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To cloud, or not to cloud

If you’ve been involved in any IT discussion over the past 20 years, the chances are the cloud got a mention. Cloud environments come in all shapes and sizes - private, public, hybrid, community, multi etc. Often positioned as a catch-all, cure-all technology it’s easy to be mesmerized by the potential of containers, elasticity, microservices and more. We often hear about consolidation and cost-effectiveness but there’s another c-word we hear less frequently – convenience.

Convenience is one of the key reasons that you should be looking at Cloud. Let’s take a look at a Cloud application that a lot of people are familiar with, Spotify. Why is Spotify so good? The answer is that it’s convenient.

Whether you want to listen to a particular song, album or artist you just type in the name and away you go. In the mood for some 80s then there’s a playlist for that already made. If your favourite artist has just dropped a new album you don’t need to wait for a CD to arrive in the post, or until you can get to the shops to pick up your copy. It’s at your fingertips, just a click away.

If you’re not in IT, you probably never wondered about the technology that sits behind the service. You pay your subscription and you enjoy a service that is constantly updated and provides tailored recommendations. You get new music, podcasts, personalized playlists and more. You even get an annual summary of your listening habits that you can share on your social channels – assuming you’re not embarrassed to discover your most listened to artist in the past 12 months was Phil Collins.

If you’re used to having the cloud provide you with a great consumer experience, why should your corporate network be any different? Why should you not have an intuitive, easy to use interface, a service that is constantly updated and providing you with new, value-adding features? More importantly, why shouldn’t you be able to enjoy all these benefits on a subscription basis that means you only pay for what you use?

Whether you are looking to deploy a new service, update a legacy system or consolidate upgrade cycles across multiple sites or vendors, the cloud is going to be a part of the discussion. Timing is important. Do you stick with the existing on-premises solutions for another renewal, migrate everything to the cloud or deploy a hybrid approach?

Evaluating what is the “right” choice will be different for every organization and will be influenced by a wide range of factors, including regulatory concerns, business objectives, security and cost. When you’re weighing up to pros and cons, don’t underestimate the value of convenience.

Most vendors offer a choice of on-premises or cloud management for network infrastructure, whether fixed or wireless. However, there are often strings attached, as the choice of wireless access points (APs) and switches are management system dependent. If you elect to manage via cloud, you’ll get one portfolio of products, and if you select on-premises you’ll see an entirely separate set of products.

Not all vendors were created equal. Extreme Networks recognized this dilemma and chose a different path, one that offers choice without complexity, something they call the Effortless Experience. This provides customers with the ability to choose from different operating systems based on their capabilities, helping to improve usability, speed up deployment and to extend the useful lifespan of a site.

Extreme Networks created a solution that eliminates the on-premises/cloud decision making process. The same APs and switches can support platform-agnostic deployments, providing greater flexibility, choice and a lower total cost of ownership. How convenient is that?

Are you thinking about migrating legacy on-premises services to the cloud, implementing a new service, or deploying a new hybrid infrastructure? Contact one of our networking consultants on enquiries@datrix.co.uk

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Topics: Cloud Backup Cloud Wireless