Top 10 Advantages of Cloud in 2 minutes!

As discussed in an earlier post Cloud Computing has its disadvantages and may not be suitable for every organisation. However, cloud is still going strong, with many businesses opting for a hybrid IT environment with a mixture of on-premise and hosted cloud technologies.

If you are still undecided and want to know more about the benefits of cloud, check them out here in this short video:-

Why moving to a hosted desktop service is beneficial

Moving to a Virtual Desktop environment helps unify and centralise network management for IT administrators and empowers employees to work remotely using their choice of devices. However, to migrate from a physical desktop to a virtual desktop environment can be costly and time consuming due to the hardware, software and expertise required to install and manage it. A simpler way would be to opt for a ‘Hosted Virtual Desktop service’ from a services provider and here are a few reasons why…

Reduce costs
Helps convert capital expenditure to operational expenditure, there will be some software and hardware costs but, it will be considerably less than implementing it yourself. VDI infrastructures are flexible, it can be scaled up as well as down – the service provider can add new user accounts within minutes. Desktop bandwidth consumption will also reduce as all the processing work is done at the core of the network (at the service provider’s datacentre) – so, existing WAN bandwidth will be able to support more branch users.

Manageability
It consolidates, standardised, cut hardware costs and centralise management where administrators can monitor and maintain the desktops all in one place. VDI streamlines day-to-day management, new application deployments and operation system upgrades. Choosing a hosted service means businesses will not need to worry about the management of the network, as the service provider will manage it all.

Device and Location Independence
Remote WorkingIt provides mobility to the workforce – allowing users to access corporate data and applications from any device securely and efficiently. It offers location independence so, employees can work from anywhere with an internet connection and the service provider can efficiently and effectively provide remote IT support to users. So, workers will not be tied to a physical place of work, when ‘working’ and it will assist in decreasing branch office energy costs, required desk space etc.

Flexibility
Whether it is the Cloud-Hosted option or an internal Virtual Desktop Infrastructure it offers flexibility and scalability. Virtual desktops can be added or removed with a few clicks on a global scale and monthly costs can be adjusted accordingly. Setting up new branch offices worldwide can also be done quickly using this solution. Opting for a hosted VDI, monthly costs often includes remote IT user support and any changes required you will just have to call the service provider, the monthly costs will also be adjusted accordingly to reflect the number of users, saving you time.

Security
Employees can work anywhere in a secure manner, as workers are granted access toSecure Remote Working Netshield corporate networks and all data that is amended or created is stored in a central location. This also makes disaster recovery planning simpler as it can be implemented and managed easily and promptly. Service providers will ensure all security configurations, user policies and data backup procedures are always up-to-date which all helps to lower the risk of data loss.

Conclusion
Virtual Desktops can help lower the total cost of ownership for organisations while providing a robust and scalable infrastructure. Hosted services removes the barriers to adoption and eliminates the cost and complexities of deploying and managing desktops while providing flexibility to end-users. This type of hosted service also allows SMEs, to gain competitive advantage and adopt to market changes quickly without having to worry about the IT infrastructure capacity and management.

For more information on Hosted VDI services contact Netshield today.

Ability to work anywhere, with a virtual desktop environment (disclaimer internet required)

With technology constantly changing, maintaining the complexities of a physical desktop infrastructure can be labour-intensive and costly depending on the size of the IT estate. Employees need to work remotely, require out of hours access to corporate data and applications, increases the demands on the network. Changes in customer expectations and the era of the 24/7 marketplace also adds to the demands. So, it is necessary to review IT infrastructures regularly to ensure they are supporting the organisational needs and meeting the requirements.

Bye bye physical desktops?

One of the ways to save time and money on migrations and management is to just get rid of the desktops (not literally) and move to a ‘Virtual Desktop Infrastructure’ or VDI.
Imagine you have an estate of over 100 physical desktops and they all need to be upgraded to a new operating system, you would need to work on each desktop individually to upgrade it, taking up a lot of your time. But, if you utilise VDI technology you would only need to upgrade it in one place and deploy it to the rest of the estate.

