The Cloud Episode 4: What are Managed Services and Managed Service Providers (MSPs)?

Cloud

Welcome to The Cloud!

The Cloud Episode 4: What are Managed Services and Managed Service Providers (MSPs)? 

Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

Thank you for tuning into The Cloud. We’re excited to bring you this production in an effort to increase your understanding of IT services and The Cloud. The Cloud was designed to explore all aspects of the Cloud and how it affects people, enterprises and society.

The Cloud is a series under Network Remedy Radio that originally emerged in partnership with Paul Roberts, the brains behind OC Talk Radio which is hosted in a live studio, in Costa Mesa in Orange County. He regularly steps in as a co-host of The Cloud, acting as the voice of the curious common man.

Network Remedy is the sponsor of The Cloud and was recently voted as a Top 20 Virtualization Company in Silicon Valley by CIO Review Magazine. They have 15+ years of CIO-level IT Consulting, Cloud Hosting and Managed IT Services for small to midsize business, non-profits and government agencies.

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Aaron Mangal, Host of The Cloud

In this episode, which runs about 25 minutes, I am flying solo, briefly discussing definitions of Managed Services and Providers, The evolution of the industry, why it matters to your organization and how to determine what makes a quality Managed Services Provider (MSP).

For further details and visual aids, please visit the companion blog post: http://networkremedy.wpengine.com/what-are-managed-services-and-managed-service-providers-msps/

Thanks for reading and May the Cloud be with You!

Further Reading and Resources

[Video] Network Remedy presents Gopi Kallayil, Google Brand Evangelist and David Bloom

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David Bloom and Gopi Kallayil | Source: @EvanConover

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Digital Family Conversation Take 2

It was another fabulous Thursday evening at The Crest Theater in Westwood where attendees gathered to listen to a conversation between two thought leaders, David Bloom, an award-winning established technology journalist and Gopi Kallayil, Brand Evangelist of Google.

It was an interview style format on the main stage where David asked Gopi about Google, autonomous vehicles, manipulating search results, what the deal is with Alphabet and many other questions on the tip of our tongues. This yielded some powerful insights:

HealingVibes

Gopi Kallayil, Chief Evangelist, Brand Marketing at Google

He works with Google’s sales teams and customers and helps grow customer brands through digital marketing. An example of his prior roles include leading the marketing team for the Company’s flagship advertising product, AdWords, in the Americas and Asia Pacific, and the marketing team for AdSense, Google’s publisher-facing product.

Previously Gopi was on the management team of two Silicon Valley venture funded startups and was a consultant with McKinsey & Co., where he helped management teams of large corporations improve business performance and maximize revenues.

Gopi earned his Bachelors degree in electronics engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India. He received his Masters in Business Administration degrees from the Indian Institute of Management and The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

He is an avid meditator, yoga practitioner, triathlete, public speaker, global traveler and Burning Man devotee. He has spoken at TEDx, Renaissance Weekend, The World Peace Festival and Wisdom 2.0. He hosts a TV program on cable and YouTube called Change Makers.

Meet Brad and The Digital Family

The event was organized by Brad Nye founder of Digital Family Conversations and Digital Family Reunion. This event has brought the best and brightest of Southern California Technology stars together in an annual forum since 2008 allowing people to connect around meaningful technology related subject matter.

The Digital Family conversation event which took place on August 20th was the second of 2015, sparking momentum in a series of events featuring high-level speakers and thought leaders from the Southern California region.

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Gopi Kallayil at The Crest Theater in Westwood | Source: @lizhkelly

 

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Presented by Network Remedy

We are extremely excited to bring the public these discussions aimed at encouraging thought, participation and understand of technology and the issues surrounding them.

Network Remedy was recently voted as a Top 20 Virtualization Company in Silicon Valley by CIO Review Magazine. They have 15+ years of CIO-level IT Consulting, Cloud Hosting and Managed IT Services for small to midsize business, non-profits and government agencies.

To play our part in promoting valuable technology, we are offering Free Cloud Storage licenses (up to 10GB each)  from Network Remedy’s CloudSync solution, offering enterprise file storage with military-grade security that meets all industry data compliance regulations (e.g. HIPAA, PCI-DSS, ISO).

Click here to contact us for your Free Cloud Storage Licenses

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The Cloud Show by Network Remedy – Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

 

Related and Recommended Resources

@GopiKallayil on Twitter

Gopi Kallayil Website

TEDxBerkley – Gopi Kallayil – Social Innovation for Social Good

About.me David Bloom

Digital Family Reunion

Digital Family Conversations

Crest Theater Westwood

The Cloud Episode 3: Cyber-crime, Hacking, The Legality of IT, and Evolution of Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

The Cloud Episode 3: Featuring Charles Weaver, J.D. and CEO of the MSPAlliance

Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

Cloud

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Aaron Mangal, host of The Cloud

 The Cloud Episode 3: Cybercrime, Hacking, The Legality of IT, and Evolution of Manages Service Providers (MSPs)

Hello Cloud friend! Welcome back. Thank you thank you, thank you for your interest up til this point. I really believe this is one of our best episodes and I’m so glad you stuck around to hear about it.

