Managed Services, Part 5: Deployment Models

Managed Services, Part 5: Deployment Models

In my last blog, I discussed the necessity of a core support managed service—security. I noted that there is a history of businesses being very vulnerable to data theft and that security services as a part of the overall managed services or hosting helps prevent threats to your data. I concluded that a reliable managed services provider should offer security that identifies and remedies any kind of security issue your business computer system may confront.

In this, the last installment of my series on the core tenants of managed services, I will discuss another major core support of managed services—the deployment model. I will define what a cloud computing deployment model is; I will describe the different models that are available; and I will discuss what you need to consider when selecting the proper deployment model for your business.

What is a deployment model?

A deployment model is the configuration of all the hardware and software used on a cloud computing system. There are four primary models: public cloud, private cloud, community cloud, and hybrid cloud.

The public cloud is a deployment model that anyone can use. It does not have to be linked to a managed service provider. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is an example of a public cloud. A public cloud is ideal for a company that needs to manage load spikes, host software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, use the infrastructure on a short-term basis, and share management applications with other companies. It permits companies to utilize cloud technology for an affordable price.

The private cloud is a deployment model that anyone can use. It does not have to be linked to a managed service provider, but only one client or business uses it. This model is best for companies that have security concerns, require constant access to the Internet, demand quality performance of the system, and have data and use applications that must conform to various regulatory standards. It is ideal for healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses as well as other industries that must comply with certain trade standards or rules.

The hybrid cloud is a combination of a public and a private cloud. It offers companies the benefit of a private cloud while permitting them to store data and applications on a public cloud. It also balances the workload between public and private hosting without affecting the user.

The community cloud is shared by several organizations with the same policy and compliance considerations. It is ideal for state government agencies and departments and hospitals that require access to the same data.

AWS is a good example of a company that offers public, private, and community cloud services.

What to consider when selecting a deployment model

You can consider the “Goldilocks principle” when selecting the proper deployment model for your business needs—that is, “too big, too small, just right.”

Of course, that could be somewhat simplistic. However, if you believe that selecting the proper model is essential to the success of your business, you would go to all lengths to garner the information you need.

I did some research on the Internet before writing this blog and found a very detailed article that goes into all the nuances involved in the decision-making process. You can find this white paper, called “Cloud Deployment Model Decision Tree,” here.

Now, here are my two cents.

As you prepare to select a deployment model, create a strategy that addresses redundancy and how much availability you want your site to have. Consider all of your campaigns, whether they include just your core website or a number of channels including mobile apps, landing pages, and such as you scope out models. You will want your system to accommodate all of what you have as well as new channels you may add in the future, such as digital billboards and kiosks; wearables, including digital watches and Google Glass; and home appliances, including smart televisions, refrigerators, and other household items that are connected to the Internet of everything.

It is therefore critical to have a scalable model as you leverage the cloud. The scalability ensures that your system will not crash as your campaigns attract a multitude of visitors to your sites. Obviously, you should consult with your managed services provider about this.

If your business relies on communication across a segment or all of the globe, make certain that the model supports it. You also want to protect your system from natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. Include a data center (or centers) that has its own power source.

Don’t take the service-level agreement (SLA) that your managed services provider offers for granted. The SLA details what the managed services provider will be providing you in metric terms. That may include:

  • Time services availability
  • Upgrades and maintenance
  • The number of users that can be served simultaneously
  • Benchmarks against which performance will be measured
  • A schedule for advance notification of network changes that may affect the user
  • Help desk response time for problems
  • Dial-in access availability
  • Availability of usage statistics
  • A structure for updating the agreement

Questions you should ask your managed services provider include:

  • What different levels of SLA do you offer?
  • How scalable is the architecture?
  • What type of shared architecture do you offer?
  • Do you offer different configurations of the cloud?
  • Do you offer multiple environments ranging from development, load, user affective, stress, and security testing to QA staging?
  • How are the environments protected?

More information about developing and implementing a strategy for the selection of a deployment model is chronicled in the article, “Developing and Implementing a Strategy for Technology Deployment.”

The bottom line is that you want a deployment model in the cloud that accommodates your specific business needs, includes redundancy and scalability, can reach out to your customers whether they are in one segment of the world or the whole world, is defended against disasters, and will not crash no matter how many visitors your campaigns attract to your sites.

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