For companies today, a reliable infrastructure is the lifeline of their business. But building and managing a solid IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly complex, while demands on availability, performance and security continue to grow.
Many companies lack the expertise, time and resources to follow all the developments. Therefore, they are increasingly outsourcing their infrastructure to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who do have all this in-house. With an expected forecast of 7.9% growth until 2026, the great news is there are great opportunities ahead for MSPs.
However, even as an MSP, you have your challenges in meeting your service level agreements (SLAs) with customers swiftly, smartly and successfully. The environments you manage are just as complex, except you have the expertise, capabilities and tools to give your customers the peace of mind of a reliable infrastructure. Especially using the cloud. Because then you, in your turn, can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of the major cloud providers and save time and money.
So, what is ‘reliability’ and how can the cloud help you improve your SLAs? Very briefly, reliability ensures your infrastructure service can meet the commitments you make to your customers. It defines which frequency and impact of failure is acceptable for customers within their business goals.
The cloud has many resilience mechanisms already embedded in the platform to meet reliability requirements. Think of automation, redundancy, spread across locations. However, reliability itself is an abstract concept. It becomes measurable by including clear agreements on e.g. availability, back-up and disaster recovery in SLAs.
The nines of availability
Spoiler alert: downtime is unavoidable and every cloud provider will experience it at some time. However, you can count your winnings: there is a huge difference between 90%, 99% or 99,999% availability as you find with the major cloud providers (864 hours vs. 88 hours or 52.56 minutes of annual downtime).
Flexible backup and protection
Reliable backups are essential. Things do go wrong. And not necessarily due to technology, but more often due to human error. Backup in the cloud eliminates the need to settle for legacy backup solutions and offers advanced features in the areas of security, flexibility, management, and recovery.
Disaster recovery with minimal business impact
Disaster recovery in the cloud is extremely secure and saves a lot of time. The cloud offers extensive capabilities to automate and virtualize backups of systems and data. In case of a disaster, you can quickly restore your customer's critical systems. At lower costs than on premises, putting you one step ahead of the competition.
These are only three examples of how the cloud offers MSPs great opportunities to include reliability in their SLAs in a strong, efficient, and profitable way. This can also be done in a hybrid environment – still reality for most MSPs – using the computing power and scalability of the public cloud where possible, combined with physical or virtual workloads on premises where necessary.
MSPs are increasingly aware of how they can use the cloud to build a smart, efficient and successful future business. For example, by increasing the reliability of their services at a lower cost. We at Insight have been working with partners like you across Europe for many years, providing valuable time, knowledge and support in many (hybrid) cloud scenarios.
Contact one of our cloud specialists to find out how we can support you in optimizing your cloud costs in line with your business goals, whether you are designing your first workloads in the cloud or work entirely cloud-based.
This article is part of a series of articles based on Microsoft’s WAF (Well-Architected Framework), where you find much more helpful guidance. WAF improves the quality of workloads operating in the cloud by focusing on a set of common architecture principles, including cost optimization, operational excellence, performance efficiency, reliability and security.
As a multi-vendor software licensing, workload and platform specialist, we can guide you through all stages of your strategic cloud journey with a series of workshops, assessments, services and best practices. From the first exploration of cloud or hybrid opportunities and benefits to support and optimization after migration. No matter where you are in your journey, we help you to find new ways forward and accelerate your business.