Micro Doctor is upgrading its infrastructure to utilize a private cloud set-up. What is a Private Cloud network? There are 2 currently accepted interpretations. The first widely used definition is when the server from your office is placed in a data center in another city. If you run all your operations from the remote server via a secure VPN connection, that is considered a private cloud. This server in the cloud is private, meaning it is your company's server, not a shared folder on a multi-tenant server.
The other interpretation of a private cloud is to take a server in your own building and load smaller virtual servers on one faster, more rubust machine. Hence, you are creating one cloud server that is private and runs multiple virtual servers in a virtual cloud on that single piece of hardware. The Cloud does not necessarily mean it is on someone else's internet connection. Rackspace doesn't own the cloud. They have a connection to the internet just like your office and our office has. The fact that Micro Doctor has remote users logging in from laptops, home offices and smart phones makes us a cloud provider also. Our private cloud server will house many virtual servers on one highly redundant multi-processer machine in our office data center with a fiber connection to the internet.
Why are we going to the Private Cloud model? Like many companies, we need to refresh or upgrade our servers frequently to keep up with the loads we place on them and experience peak performance. Our servers perform Email, Web Hosting, SQL Server, Remote backup and manage our business operations. Since our servers were due to be replaced for performance reasons, this model provides us both maximum control of our business assets and maximum performance. So why choose the Private Cloud with multiple Virtual Servers on it? There are many reasons for this decision. The first is energy savings. We have been certified by the Green Business League as a green company, which basically means we passed a series of tests that measured how we utilize technology to save energy. Things like emailing invoices, online statements, smart phone sign off sheets and now Private Cloud servers are all a part of this initiative.
Another reason to move multiple servers onto one platform is cost savings, both in the initial cost of not having to buy multiple physical servers and the long term cost of maintaining multiple servers. Both Microsoft Hyper V, and VMWare offer good platforms for hosting virtual servers. They run on a single host server but each virtual server has their own license and management interface. By building a private cloud onsite, you avoid the monthly hosting fees and bandwidth costs associated with placing your server offsite in someone else's data center. With the server in your own office you have the fastest connection to it; typically 1Gbs compared to fraction of that speed for the typical (and expensive) high speed bandwidth pipes. This allows programs to run much faster than those hosted in the public cloud, where application speed is entirely dependent on the speed of your broadband connection. Security is another reason companies are keeping their servers in their own building.
There is one cloud offering that does make sense and that is offsite backup. In the event that something catastrophic happens to your building, off-site backup, combined with virtualization enables your business to be back up and running within hours, instead of days (with conventional backup), or never (if you don't have a backup). Micro Doctor offers multiple options for offsite backup and disaster recovery. We don't just offer a one-size-fits-all approach. We analyze our clients' needs and find the right match of onsite and offsite backup that is safe and secure for their data. I still recall just last summer the amount of natural disasters and tornados that ravaged hundreds of businesses, from Joplin MO., to flooding in the Northeast. Those with solid disaster recovery plans are likely back in business and doing fine. Those who didn't plan ahead, are likely out of business.
We have already installed a number of private cloud server implementations for our customers. From our follow-up reviews, the feedback we're receiving is that they like the security, speed, costs savings, manageability and peace of mind that this paradigm offers.
So what does this mean for you? If you are a current customer, you may notice our systems getting upgraded. You may notice a new web portal for logging service calls and new interface for email retrieval. It means your technology provider is constantly upgrading and learning new technologies, so when you are ready to upgrade your network infrastructure, you can count on us to provide the most effective technology at reasonable prices, because we have done it before.
If you are not a current customer you might want to invite us in for a free network assessment. Find out why Micro Doctor is the most experienced IT provider in Northeast Ohio
Written by Mark Richmond, MCSE, CSSA Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist at Micro Doctor Inc.
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