iTB Cloud Services

Driving out Cloud Costs

Whether you're on premise moving to the cloud, or already there, opportunities abound to drive out costs.... if you have the right tools.

We often hear stories from customers moving to the cloud and getting bills so big that they pull back out.  Or even discussions where customers share with us that their costs are two or three times as high in the cloud as they expected, but that the agility of the cloud makes the expense worth it.

The truth of the matter is that cloud costs can be forecasted, and in the vast majority of cases, substantially reduced.  Not only can those cost savings be achieved as a one time exercise, they can actually be achieved on an on going basis.  As your work loads change, as new cpu and pricing combinations get added by cloud vendors, new opportunities arise to move your workload to more cost effective packages.  But no human being can keep up with the myriad of changes in all those aspects of an infrastructure.  You need tools for that.

At IT Blueprint we work with the premier tool sets on the market.  Tools that track the actual resource consumption of all your workloads and can instantly match them up with the most cost effective packaging available based on the cloud provider and region of your choice.  We can teach you how to run the tools, or we can provide them to you as a service.

But there’s more.  The same tools that gather detailed workload information from your environment do far more than just that.  They understand application dependencies, so you’ll know exactly what users and other applications are going to be affected and how before you move anything.  You’ll have a complete inventory of all your servers, desktops, and the software that is on them, compiled with the number of CALS being used or by cpu and core count.   Identifying stale accounts or zombie servers?  Piece of cake.  You’ll even be able to extract performance information to allow you to maximize Guest versus Host licensing for SQL and save money on SQL licensing as well.

Remember, those benefits are all in addition to saving 20% to 30% on your cloud costs on an on going basis.  Contact the IT Blueprint team for more information.

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Office 365 and Microsoft 365

It’s not just about the subscriptions.

Migration, rationalization, security and data protection are aspects of the on going care and feeding of your Office 365 and Microsoft 365 environments. IT Blueprint has the expertise to expose the issues and walk you through the options, including third party offerings that can augment the 365 Environment.

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Securing the Cloud

The cloud is secure, isn’t it? And its backed up isn’t it?

That depends on who you are and what you are doing. But for most customers, the answers are no. You’ll still need at minimum a backup system in place to protect data, and possibly a disaster recovery strategy also. As for security, you’ll not only need a firewall, but other layers of security also. The attack surface in the cloud is very different. You’ll want to consider new types of tools and strategies. Let us bring our subject matter experts to the table for a conversation about your needs and your requirements.

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Protecting Cloud Data

The cloud is backed up, right? Short answer, no.

Most cloud services do a good job of protecting your data as is, few of them can provide a point in time copy of your data. Without that you’re just as susceptible to everything from human error to database corruption to ransomware as you were on premise. Your first line of defense is a backup system that can recover your data to a point in time. Replicating your on premise strategy into the cloud may not be optimal. Some cloud data constructs are radically different, and the cloud presents new options for protecting your data also. Backup remains one of the most complex issues any IT organization faces.  It is the one system you have that touches everything you have. At IT Blueprint, we have experts who have been navigating the seas of Backup/DR for decades, and now in the cloud as well.

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Strategies for Leveraging the Cloud

Getting value out of the cloud requires more than just simply putting everything you can in the cloud.

Some clouds will be more suited to your workloads than others. More importantly, some bundled services in the cloud are more cost effective than simply consuming server and storage resources to arrive at the same end result. Plus, there are things that the cloud can do that on premise environments can’t, leveraging these to arrive at an optimal environment requires knowing what exists and how to take advantage of it.

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Avoiding Cloud Lock In

The cloud offers many advantages in terms of agility and instant scaling, but what about vendor lock in?

Once your data is in the cloud, it can be expensive to get back out, worse, it takes time.  The more data, the more time it takes.  So what do you do when confronted with rising costs that could be mitigated if only you were in a different cloud?  Or worse still, what if some of the services you need come from different clouds, but they all need the same data?  Now what?

Fortunately there are ways to mitigate all those issues.  In many cases, you can even get the best of all worlds, driving down costs and improving utility at the same time.

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  • Which Cloud? Or a Mix?

    Just pick a cloud and go, right? For some customers, absolutely.

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