Cloud Computing – The Small Business Perspective

Small Business Cloud Computing

Sifting through the Hype, Risks and Benefits of moving to the Cloud.

You may have noticed the movement towards the “Cloud Computing Model” being heavily publicized on national TV and print media advertising campaigns. It is no wonder since Microsoft, IBM, DELL, HP, Google, Amazon and other tech companies all have substantial investments in data centers and public cloud infrastructure.

But can small businesses reap the benefits shifting from running applications from onsite server hardware to an offsite hosted model? Based on our client’s experience finding the answer to this question is not simple task. And making an informed decision can require considerable analysis and planning and can be time consuming to boot. Plus the chance that your business is confronted with “gotcha issues” after taking the plunge may occur, despite efforts of adequate planning and due diligence.

This primer is intended to help you cut through the hype and determine if moving your computing to the Cloud is right for your business.

Cloud hosted Email – A “no brainer” move for most Small Businesses

Microsoft made the decision to discontinue development of its Small Business Server (SBS bundled Exchange Mail Server) after version 2011. This was an obvious move to promote hosted MS Exchange or Office 365 to its small business customers. As a result, those businesses wishing to continue running Exchange on Windows Server, would be paying a 50% increase for new software.

What was once an affordable small business Email and Collaboration suite has morphed to Albatross. New releases of Exchange Server are considerably more complex to install and manage. In addition, the high maintenance of Anti-Spam adds fuel to the fire of Email hosting costs. But the good news is…Enterprise grade Cloud Email and Collaboration suites are very affordable. Small business can expect to pay monthly per user fees between $4.00 to $12.00 per user depending on bundled services.

Business Application Support – A key component of a successful Cloud Strategy

Developers of both general and industry specific business applications have been racing to re-engineer their software to be Cloud friendly. This process can be a major challenge on several fronts:

  • Scenario 1: The software developer re-writes the software with a pure web application interface supporting some or all of the major browser software. The big challenge here is maintaining compatibility with to the major browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Safari).

  • Scenario 2: The legacy version of the application is hosted in a cloud data center (either private or public) and the end users run virtualized remote desktops which access the application. One specific gotcha with this model is the dual desktop license requirements. Typical scenario is: the user’s physical PC Windows license requirement plus a license for the Cloud Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Three Key Things to consider – BANDWIDTH    BANDWIDTH    BANDWIDTH!!!

Okay, I hope I made the point of the importance of the speed of your Internet Services connection. And, it’s not just the need for speed, but also reliability, SLA (Service Level Agreement / up-time guarantee). Another consideration is an option for a redundant backup connection in case of an outage. Once you are running your business operations in the Cloud, maintaining a high level of Internet connectivity and Quality of Service (QoS) is critical.

The Process

Working with Technology’s Edge on a technology project is a smart move for any organization. We work primarily with small to mid-sized businesses providing straight answers to complex IT questions. We analyze your business needs, review your IT environment, and assess the risks. After this process, we will recommend viable options for on-premise, cloud or a hybrid computing model.

Why should your Company work with Technology’s Edge?

At Technology’s Edge, we offer a proven track record of success helping companies select the best IT solutions for their organization. Our seasoned staff of consultants and project managers will ensure the success of your technology migration and upgrade projects.

How do I get started?

Call 949-474-9533 or fill out our Quick Contact Form at the top of this page for more information.