Today, many IT service providers are in the process of moving on-premises or colocated IT environments to IaaS cloud hosting. This is a smart business move for a number of reasons - it allows them to save on hardware costs, serve a greater number of customers within the same data centre footprint, and cut down on the repetitive, low-value work that would otherwise eat into their margins.
However, as we’ve written before, moving to IaaS cloud hosting isn’t a risk-free enterprise. It also means putting customer’s data and applications in the hands of a third-party supplier, and relinquishing some control over factors like data centre security and resilience.
On top of that, there’s the cloud platform itself to consider. Much as it can be difficult for a first-time cloud buyer to grasp the precise differences between the likes of VMware and OpenStack, it can also be one of the most significant decisions in their entire cloud journey - affecting cost, performance, availability and quality of support, and a whole range of day-to-day management concerns.
Here are three reasons we think VMware, one of the world’s most widely used cloud platforms, is the right choice for this demanding market.
1. Efficiency and ease of use
One of the most significant benefits of IaaS cloud hosting for an IT service provider is to reduce the amount of time spent on low-value tasks like setting up servers and installing software. The VMware cloud hosting management tool, vCloud Director, is fine-tuned to automate as much of this as possible, and features like the ability to create clones, templates and catalogues of virtual machines all help dramatically speed up the process of rolling out services to end users.
What’s more, the “virtual data centre” concept makes vCloud Director simple to grasp for engineers whose professional background is in the data centre rather than virtual infrastructure.
We’ve blogged before about some of the long-standing security myths around the cloud, and how cloud is, in fact, often more secure than on-premises IT for simple reasons like economies of scale in data centre management and accreditation.
Still, an IT service provider that will potentially be managing a complex multi-tenant and multi-user environment built on IaaS may require another layer of security within the virtual data centre itself. VMware’s software-defined networking solution, NSX, allows for sophisticated segmentation at a fraction of the resource cost of doing the same with a physical network, so it’s a smart way to stop lateral movement within the cloud environment.
3. Backup and recovery
Finally, the VMware platform has additional strengths for IT service providers in the backup and recovery arena. Solutions like Veeam make it simple for users to implement both self-service backup capabilities for customers and fully-fledged DRaaS environments within their cloud ecosystem.
When you consider the effect even a short outage can have on customer trust and retention, as well as the resource cost of a more traditional approach to disaster recovery, the efficiency and ease of use of the VMware option is a massive plus.