itgroove and “The Cloud”

We are Cloud Friendly.

Everyone nowadays talks about “the Cloud” as being the next big thing that ALL companies should be looking at as a part of their IT infrastructure planning. The problem is that the term, “Cloud”, has become so ambiguous and attached to so many things that it is hard for most companies to get a handle on what it actually is.

In the most simplistic terms, the Cloud is simply the idea that a computing service, whatever that service may be, is provided by an infrastructure that you, as a user, can’t generally put your hands on. OK, I know, that is very vague and that is precisely the point! The Cloud is fuzzy and blurry. The Cloud provides services as you need them and you, as the user, don’t really care where the service actually “lives”.

The interesting thing about the Cloud is that almost all of us have used Cloud services for years and don’t realize it. If you have used an Internet email system (gmail, Hotmail, etc) then you have used a Cloud service. Do you know where Hotmail or gmail files actually “live”? Not likely and it’s a good bet that you don’t care, either. You simply consume the service.

Many people argue that a virtualised infrastructure such as those provided by VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V are also “cloudy” because you can turn up or turn down services (or capacity) at any time, another hallmark of the Cloud. So, if you have a virtualised environment you should congratulate yourself for having an “internal Cloud”.

We at itgroove would argue the way forward for many of our customers is going to be something of a hybrid between on-premise servers (and these can include the virtualised servers/services) and services that actually do live somewhere “out there” on the Internet. In fact, many in the industry are already talking about a “hybrid cloud” and that is pretty much what we see happening over the next few years for many of our customers.

So, what does this hybrid look like? In simple terms it really means that the services you currently consume within your IT infrastructure will expand so that some services – most likely Line-of-Business app’s (LOB) like accounting programs – will live on in on-premise servers just like they do now and other services – email (Exchange) and SharePoint being the most obvious ones – move out to a Cloud-hosted service through something like Microsoft Office 365. The point is that services and programs are evolving and you as the consumer of these services will have choices available that you have not had in the past. Do you HAVE to go to the Cloud? No. Is it a good idea to move some services to the Cloud? Probably, it all depends on your particular needs and circumstances. Can itgroove help you with migrating to Cloud services? Absolutely! We are Cloud-friendly and here to help every step of the way. If you want to explore your Cloud migration options or if you just want to discuss the whole “Cloud thing” a bit more then please contact itgroove.