We interviewed Charles Weaver, JD and CEO of the MSP Alliance, discussing the NYSE outage, US Airways grounding flights, hacking, IT, Law, MSPs, their effect on society and more.

This series, The Cloud, is a production of Network Remedy Radio and was designed to increase your awareness and understanding of The Cloud, Information Technology and how it affects us.

The show initially emerged in partnership with Paul Roberts, the brains behind OC Talk Radio which is hosted in a live studio, in Costa Mesa in Orange County. He is also the co-host of The Cloud, acting as the voice of the curious common man.

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Paul Roberts, The voice of the curious common man

As always please send us your comments, questions suggestions and other feedback so we can incorporate this into future episodes.

Charles Weaver Biography

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Charles Weaver, CEO of the MSP Alliance with over 25,000 world-wide members and author of The Art of Managed Services. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Arizona State University and a Juris Doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law.

In addition to running the daily operations of the MSP Alliance, Charles writes and speaks extensively around the world on the Managed Services industry.

After listening to this episode, you will learn:

  • How Charles got into the MSP world
  • What role our legal system plays in protecting the public
  • Are we ready as a nation to deal with the liability of security breaches?
  • The definition of an MSP and how it evolved into what it is today
  • What the break-fix era was and how it is evolving
  • How this new enterprise has surpassed the Global Drug Trade
  • Why we must be more careful than even in today’s cyber landscape
  • The role IT has in the law and the law in IT
  • The role of the State in cybersecurity
  • How MSPs can help the government be prepared for The Information Age we are in
  • The nature of liability of patient records
  • The cost of inaction or lack of adequate action
  • How there is a lack of codification for MSPs operations
  • How Europe is working on Cloud setting up Cloud regulations
  • How do customers know which MSPs are competent
  • How a hairdresser is more regulated than your MSP
  • The importance of due diligence when evaluating IT Service providers
  • How the MSP alliance has a system of verification for MSPs

 

Recommended Resources for Further Reading

The Cloud Episode 2: How The Cloud Enables Businesses and Provides a Competitive Edge

The Cloud Episode 2: Featuring Atish Singh, Global Director of IT, Coupa Software and Jaime Villareal, Business Development Manager-Northern California, Network Remedy

Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

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Yours Truly, Aaron Mangal, Host of The Cloud

Dear Friend of The Cloud,

Thank you for your continued interest in The Cloud and Network Remedy Radio.

This series, The Cloud, is a production of Network Remedy Radio and was designed to increase your awareness and understanding of The Cloud, Information Technology and how it affects us.

The show initially emerged in partnership with Paul Roberts, the brains behind OC Talk Radio which is hosted in a live studio, in Costa Mesa in Orange County. He is also the co-host of The Cloud, acting as the voice of the curious common man.

Guests of the Show this week

In this episode, we interview Atish Singh Global Director of IT for Coupa Software and he explains how they have utilized the Cloud since day 1. In fact, they were born and bred in the Cloud. Atish also discusses how the cloud helped the company scale from 40 to 400 users

We also interview Jaime Villareal, Business Development Manager of Network Remedy in San Jose who discusses the IT challenges businesses face and how IT services deliver much-needed value.

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Atish Singh is the Global Director of IT for Coupa Software. Atish is no stranger to IT having spent over 10 years in the field including Blade Network Technologies which was acquired by IBM in 2010 for $400 million.

Atish Singh – https://www.linkedin.com/pub/atish-singh/12/38a/6b1

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Jaime Villareal is the Business Development Manager of Northern California for Network Remedy. Jaime has over 8 years in sales, customer service and marketing working with such organizations as Fitness International and NeighborCity.

Jaime Villareal – https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jaime-villarreal/9b/695/787

After listening to today’s episode you will learn:

  • What it’s like being “bred” in the cloud
  • About how Coupa operates 100% in the Cloud starting from Day 1
  • That Coupa uses AWS and Private Cloud Hosting solutions
  • About how Atish went from a startup with 30 people to 300—before being acquired by IBM
  • The term “Savings as a Service”
  • About how code can reside in the Cloud
  • How Coupa eliminates rogue spending by enterprises with their software solution
  • About sourcing events which allow businesses to predict spending and get the best pricing through a bidding war from suppliers
  • How The Cloud made it easy for Coupa to scale from 40-400 users
  • Why companies seek out Network Remedy for IT help
  • Whether or not Network Remedy replaces a pre-existing IT team
  • How IT mismanagement stunts a businesses growth

Resources For Further Reading

The Cloud Episode 1: Why We’re Doing This Show by Network Remedy Radio

The Cloud Episode 1: Featuring Amon Prasad, CEO and Founder of Network Remedy

Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

Dear Cloud Curious folks,

Hello there, Aaron Mangal here, host of The Cloud Radio show and I wanted to thank you for your interest in The Cloud and Network Remedy.

