IaaS buyer’s guide: Which provider is best for your business?

Choose infrastructure-as-a-service providerInfrastructure as a service (IaaS) is among the fastest-growing cloud solutions, predicted to expand 41 percent per year through 2016. It’s not hard to see why. Organizations scrambling to virtualize storage, hardware, servers, and networking components not only stand to reduce operational headaches and total cost of ownership, but gain a more scalable system and free IT staff to focus on more strategic work.

But deciding on the right solution to meet an organization’s needs isn’t always an easy task. From Amazon Web Services (AWS) to VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) to Windows Azure to HP Public Cloud to Rackspace to Hosting.com, IT organizations have their fair share of IaaS offerings to choose from. Here’s a guide to help any organization, large or small, hone in on the most appropriate IaaS cloud solution. Continue Reading…

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3 ways IT departments are using Windows Azure for IaaS

Most IT directors, IT professionals, and network administrators are asking themselves which enterprise technologies they should move to the cloud, and what platform they should adopt. The answer to the latter depends largely on the business goals the organizations hopes to achieve. When it comes to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), we’re seeing tremendous demand for Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based platform.

After initially falling into the category of Platform as a Service (PaaS), Windows Azure IaaS offerings have made a name for themselves by providing customers access to several different services and capabilities, including virtual machines (VMs), test and development environments, and storage services, among others.

Here’s how Windows Azure’s IaaS offerings assist many IT organizations. Continue Reading…

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3 reasons to buy Amazon Web Services through SHI

You asked for it, and we got it! Due to popular demand, SHI has added Amazon Web Services (AWS) to our cloud products and solutions portfolio. This new partnership will help customers streamline the sourcing, procurement, and management of their AWS Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) assets.

The AWS cloud computing platform is composed of several remote computing services provided by Amazon. We’re currently focused on offering the three most popular AWS solutions.

  1. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) — a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud that’s designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
  2. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) — a highly scalable, reliable, and low-latency data storage system in the cloud.
  3. Amazon CloudWatch — a system that monitors AWS cloud resources and the applications customers run on AWS.

AWS offers businesses an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and scalable solution to manage their computing needs, all housed under a single umbrella. While the technology benefits and business case in favor of the AWS platform are numerous, sourcing AWS through SHI offers even more advantages to our customers. Here are the top three reasons why AWS is better with SHI:

  1. Cost savings. SHI’s overall purchasing volume can translate into potential cost savings for customers compared to buying it individually from AWS.
  2. Consolidated and consistent IT procurement. Buying AWS through the same account team that supports traditional volume licensing software and hardware assets enables organizations to leverage the rules of a managed procurement channel. Customers gain immediate visibility into AWS usage through regular SHI reporting and business reviews, and can see that it is properly classified as part of their overall IT spend.
  3. Expertise. SHI’s volume Licensing Executives (LEs) can help explain how Infrastructure as a Service and other cloud purchases impact an organization’s volume licensing scenario. Armed with a unified purchase history that serves as a snapshot of an IT environment, SHI’s LEs can provide the insight and expertise that will help customers reduce redundancy while remaining compliant.

Continue Reading…

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Gila improves performance, scalability, cost structure, and disaster recovery with the SHI Cloud

Early concerns over the cloud’s security and privacy are proving no match for its efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and elasticity. And hybrid cloud infrastructure, which blends the cloud’s benefits with the security organizations desire, is taking hold.

In fact, a recent study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by 451 Research indicates that 68 percent of businesses plan to adopt hybrid cloud models over the next two years.

Customers concerned about the security of sensitive or proprietary data can take comfort in the hybrid cloud’s use of in-house servers while capitalizing on the scalability and cost savings of a public cloud infrastructure.

Now one of the early adopters of hybrid cloud and, in fact, SHI’s first hybrid cloud customer, Gila, is speaking out about its IT goals and challenges, the solutions it implemented, and the benefits it has achieved by deploying a hybrid cloud strategy. Continue Reading…

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Lessons learned from a year in the SHI Cloud: Keeping it simple and paying attention to the details

In my last post, I talked about how networking from the bottom up helped us reach success when we built the SHI Cloud. In the second part of our “Lessons Learned” series, I want to stress the importance of simplicity and attention to detail.

Lesson #2: Keep it simple

Customers want the SHI Cloud to provide a secure networking model, world-class virtual infrastructure, and appropriate security controls, all backed by a well-designed operations team with a resilient data center of the highest quality. After that, they want us to get out of the way.

Unfortunately, not all cloud providers do this. Amazon, for instance, has developed their own constructs for cloud computing — their own naming conventions, models, and ways of creating configurations pre-packaged for customers. So application teams, development teams, QA teams, and other functional users of IT infrastructure would have to learn to do things differently if they went with the Amazon cloud.

Customers told us they wanted a cloud that fit with their current processes and operations. The SHI Cloud was built so that customers won’t have to change anything they’re already doing. They have virtual machines running applications or hosting development environments, and they do everything in very specific ways. They’ve invested a lot in their own design, and their own view of computing.

Continue Reading…

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New SHI Cloud Briefing Center makes cloud computing cool

Remember when the future was cool? Well, it is again.

Between 2011 and 2014, the worldwide cloud market is estimated to grow 126.5 percent. This growth will be driven, in part, by 122 percent growth in Infrastructure-as-a-Service. These predictions and, perhaps more compellingly, the recent rate of adoption of IaaS and other cloud solutions make it clear: The cloud IS the future for businesses and organizations of just about any size and industry. And SHI’s new NYC Cloud Briefing Center is making that future cool. Continue Reading…

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