When contracting cloud services, prices vary significantly depending on the type of solution. The types of infrastructures, their management, advice on architecture design, 24/7 support, or quality and security certifications are some of the factors that directly affect cloud service prices.
Managed service providers (MSPs) are the ideal solution for the remote management of a company's IT infrastructure and computer systems. By outsourcing all cloud services to an MSP, the company can concentrate on those processes that form the core of its business and leave all IT-related operations and incidents in the hands of qualified professionals.
We will now take a look at the different cloud solutions that can be contracted and the services associated with them.
What are the different cloud services?
Today, the cloud for companies is a priority service to streamline your business, reduce costs, and be prepared to react immediately and efficiently to any change or market opportunity.
Within the different cloud services, the existing differences are found in the service structure to be contracted and the services associated with it.
1. Differences in the structure itself
There are different types of cloud architectures and different ways of implementing them. Cloud services can be differentiated according to a series of factors.
Type of infrastructure
The type of infrastructure contracted differs according to the use to be made of it. We can differentiate the following types of infrastructure:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a service). It is the deepest layer of the cloud and is used to create operating systems and virtual machines, among other uses. With these services, on-demand work environments are built, where the user can access multiple functions easily.
- SaaS (Software as a service). Perhaps the most widely used part of cloud services, where you have access to applications running in a virtual environment (such as ERP and CRM solutions or e-mail managers).
- PaaS (Platform as a service). This type of infrastructure uses virtualization to offer virtual hardware on which to work in the cloud. These services are helpful for not worrying about server capacity and other aspects that are solved when the infrastructure is virtualized (applied to application development, for example).
Pre-configured instances vs. auto-scalable architectures
Cloud structures can be pre-configured where they have a series of pre-established parameters and configurations to meet the project's needs. This type of service can be expanded at a later date when its capacity needs to be increased.
Auto-scalable architectures can intelligently detect the needs and scale the services to meet the current service demand. This type of advanced infrastructure is more expensive.
A geographically redundant structure offers better service globally by having servers spread across data centers in different parts of the world. The benefits of this type of structure include better performance, high availability, the possibility of balancing traffic loads, and recovery from catastrophic events.
2. Differences in the associated service
The benefits of cloud solutions are often linked to the services associated with them. These extra services add value and make it possible to get the most out of the cloud services contracted.
Some of the associated cloud services that are usually contracted are:
· Tailor-made configurations and architecture design support.
· Determining the appropriate cloud service configuration for a project and designing the necessary architecture is a complex process that requires knowledge and experience. Having the support of a cloud solutions architect is essential to select the best service and get the most out of it.
Backup and disaster recovery systems
Having automated, regular, and replicated backups on different servers and systems for rapid disaster recovery are two fundamental aspects for any company that contracts cloud services.
It is just as important to make backups to verify that they are being done correctly periodically. It will also be necessary to assess whether the backups are made in the same data center (DPC) or in a different one to increase security.
Leaving the responsibility for backups and backup recovery in the hands of professionals is the best solution to guarantee business continuity and to rest assured that, in the event of any problem with the service, there is a fast and reliable way to return to normality.
Assigned technical agent
The cloud services contracted are usually a fundamental part of the different business processes and tasks. Any incident, service request, or service interruption problem can have severe consequences for the company.
That is why hiring an assigned technical agent is common to ensure that qualified and experienced personnel are always watching over the proper functioning of the infrastructure and services.
24/7 support is one of the cloud services most demanded by companies. It consists of receiving continuous support twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Any incident or service request can be handled with this service, regardless of the time it occurs. Even during night hours, the cloud service has support in case it is necessary to intervene to solve any problem.
When deciding to contract a cloud service, it is crucial to verify the quality and security certificates held by the provider. This type of certification is a guarantee of the level of service and security offered. For example, if the provider follows the best practices in IT management (ITIL).
Other associated services
Other services associated with a cloud solution are very interesting for companies, such as remote desktop management, installation of firewalls, virtual private networks (VPN), management of evolutionary changes or proposals for improving configuration and architecture, among others.
The different types of cloud solutions and their associated services determine the fees that must be paid to contract their services. Depending on the type of company, it will need a different kind of infrastructure, level of security, and extra services. For example, an online store requires 24/7 support because sales can be generated at any time of the day. Any service interruption can cause losses (sales that do not occur and customers who abandon the platform searching for an alternative).