We are very excited to bring you this production in an effort to increase your understanding of IT services and The Cloud.

Network Remedy is the sponsor of The Cloud and was recently voted as a Top 20 Virtualization Company in Silicon Valley by CIO Review Magazine.

They have 15+ years of CIO-level IT Consulting, Cloud Hosting and Managed IT Services for small to midsize business, non-profits and government agencies.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect: Network Remedy Radio is an overarching umbrella of Tech Media for free public access. We will be interviewing various subject matter experts to have a well-rounded discussion and learning experience for all.

Why? Educating the public and especially our clients is a huge priority to us which is why we have invested significant resources to make The Cloud and other Tech Media related content available.

What is The Cloud Show?

Cloud

The Cloud is a series under Network Remedy Radio that has emerged in partnership with Paul Roberts, the brains behind OC Talk Radio which is hosted in a live studio, in Costa Mesa in Orange County. He is also a regular co-host of The Cloud, acting as the voice of the curious common man.

In addition to the studio, we will be podcasting at events and in person, separate from OC Talk Radio so I just wanted you to be aware of our formats.

We hope you enjoy The Cloud and our other content to come under Network Remedy Radio. Please do not hesitate to give us your honest feedback, questions, and concerns.

In this episode, we interviewed Amon Prasad, CEO and founder of Network Remedy. We discuss why we’re doing this show, some basic concepts of the Cloud and how Network Remedy delivers value to its clients.

Biography of Amon Prasad

Amon Prasad

Amon Prasad, CEO and Founder of Network Remedy

 

Amon Prasad is an entrepreneur, technologist and ex-amateur kickboxer who lives in San Jose, CA with his wife and two dogs. He is also the CEO and founder Network Remedy with over 20 years of hands-on IT experience. He founded the company with no loans, no venture capitalists, based only on a strong consulting foundation, a hardcore service-oriented approach and blood, sweat and tears.

After a decade, Network Remedy expanded to offer cloud hosting, network security, and other IT services. Since then, the enterprise has grown to over twenty staff members, continuously expanding by opening data centers across the country to better serve their customers. Customer range from nonprofits to manufacturing companies to law firms.

After listening to today’s episode you will learn:

  • What The Cloud Radio Show is all about
  • What Virtualization is and how it enables “The Cloud”
  • How metrics contribute to cloud security
  • Common myths on Cloud Security debunked
  • A common Import-Export hacking scam happening today
  • Who Network Remedy is and why we’re doing the show
  • Who Amon Prasad is and how he built Network Remedy
  • How thumb drives are a commonly used hacking tool
  • The Home Analogy of The Cloud
  • How Network Remedy exceeds the minimum industry compliance standards
  • How your office is susceptible to data breaches
  • How NR brings enterprise-grade solutions to small businesses
  • How people are still critical for computers and The Cloud to work
  • How virtualizing graphics and rendering is the next frontier of Cloud Computing

Related and Recommended Resources

The Cloud Episode 0: Introduction to The Cloud Show + Definitions, Service and Deployment Models

Cloud

Welcome to The Cloud!

 

The Cloud Episode 0: Introduction to The Cloud Show + Definitions, Service and Deployment Models 

Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

Thank you for tuning into The Cloud. We’re excited to bring you this production in an effort to increase your understanding of IT services and The Cloud. The Cloud was designed to explore all aspects of the Cloud and how it affects people, enterprises and society.

The Cloud is a series under Network Remedy Radio that originally emerged in partnership with Paul Roberts, the brains behind OC Talk Radio which is hosted in a live studio, in Costa Mesa in Orange County. He regularly steps in as a co-host of The Cloud, acting as the voice of the curious common man.

Network Remedy is the sponsor of The Cloud and was recently voted as a Top 20 Virtualization Company in Silicon Valley by CIO Review Magazine. They have 15+ years of CIO-level IT Consulting, Cloud Hosting and Managed IT Services for small to midsize business, non-profits and government agencies.

AaronselfieOCTR

Aaron Mangal, Host of The Cloud

In this episode, which runs about 30 minutes, I am flying solo, briefly discussing basic operating terms of The Cloud while keeping things general and detailed but not overly technical.

I will expose you to the big picture concepts, definitions of the Cloud, deployment and service models as well as how it can benefit your organization. Please visit our blog at NetworkRemedy.com/blog for further details and visual aids.

