How to reduce total cost of ownership, but not entirely surrender to...

How to reduce total cost of ownership, but not entirely surrender to the #cloud

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Op-ed by Jean François Piot, VP of Product Management at GSX Groupware Solutions

More and more, our customers want to leverage public cloud resources, especially when it comes to their messaging and collaboration environments.  The benefits, convenience and pervasiveness of public cloud computing make a good case for businesses to move at least some workloads, including Microsoft Exchange, to third-party hosted infrastructure, and IT administrators are receiving pressure from the lines of business they serve to lower TCO by outsourcing to the public cloud.

However, many enterprises are still wary of moving sensitive data and certain on-premise workloads to a service provider for security and compliance reasons.  Faced with these pressures, our customers are increasingly deploying hybrid clouds, which Gartner describes as “the coordination and combinations of external cloud computing services (public or private) and internal infrastructure or application services.”

One of our partners, Singapore-based XL Software Asia, is a systems integrator, managed service provider and software reseller with customers in the ASEAN region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam.  XL typically deals with large local and international companies that have complex IT infrastructures that are spread across multiple locations, and with several simultaneous projects underway – all with the objective of lowering TCO.  Since 2010, XL has been working with its customers to implement and manage messaging and collaboration environments from Microsoft, IBM and Blackberry, and is an authorized distributor of all of those platforms.  Now, XL’s customers are looking to migrate their messaging and collaboration applications to hybrid clouds.

Hybrid_Cloud

XL is also a distributor of our GSX Monitor & Analyzer software, to monitor and analyze both Microsoft Exchange and IBM Notes environments, specifically during migrations when the two platforms need to operate simultaneously.  Since Exchange 2013 and SP1 became available, and to meet customer demand, XL needed a tool that also works in full public cloud and hybrid cloud deployments, as well as one that integrates with existing systems management platforms, including Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM), HP Openview or CA Technologies.   Reporting and foreshadowing features available with GSX Monitor & Analyzer were important differentiators for XL, as well as the fact that the tool is agent-less and the dashboard provides a quick and intuitive view to validate that all the services delivered by the applications are working properly from an end-user perspective.

Hybrid infrastructure, combined with proactive and automated monitoring performance monitoring from GSX allows XL and its customers to:

  • Run applications where they are needed to increase business line satisfaction.
  • Speed Up MTTR (Mean Time to Repair) when performance issues happen that affect end user experience
  • Gain the flexibility to allocate resources on-demand
  • Ensure that sensitive workloads and data are secure

The bottom line is that administrators need tools to determine how many boxes they will need to support critical business applications like Microsoft Exchange while migrating seamlessly from other existing platforms like IBM Lotus Notes in private, public or hybrid clouds alike. To do so, they need to analyze existing performance and usage statistics at both the application and server level, either virtual or physical. This insight into resource availability and utilization is essential if you want to build a hybrid cloud infrastructure. In order to plan for future budgets for these projects, administrators must analyze historical data on application performance, usage and resource bottlenecks.

Sure, both Microsoft and IBM have programs to do this, but they don’t go far enough or cross platform lines smoothly in order to keep the business up and running and efficient. And, these tools tend to focus on network monitoring, not the end-user experience like GSX Solutions does.  What’s needed is a platform-agnostic tool to help administrators plan, gauge and monitor infrastructure resources while consolidating and merging new and old messaging systems on-premise and in the cloud.  We’re happy to say that XL is using GSX Monitor & Analyzer to meet these demands today.

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  • Alex London

    This is the ideal mix, retaining security while reducing TCO. There have been many discussions about public companies and the ownership and security of data here in the EU. There are strict personal data protection laws in the EU and any breach of security is punished heavily. With a hybrid cloud model, companies could retain ownership and security of sensitively held data while assigning other load and services to the cloud