrastructure Cloud Hosted environment is not a panacea for the typical challenges of configuring, implementing and living with your on-premise systems.
The ‘system’ still needs to be correctly specified. Your IT partners still need to work closely together to fix problems quickly and you still need a clear understanding of what you are getting for your money.
System Specification: Working with an infrastructure hosting partner that understands ERP software and the role it serves in managing a business will help ensure that the hardware specification of the hosting environment meets software performance goals.
Responsibilities: Having a clear understanding of the process your IT partners need to go through to fix a problem is vital. The infrastructure partner needs immediate and unimpeded access to the hosted system and your SAP partner needs to have a strong working relationship with the infrastructure partner. Anything less will mean unacceptable delays in resolving problems and maintaining system performance
Internet: Having a reliable internet connection is obviously vital for successful infrastructure hosting. Your provider should perform the necessary due diligence to ensure the key criteria are met and recommend failover alternatives if your primary internet feed goes offline.
To find out more about how Kinetek can be of assistance as an infrastructure hosting specialist - email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01625 531413.