Thanks for reading and May the Cloud be with You!

Further Reading and Resources

What are Managed Services and Managed Service Providers (MSPs)?

Don’t feel like reading but want answers? Contact us today at 855-REMEDY5 or book an appointment here.
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Listen to our CEO, Amon Prasad answer the question: What is Managed Services on Critical Mass Radio show

(Right click and click “Save link as” to download the MP3)

In this article we are going over the ecosystem of Managed Services and Managed Service Providers, what they do and how the industry has evolved to where we are today.

Why Manage IT?

Technology has shifted how people and organizations function. We have unprecedented access to data in volumes which were previously unable to exist. (Stored in an ever increasing number of machines)

This new role of data (and IT infrastructure) in our lives has brought about a great deal of uncertainly, confusion and ultimately new challenges for institutions and the people that run them.

Challenges like:

  • High costs of IT asset maintenance
  • Hiring and managing IT talent
  • Dealing with an uncertain rapidly moving technology ecosystem
  • Increased regulation and compliance requirements
  • Security risks for users and other stakeholders

These factors are a wake up call for organizations to realize the importance of effective IT management.

As you will learn, MSPs and Managed Services are not just limited to technology. In fact, they are (arguably) more about business strategy, process and management as much as they are about technology.

How IT Was – The Break Fix mentality and IT Outsourcing

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Before the dotcom era, the IT industry survived by selling, installing and repairing IT products for organizations. Think copiers, printers, computers, servers, and other related equipment. Vendors would provide ongoing service installing, maintaining and upgrading those products.

The standard operating procedure in the early IT days was known as “break/fix” or “reactive IT management” where “IT management is responding to a consumer complaint about their IT after the problem has already happened.” (Charles Weaver, AOMS)

The Historically High Price of IT

We take what’s available today for granted but just a few decades ago, the cost basis for these IT activities was MUCH higher. As a result of this industry being so new there were not the resources, knowledge and networks like there are today.

Here are some of the difficulties of early IT:

  • Talent for managing IT was scarce – To a point where all the talent needed was not available for certain organizations’ needs. In addition, these early technical subject matter experts commanded hefty salaries.
  • Licensing was expensive – Coupled with lengthy integration procedures and few software/hardware tools available to manage these complex IT networks.
  • Anything outside this scope had to be custom programmed – This made maintenance and technical support a nightmare. In some cases the original developers for a product would need to be hired. (Just imagine if everyone had to build their own email and collaboration tools from scratch.)

The Media confuses IT Outsourcing, Offshoring and Managed IT Services

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All of these solutions (Offshoring, Managed Services and Outsourcing) were considered under the umbrella term of “IT Outsourcing” which came under fire and negative publicity due to being wrapped in with offshoring (the practice of moving one’s operations overseas due to lower costs) which was perceived as negatively affecting the US economy.

Charles Weaver, J.D. Author of The Art of Managed Services explains,

“As politicians began to contemplate how offshoring was affecting US jobs, the tech media began to write more on the increasingly controversial subject. Soon pundits, writers, analysts, and other self-proclaimed industry experts began to inject IT outsourcing with all the negative attributes of the offshoring industry.”

Enter Managed Services, an evolution of Outsourced and Reactive IT

One critical take home from the break fix era signaling the beginning of Managed Services was this: Reactive IT is no longer acceptable. This means that IT service providers now needed to provide a proactive approach in a service model which could be measured, predicted and delivered consistently.

According to the MSP Alliance: 

“Managed Services is the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades.”

Over time, the expectation of IT services and the third parties providing them have taken on their own industry identity with specific characteristics and functions. This has enabled the emergence of a new marketplace of IT providers known as Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

What are Managed Service Providers (MSPs)?

Charles Weaver, J.D. Author of The Art of Managed Services says, “The textbook definition of MSP would be a company that provides predictable, proactive, managed IT services to customers on some form of recurring basis.”

They are generally companies ranging in size from small mom and pop shops all the way up to behemoths like HP. (And everything in between)

Here is a definition from the consulting research firm, Gartner:

“A managed service provider (MSP) delivers network, application, system and e-management services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a “pay as you go” pricing model. A “pure play” MSP focuses on management services as its core offering. In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers — including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) — that supplement their traditional offerings with management services.”

The most common characteristics of Managed Services include:

  • Utilization of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), a computing design framework for the industry
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA), providing a formally defined agreement between the customer and service providers
  • A Network Operation Center (NOC) service offering help desk services
  • Remote monitoring and management (including predictive reporting/analytics)
  • Proactively maintaining IT assets (e.g. software updates, patching)
  • Solution delivery in a predictable billing model (i.e. flat rate or monthly subscription service)

Some MSPs will specialize in specific industries while others offer general services across the board. However, these components are usually a part of most MSPs service offerings.

