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What’s Hot in Cloud Now? Mission-critical Cloud Computing

The cloud is evolving and a new front – mission-critical cloud computing — is coming on strong.

Once viewed skeptically for any use, the cloud is now being tapped to deploy mission-critical applications. Driven by customer demands, businesses are finding cloud computing necessary to remain competitive and viable in the business landscape.

Traditionally the cloud has been used for less-critical applications like storage or testing and development. However, customers are increasingly requiring service delivery models to satisfy their needs – think online subscription-based software – and enterprises need to adjust their business models to accommodate this change. In many cases this means moving mission-critical applications to the cloud to offer Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) capabilities. The alternative is to risk losing customers and market share.

Cloud computing models such as SaaS and IaaS offer end users tremendous benefits. Software updates and hardware maintenance can now be handled “in the cloud” without disrupting customers’ productivity, performance and uptime. Additionally, companies are relieved of scheduling onsite upgrades, which – let’s face it – many companies delay because of the disruptions that accompany the process. As a result, software may be missing important updates and hardware may be outdated. With a service solution, upgrades are performed seamlessly to ensure applications and hardware operate optimally.

While this new service-based model may offer a variety of benefits to the end use, it represents a significant business shift to the companies providing the services. In his Forbes article, “Cloud’s Next Big Wave: Mission Critical Applications,” Mike Cavis notes, “From a technical standpoint, the technical requirements in the areas of security, stability, scalability, availability, recovery, and so forth require much larger investments than in a product-centric model where more responsibilities are shifted to the customer.”

These key technical needs beg the question: How do companies migrate their mission-critical computing to the cloud to stay competitive?

An experienced cloud service provider (CSP) can ease this burden.

When we talk about mission-critical cloud computing, there is no room for error. The very essence of your company – your bread and butter – is now in the cloud. Companies should vet CSPs to ensure they have the capabilities and the commitment to provide a secure, flexible solution. Peak 10 has a strong presence in the IaaS landscape and offers robust, secure and compliant cloud environments to house and protect mission-critical applications.

Built on best-in-breed technology, Peak 10 provides the security and privacy necessary to operate mission-critical computing in the cloud, and undergoes yearly independent audits to help customers ensure their own compliance.

The security and performance of the cloud are key factors in maintaining the viability of a solution, especially when customer satisfaction is paramount. With SaaS, customers are no longer buying software in a single large purchase. The model has moved to a monthly, yearly or multi-year subscription. As a result, customers will be making purchases more frequently and can move on to another vendor if service is not up to par. The CSP will play an integral role in developing and maintaining customer satisfaction and confidence. With mission-critical computing in the cloud, access and uptime become even more essential. Customers will not tolerate downtime or lost data, so enterprises need to ensure they are working with a CSP dedicated to peak performance and productivity. If not, end users will quickly move on.

Housing mission-critical operations in the cloud requires a level of expertise that most companies do not have on their own. Working with a CSP that understands your company’s business and its unique needs is essential to navigating the complex migration process.

“Having the expertise and knowing the nuances is important,” explains David Heberling, Peak 10 director of service delivery. “We understand the process and have seen a lot of the road bumps. We can accommodate and test for them.” This is key not only in the initial move to the cloud, but also to the maintenance and continued support of the cloud-based solution. An experienced cloud service provider must follow through to ensure an ongoing level of performance, flexibility, and productivity that meets the necessary service levels.

As more mission-critical applications enter the cloud and more customers request service-delivery models, companies must be prepared to move their mission-critical computing to the cloud. An experienced CSP can assist in this process to ensure a successful migration and an environment that supports key business objectives on an ongoing basis.

A new front has arrived and businesses need to be ready for it. Those left behind may not be able to weather the storm.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest