Cloud Consulting

By John Hazard  |  Print this article Print

Will cloud computing render managed service providers obsolete within a decade? The tough words from one MSP point to the evolving market and whether a mass extinction event is coming.

Cloud Consulting

The current rush to the Cloud is built largely on marketing hype, Landa said.

"We have prospects come to us on a weekly basis and say 'I want to go to cloud.’ and I want to know why [they want to go to the cloud]?" he asked. "Do you have real business drivers that will benefit by hosting some of your business applications in the could? Or did you just hear some marketing hype about the cloud?"

For a firm playing the role of trusted advisor, there’s going to be tremendous opportunity for the next few years in guiding clients through the process of taking to the cloud. Or not.

"If we go into client and we're talking to them about compliance, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and they want to get into the cloud, we’ll probably caution them against the public cloud where they’re sharing same data-center space with other companies," he said. "For them, we might recommend they avoid the cloud for right now, or, if they desire the benefits of the cloud, we would recommend a private cloud. You still own the infrastructure, but it is virtualized, it’s in a data center, it might be in a back-up data center.

Optimal puts its clients through a battery of questions and a review to help them determine if the cloud is even the right choice for them, and, if so, what part of their business line.

"The Cloud is really just another platform and another option," he said. "Once you understand that, your role is to present it to them along with their other options as part of an integrated solution stack. That’s where the value is. Monitoring and managing their infrastructure is a tiny part of it."

Cloud managers

Once the advisory role is complete and integration accomplished, there’s still room for management, said Butts, relying on another old channel line -- "one throat to choke."

"Right now biggest issue customers have is you can not get all the services from any one provider," he said. "Someone still has to go out there, get server hosting from Google, host database with Microsoft, and get the email from somebody else. What our role becomes is still managing the environment. It’s just in the cloud now."

In this role he described service providers and cloud managers.

"Our role will not end," he said. "We still have to monitor the environment in the cloud. Any time they have problems, we will still get the call -- I cannot find the icon, things like that. That part still stands. They still want a single throat to choke."