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Why do we need MSPs?

MSPs provide expertise that organizations often don’t have, without the overhead of hiring their own staff. Ultimately, MSPs act as a third party IT manager, team, and consultant. They are able to dig deep into an organization’s needs (present and future) and provide enterprise-level solutions at a reasonable rate.

Here are some specific reasons why MSPs can be helpful:

  • Allow 3rd party accountability to results and responsibilities of IT management
  • Create predictable costs (from Capital Expenditures to Operations Expenditures)
  • Make typically scarce IT resources available for smaller industry players
  • Prevents downtime, data loss, security breaches and other IT disasters
  • Expands the capabilities of your IT department without the extra overhead
  • Maintain visibility, control and flexibility of your IT ecosystem
  • Free up company resources to focus on core competencies

Organizations seek to save money, focus on their core competencies and minimize problems. MSPs enable this. But the real question is, are all MSPs created equally?

What should I look for in MSPs?

It is super important to ensure that the MSP you choose has the proper knowledge and expertise not just the tools.  As Charles Weaver, J.D. points out, “the tools will not bring the experience with them. Yet, there are many companies out there buying tools and hoping their managed services skills will soon follow.”

Here are some qualities of a competent MSP:

  • High levels of integrity – MSPs often discover sensitive information during audits such as security gaps, licensing discrepancies and even employees misusing company IT assets. This is why you need someone who will conduct themselves responsibly and honestly.
  • Ongoing skills training – With the marketplace moving very rapidly, it is extremely important to find MSP teams who are continuously updating their knowledge. This will ensure that you are getting the most up to date and efficient solutions.
  • Focus on compliance – Although laws like HIPPA, PCI DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley and GLBA exist, there is a major lag between regulations and the current state of IT. As a result it is critical to find MSPs who are on top of these issues before they inevitably become required laws. This will ensure that no unwanted surprises will sneak up on your organization now and in the future.
  • Educational approach – In general, IT is considered to be a mysterious almost mystical concept that the majority of the public does not fully understand. This is why the best MSPs will spare no expense in educating clients about their systems, how it works and the options available to them.

Now that you know what makes a quality MSP you must get clear on your own organizational IT needs.

Here are some questions to consider internally:

  • How much time do you have to dedicate to IT internally?
  • Would you like to maintain control of certain functions, outsource the whole thing or a hybrid of both?
  • How satisfied are you with your current service levels and quality of support?
  • What are the gaps, pain points, and inefficiencies in your IT infrastructure management?
  • How do downtime, outages and other problems impact your business?

The Network Remedy Difference – MSP and Cloud Hosting under one roof

We just described the Managed Services and Manged Service Provide industry and you might be thinking, well that’s great Network Remedy but, how are you different from the rest of the MSPs?

We are a MSP and Private Cloud Hosting Solution under one roof. This means we can offer more to our clients than the average MSP who must exclusively resell someone else’s cloud solution.

Don’t misunderstand what we are saying, we can implement any cloud and IT solution you want. However, our thinking behind starting our own cloud was to create a one-stop shop for people who want a smooth, seamless customized integration of their organization and the cloud.

Frankly, as “self-service” as things have become, much of the cloud is still a bit dry and complex for the average non-technical manager or executive of an organization. This is why our clients find massive value in our managed services + cloud solutions.

Our managed service and consultative recommendations often benefit from our own cloud integration rather than being forced to only utilize another organization’s system.

If you have any questions, concerns or other IT inquiries please do not hesitate to contact us! Click below to book an appointment with one of our consultants or call us at 855-REMEDY5

FreeAssesment

For Further Reading:

What is Cloud Computing?

Need help with your Cloud curiosities? Book an appointment here or call us at 855-REMEDY5

Do you even cloud?

Our CEO, Amon Prasad answers the question: What is Managed Cloud Hosting

(Right click and click “Save link as” to download the MP3)

Here at Network Remedy, we pride ourselves on educating our people about IT and the Cloud. That’s why we wrote this detailed post to really delve deep into The Cloud and how it works.

We want you to get the full picture as well as provide a document you can reference for future use.

What is Cloud Computing?

Many people are wondering this. The detailed answer is hotly debated but there are a few characteristics and service models that make it what it is. Before we cover those points here are some definitions:

Cloud computing is an overall philosophy and design concept…”Eli The Computer Guy

“A style of computing where massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service” using Internet technologies to multiple external customers.” – Gartner

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services over a proprietary network or the Internet. Those services mainly include infrastructure (i.e. servers, storage devices, etc.), development platforms, and software applications. The Cloud refers to the many data centers located throughout the world that house the hardware necessary to offer cloud services. The recent proliferation of virtualization technology, on which cloud computing is based, has contributed to its current popularity.”ITMD

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”NIST

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a US federal agency under the Department of Commerce, there are 5 essential characteristics to The Cloud:

  1. On-demand self-service – A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
  2. Broad network access – Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
  3. Resource pooling – The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand.
  4. Rapid elasticity – Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
  5. Measured service – Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

In a nutshell, Cloud computing is an advancement, an evolution of thinking, design and the computing model in which various levels of efficiencies are gained via hardware, software and management.

