Enterprises migrating from Windows Server 2003 face a bewildering world of options, with most of those residing in the cloud. For those IT departments trying to determine the best way to leverage their migration to Windows Server 2012, there are numerous cloud models—public, private, and hybrid, for starters—and even more cloud hosts to consider. It can be a bit overwhelming, and many IT decision makers would prefer moving to the cloud gradually and with a committed, experienced partner. For those businesses, a managed cloud solution of some kind may be the best way to go. Read on to find out which solution is the best fit for your business.
Commonly known as Co-Los (for co-location), managed clouds are private clouds located at a third-party facility. The managed cloud services provider furnishes the physical infrastructure (building, power, and cooling equipment) and ensures connectivity to the client’s network, while the enterprise’s IT pros manage and control the off-premises server environment.
Managed clouds allow enterprises to deploy apps and store data at a third location with the same level of confidence and access afforded by self-run private clouds. Further, they enable IT to focus on supporting core business goals and not redirect resources to cloud infrastructure management.
That’s a big advantage for enterprises migrating from Server 2003. IT pros who have been managing a network running off a 12-year-old server implementation likely haven’t developed cloud management skills or the ability to select and manage one or more cloud vendors.
Enterprises also can deploy a managed cloud in conjunction with the expansion of an existing data center. This results in a hybrid cloud environment that allows IT flexibility in storage and the allocation of computing resources while modernizing and scaling on-premise data center infrastructure.
An experienced IT services provider can help an enterprise determine the total cost of ownership of various cloud models. More importantly, they can help 1) choose the right implementation for an enterprise’s current and future computing requirements, 2) design the appropriate deployment plan, and 3) execute on that plan.
Microsoft’s ending of support for Windows Server 2003 (on July 14, 2015) is forcing enterprises to make decisions about the cloud they may not be prepared to make—but Microsoft isn’t abandoning those enterprises when it sheds support for its workhorse server. Whether a managed cloud solution is the most sensible path for these enterprises or not, Microsoft is uniquely qualified to provide the experienced partner that enterprises need to make the migration to the cloud.