VDI repurposes PC devices into thin clients and transforms a traditional desktop Hosted Virtual Desktopsenvironment into a low footprint virtualised environment, offering flexibility and scalability allowing employees the ability to access their desktop or corporate user account remotely, without the worry of data confidentiality or unmanaged devices on the network. It also unifies and centralises management where IT administrators can manage users and applications with ease.

Implemented internally it will require expertise in order to plan, deploy and managed the virtualised infrastructure. It would also require upfront capital expenditure for things like storage, thin clients, virtualisation software etc. Another option is to use a Cloud-Hosted Virtual Desktop environment provided by a Managed Services Provider (MSP), it will provide all the VDI benefits, but with less hassle or you could employ a provider to carry out the migration for the organisation.

For more information on VDI or Hosted Virtual Desktop services please contact us today

The drawbacks of Cloud – Things they don’t tell you!

Cloud Computing - NetshieldCloud computing refers to storing and accessing your data and applications via the internet and not running it from the devices or the business server. It can provide a number of benefits for businesses like flexibility, control costs and mobility but, there are drawbacks too.

Network Connection Reliance

Internet services down? Cloud services will be down too. Slow upload and download connection speeds will also affect how efficiently the cloud service runs. Even if precautions are made to ensure maximum uptime and speeds, there is always a risk.

Costs

Preliminary assessment on cloud applications may appear to be more cost-effective than buying software outright but, detailed comparisons must be made like does the cloud version have the same features and would any missing features concern you? Calculation of the total cost of ownership is necessary, make sure there are cost savings involved both for the short and long-term.

Lack of Support

Cloud-based service providers can be situated anywhere making it difficult sometimes to receive prompt support. So, always check the SLA’s within the contract and check whether their support desk operates during your office hours.

Security ConcernsData Security

All resources and data is access through the internet benefiting flexible workers because they can access all the corporate data that reside in a central location. However, if there are concerns about data being sent across the internet or the organisation need to follow strict data rules then, cloud might not be suitable.

Predicting Costs

This can be positive or negative depending on different variables. For a SME adopting cloud services it turns CapEx into OpEx because it allows companies to pay for software or services on a pay monthly, per user basis rather than buying it outright. However, if the business grows rapidly the monthly incremental costs also increases and eventually may result in the business paying more for cloud services than building a private network. So, always review and evaluate on a regular basis.

Privacy and Data Ownership

We’ve all heard the stories about certain governments requesting access to data from service providers – if this is a concern always best to encrypt your data before moving it to the cloud.

There are also issues surrounding data ownership, the question of whether the data belongs to the individual(s) or company that created and uploaded it or does it belong to the storage provider? Because of this you will often find ‘Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Service Level Agreements’ will vary amongst cloud service providers. Before signing on the dotted line always read and compare in detail, keeping an eye on the ‘Privacy and Data’ ownership information.

Suitability

Cloud computing is not something that will suit every business and as mentioned earlier, it can be more costly than traditional computing, as the bigger the company the bigger the IT requirements are, and the less likely cloud will provide financial advantages. Larger companies may benefit more from building their own private cloud than using a service providers.

It’s not for everyone!!

Cloud will not be the future of all computing, there is still room for a server room and private networks. It is however, great for Startups and SMEs because it flexible and help spread the costs. There are disadvantages that the salesman might not tell you but, it is about weighing up the different options and measuring them against your business IT needs.

For more information on cloud or managed IT services please contact us today.

Cloud IP Telephony (VoIP) explained in 2 minutes…

Cloud IP Telephony or VoIP uptake amongst organisations is growing due to the movement towards ‘Cloud Computing’ or the Software-as-a-Service model. Cloud has enabled organisations to have access to the latest technology without having to make a large capital investment.

Compared to traditional phone lines, VoIP solutions not only help lower the costs but, it also helps consolidates existing suppliers into one. Watch our 2 minute video to find out more…

For more information on VoIP services and the benefits please contact Netshield today on 0845 603 5552