The specific implementations of this broad concept are many and constantly evolving into new forms and packages involving some of the biggest (and smallest) players in the history of computing. (Think Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco as well as countless mom and pop shops and everything in between)

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Traditional IT vs How The Cloud Works Today

It’s not rocket science but it is computer science. This field, while steadily advancing, has really taken off in the last few decades. This mainstream exposure has made “The Cloud” a ubiquitous part of almost everyone’s lives, especially if you use computers. As mentioned above, there are various characteristics which give The Cloud its unique identity but then there’s the question of how does all this plumbing work.

Before we go there, let’s discuss how the old model worked:

Traditional IT vs Cloud Management

Traditional IT vs Cloud Management | Source: VMware

Old IT Model = Christmas lights that stopped working when one bulb went out

In the old Traditional IT model the vertical brittle stacks are hard to change and manage. When one piece of the stack goes down, the whole thing goes down. This means that problems are costly, common and worst of all rigidly embedded in the infrastructure itself due all the assets being tied together. This created a much higher cost basis for managing one’s IT infrastructure. Thankfully we now have a better way of doing things.

The Cloud Is A Pay-Per-Use Utility Model

In 1961 at the MIT Centennial, computer science professor John McCarthy said “If computers of the kind I have advocated become the computers of the future, then computing may someday be organized as a public utility just as the telephone system is a public utility.…The computer utility could become the basis of a new and important industry.” What’s amazing is how right he was.

As shown in the above picture, The Cloud introduces a new way of managing and configuring resources, many of which have been around for longer than cloud computing has existed. What’s new are enabling technologies like a Hypervisor which is a thin layer of code, firmware or hardware which allows the running of virtual machines.

This means that multiple operating systems can share a single hardware host. The technology and code behind the hypervisor allow these virtual machines to control the host processor and resources without disrupting the functionality of the guest operating systems.

Service Models

The Cloud has taken various forms in terms of how people use it and why. The various depends on the abstraction requirements of capabilities provided, meaning what functions need to be separated for independent operation.

There are 3 main service models for the cloud:

  • IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service – Typically reserved for system admins who are provisioning, configuring, deploying and managing resources themselves. Infrastructure as a service is an on-demand, self-service pooled resources model where the IaaS provider is in charge of the data center equipment while the user is in charge of provisioning the hardware and managing the software and operating system. This equipment includes both physical computers and virtual machines as well as other functions like block storage, networking components, firewalls and load balancers.
  • PaaS: Platform as a Service – PaaS is a service model layered on top of an IaaS foundation, where the provider supplies a computing platform (generally including the operating system, programming execution environment, database and webserver). Developers can then build and launch web-based applications and services over the Internet. The benefit is that developers can develop and run software without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware and software. Some PaaS providers scale resources automatically to match the demand of applications, freeing the user of executing this task.
  • SaaS: Software as a Service – SaaS is the most ubiquitous model used by the general public. In this set up users are provided access to application software and databases completely managed by the provider. This removes having to install and run applications on the user’s own computers. User’s typically pay a monthly or annual subscription fee which replaces the need for the license model. The value gained in terms of functionality, computing resources and access is much higher than the costs of buying your own software and equipment. These components of convenience have made this service model one of the most prevalent and growing models used by the general public to date.

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Here is a more detailed breakdown of various IT functions and who manages them:

Source: Udemy Course, Learn Cloud Computing From Scratch

Source: Udemy Course, Learn Cloud Computing From Scratch

Delivery Models

Regardless of the service model chosen (IaaS, PaaS, Saas etc.) there are three delivery models for users of The Cloud, private, public and hybrid. There are varying reasons for using each which mainly consist of security, user access and cost.

Here are the 3 delivery models:

  • Private Cloud – This operates solely for an organization internally or operated by a third party for the exclusive use of only that organization. This model is used in particular by industries with heavy regulations, security and compliance issues as well as high performance data driven applications.
  • Public Cloud – Under this model, computing resources and services are completely outsourced to a third party over an open network for public use. Any user with an internet connection can login to the network. This model is ideal for companies that have varying workloads as well as geographically scattered users that need to access company data.
  • Hybrid Cloud – A hybrid cloud is a combination of both Private and Public models, typically designed for companies that require customized solutions. Most companies use some form of Hybrid Cloud because it isn’t always practical to have a Private Cloud for all data. The same goes for Public Cloud, which might not be the best choice for highly sensitive data.
Source: Red Hat Cloud Foundations Report

Source: Red Hat Cloud Foundations Report

How the Cloud benefits your business and why it matters

We have explained and illustrated a detailed breakdown of each facet of the cloud but you might be wondering: How does this benefit my organization?

