To Manage or Not: What Enterprises Require from a Cloud Outsourcer

Cloud Computing3 minutes readNov 15th, 2011
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There’s a lot of hype out there related to cloud economics, cloud-based resources on demand and cloud-based dynamic infrastructures – it all sounds so enticing. CIOs everywhere are mandating clouds for their businesses. But what do enterprises really require if they want to get these benefits and still have a viable infrastructure that underpins their business operations?

Scalable servers on demand provide only a tiny slice of what it takes to provide a production infrastructure. Managing and operating a cloud is a complex task and there are only two choices available to the enterprise: acquire the cloud servers and manage them yourself or let your enterprise outsourcer handle it for you.

Assuming you choose to outsource, then whoever you pick as your cloud supplier will share some level of production operational responsibilities with you. When doing the analysis of who to use, you must remember to factor in not only the cost of the computing resources but also the operational and management environment required around it. For example, you need to determine who does:

  • Server Monitoring and Event Notification
  • Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware Services
  • Patch Management Services
  • Provisioning and initial setup of servers
  • Back-up Services
  • Incident Management – end-to-end management thru closure of incident tickets
  • Availability Management
  • Capacity Management
  • Service Request Management
  • Change Management
  • Security Services

There are serious implications of not getting this right – infected servers, operating environments that aren’t patched and up to date, incidents that never get resolved, infrastructure that’s out of capacity and, worst of all, an infrastructure that’s vulnerable to attack.

So it’s really important to pick the right cloud supplier. One that can fulfill the most demanding requirements of the typical enterprise – one that has extensive experience in outsourcing, has global ISO certifications and a worldwide ITIL framework, and uses a seamless and global incident management/logistics system. And, let’s not forget finding a supplier that focuses on quality via a formalized program such as Six-Sigma. The perils of not doing this correctly can lead to unexpected outages, lost business, security breaches etc. In the end, what you really want, from an enterprise point of view, is a supplier that aligns with your business, has the highest levels of support and infrastructure availability and can meet your most demanding production needs.

Bottom line – find the outsourcer that can work alongside your business to help ensure strategic business goals are achieved. Unisys has the capability, maturity and experience to do this.

Tags-   Cloud computing IT infrastructure Service management