This is a great question and shows you are thinking practically. As we mentioned before, cloud computing is an evolution of thinking, design and management, in general and for computing. The good news is that there are many efficiencies to be gained for your organization.

The bad news is that, well, things can get a little bit complicated. However, here at Network Remedy we go to great lengths to take the guesswork out of your initiatives with the Cloud and IT.

Here are some specific benefits for your business:

  • Focus on Core CompetenciesA recent poll by the MSP alliance found that the biggest benefit disclosed by businesses was that they could focus on their core competencies. Rather than having to either learn IT internally or hiring a staff, companies can now outsource this function at a reasonable rate. Ultimately this allows companies to focus on what they do best, their business.
  • Increased Data SecurityAlthough there are concerns about the security of “The Cloud” and the data within, it is a very safe option if implemented properly. For example, if some one secures your house with a weak easily breakable lock, your security is vulnerable. However, if that same person finds the most robust and difficult to crack lock, you are going to be much more secure. Admittedly there is variation across vendors, for better or worse. This is why picking the right company to manage your data is critical.
  • Big Cost Savings“According to an October 6, 2009 Booz Allen Hamilton study, over a 13-year life cycle, the total cost of implementing and sustaining a cloud environment may be as much as two thirds lower than maintaining a traditional IT data center.” Did you know most companies only use 15% of their computing power at any given time? This is because organizations must prepare for their peak demand, even if its only for a few weeks a year. This massive inefficiency causes companies to spend much more than they need compared to the pay-per-use cloud model where you only pay for what you use, no more, no less.
  • Scalability without massive up-front capitalHaving the ability to increase and decrease resources at will is an extremely useful feature. This elasticity allows your company to get the solutions as if you had a data center without the major capital expenditure. Even small data centers can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars – which is generally difficult for small to midsize operations to stomach. This enables companies to have an immense advantage and can compete with bigger established players who can afford massive data centers.
  • Easier deployment – As mentioned earlier the vertical brittle stacks were hard to manage compared to today’s horizontal loosely bound layers. The technology behind cloud computing allows for a much easier method to install and configure systems. In the old model, you would have to physically go to each computer for software updates, patches and other installations. With today’s technology, we can do most of these functions remotely, this means things work better and problems can be identified and solved faster.

Final Thoughts

After reading this you should have learned, basic definitions of the Cloud, 5 NIST characteristics of The Cloud, The 3 main service and deployment models as well as some ways The Cloud can benefit your business.

Please understand this article is just the beginning of your Cloud journey. Your organization can thrive with the Cloud but it must be implemented carefully with a lot of forethought. We are here to help and answer any questions you have.

May the Cloud be with you!

We are offering Free Cloud Storage licenses from Network Remedy’s CloudSync solution, offering enterprise-grade file storage which meet all industry data compliance regulations.

Click here to contact us for your Free Cloud Storage Licenses

Need help with your Cloud Research? Book an appointment here or call us at 855-REMEDY5

 

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Network Remedy presents, inaugural Digital Family Conversation of 2015 with David Bloom and Peter Marx, CTO of LA

NRDavidBloom_PeterMarx

David Bloom, Technology Journalist discussing a city re-imagined with Peter Marx, CTO of Los Angeles

Digital Family Conversation Take 1

It was a wonderful Thursday evening at The Crest Theater in Westwood where over 100 attendees gathered to listen to a meaningful conversation between two high profile thought leaders, David Bloom, an award-winning established technology journalist and Peter Marx, current Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Los Angeles. (For more pictures of the event click here)

It was an interview style format on the main stage where David expressed his pride of Los Angeles while also extracting various wisdom about LA, Technology and uses of Data from Peter Marx who has a long history of executive technology roles. His previous experiences include VP of Business Development for Qualcomm Labs where he drove the development of new technologies ranging from augmented reality to context awareness.

Meet Brad and The Digital Family

WelcometotheDigitalFamily

The event was organized by Brad Nye founder of Digital Family Conversations and Digital Family Reunion. This event has brought the best and brightest of Southern California Technology stars together in an annual forum since 2008 allowing people to connect around meaningful technology related subject matter.

The Digital Family conversation event which took place on July 30th was the inaugural event for 2015, sparking the beginning of a series of events featuring high level speakers and thought leaders from the Southern California region.

Network Remedy, Front and Center in SoCal

Network Remedy was a proud presenting sponsor and we are excited to be expanding into Southern California (HQed in San Jose). Our role in this blossoming tech hub is to be a supporter, a provider and ultimately a local thought leader in the IT management, consulting and cloud hosting space.

Calling All Angelinos: The Forward Thinking City of Los Angeles Beckons

If you haven’t been following the City of Los Angeles’ recent Technology and Data initiatives you really owe it to yourself to take a peek. The mindsets in the State Government are extremely encouraging in an environment often riddled with apathy, arrogance and an overall culture of secrecy.

CountyofLAOpenData

The front page of LA County’s Open Data Portal featuring over a dozen categories of different information and departments

Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a key driver and player in this movement toward an open government data model here in Los Angeles, pushing executives in his office to proactively find ways to use data to better the city.

PeterMarxOpenDataPortal

In addition, they are actively engaging and calling for citizen participation in various capacities from active civic engagement to building apps and other useful initiatives with this massive collection of government data.

Needless to say, it is an exciting time to be a part of the Los Angeles ecosystem! Please stay in touch and video of the Digital Conversation will follow very soon. (We will update this post accordingly)

To play our part in this initiative we are offering Free Cloud Storage licenses from Network Remedy’s CloudSync solution, offering enterprise-grade file storage which meet all industry data compliance regulations.

Click here to contact us for your Free Cloud Storage Licenses

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The Cloud Show by Network Remedy – Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

Further Reading and Resources

Meet Network Remedy, your helper in Managed IT and Cloud Computing

Hello and welcome to the Network Remedy Blog!

network remedy

Amon Prasad, CEO and Founder of Network Remedy

This is your go to resource for all things Network Remedy, The Cloud, Managed Services and latest IT related content. In addition, we provide relevant information about our company, partners and other valued team members.

As you may know, my name is Amon Prasad, CEO of Network Remedy and IT Consultant with over 20 years of hands on experience. I founded this company from scratch with no loans and no Venture Capitalists (VCs) based only on a strong consulting foundation, a hardcore service oriented approach and our blood, sweat and tears.

To date my team and I have guided many Small­-Medium Enterprises (SME) in successfully building, managing and maintaining their IT infrastructure.

 

Listen to Amon on Critical Mass Radio show with Ric Franzi explaining how Network Remedy was started

(Right click and click “Save link as” to download the MP3)

Here are some of our top clients to date:

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What sets us apart from the competition?

We provide a one­ stop shop, an A-­Z of IT services with a personal touch, at an affordable price. A go ­to partner you can depend on who will patiently serve you with a smile on our face. If you look on Yelp you will see we have 5 star ratings with each and every client.

In a world where IT services and cloud computing are rapidly becoming a commodity, we seek to maintain a long­term personal connection with our clients. Whether a technician shows up in person or we provide you IT education, we are here for you.

Read about our happy clients here

As an outsourced IT provider we ensure your most mission critical functions work, all the time, every time.

Here are our most commonly used Managed Services:

  • Data Center Relocation – We can help move your current infrastructure to a new location
  • Desktop and Server Virtualization – Shifting to our computers to relieve pressure on your infrastructure allowing cost savings and reduction in owning and managing hardware
  • Network Design and Support – We customize networks for your company’s needs and provide ongoing monitoring and support
  • 24/7 Monitoring – Through our Network Operation Center (NOC) we ensure consistent uptime
  • VoIP – Allows the delivery of communication and multimedia over the Internet
  • Mobile Device Management – An easy way to monitor and protect company devices
  • Firewalls – Monitors viruses, intruders and any other malevolent visitors
  • WiFi – Allows ad­hoc wireless networks to be enabled for events and other group uses

Why Network Remedy’s Cloud Platform?

Our cloud platform is built on Vmware infrastructure and we use IBM servers. We created a multitenant type cloud platform where we can spin up file/application/database servers for clients in a secure enterprise ­based environment.

Our clients migrate to the Network Remedy Cloud for the following reasons:

  •  Better uptime
  •  Performance improvement
  •  Scalability
  •  Redundancy
  •  Business continuance
  •  Disaster recovery

Here’s a brief video on the benefits of our cloud:

The bottom line is this: We provide customized, hands-on management of computers, data and business processes at an affordable price. We empower users to focus on their core business with enterprise level solutions without investing in any infrastructure.

We appreciate you taking the time to visit our blog and please let us know if there is anything myself and my team can do for you.

Thanks for your interest in Network Remedy!

Amon Prasad CEO and Founder

The Cloud Episode 1: Meet Network Remedy and Why We’re Doing This Show

 Subscribe to The Cloud on iTunes | Download MP3 | RSS

 FreeAssesmentIf you have any questions, concerns or other IT inquiries please do not hesitate to contact us!

Click to book an appointment with one of our consultants.

For Further Reading: