At VNS we've had our head in the cloud long before it became cool
"Cloud" computing, online services, software-as-a-service (SaaS) are
all names that are used (often interchangeably), that simply refer to the
concept of taking an application or service that has historically
been provided locally, on premises (on-prem), and to access it online.
Simply put, today you often have the choice of whether you want to
invest in the resources to deploy a solution locally (on-premises),
or online. And by doing so, you can reduce your capital outlay
for local infrastructure, as well as simplify and speed up your
deployment, while offering higher levels of redundancy, and
improving ease of scalability.|
We've put this comparison
chart together to help our customers make informed decisions about
which applications might make sense for them to move to the cloud.
Every business is different - for some, it may make sense to move
selected services to the cloud and keep others locally on-premises,
while others have gone 'all in' and moved every service to
the cloud. The bottom line assessment is that once you've
determined that it makes sense to move a particular service to the
cloud, you must also take the adage, 'you get what you pay for' into
account, because each of the issues below have a related cost and
value relationship. So if you find two solutions for the same
service that have vastly different pricing, it's critical to take
these issues into consideration, ask why, and to really peel back
the layers of a service provider's offerings to see what is
really being provided.
You'll pay a much smaller amount (usually monthly),
access to significantly more resources than you could buy on
your own. You won't have to pay for the server(s),
application(s), storage, maintenance/support, and don't
forget, power and cooling.
Over time, you may spend more for access to these resources
than you would spend if you were to build out comparable on-prem
functionality that you would own.
You do not have to hire staff, or hire a competent firm who
can focus on security, and you don't have to make the
investments in a multi-layered, redundant approach.
The reality is that even if not totally perfect, cloud
providers are much more likely to have more security (and
more security experts / IT staff) to keep the bad guys out
than a company who doesn’t focus on technology as their
Using cloud services raises the possibility that services
may become temporarily unavailable, or worse, your data
could be compromised. Security is an important consideration
because not every cloud service provider makes the same
investments in multiple, redundant layers of security, or
the qualified staff to focus on it.
Ask if they
understand, and have implemented SAS-70, HIPAA or PCI
You should also consider that
the bigger a service provider is, the bigger a target they
are. So bigger is not always better - it may make
sense to keep your data local, keep it secure, and fly under
the radar, without the target on your back that huge
publicly traded companies often have, because when they DO
get hit, hackers won't differentiate between your data and
The cloud provider provides the maintenance for their
services as part of their cost.
Different cloud providers take different approaches to
maintenance, and some may not invest the same resources as
Computing power is provided to you on a scalable, on the fly
basis, so that you do not have to pay for unnecessary
resources unless or until you use or need them.
As long as you have not chosen the cheapest solution, you'll
probably have a provider that's made the investments in
resources to easily scale as demand increases.
You can enjoy enterprise level software at reasonable
per-user rates without paying for a full server license,
maintenance and power/cooling costs. Upgrades are also
normally handled so that you're always enjoying the latest
Cloud providers are able to deploy software
in days or weeks, not months or years. A critical patch can
be rolled out to all customers immediately. And they
have a vested interest in doing so because when they don't,
customers can walk.
Additionally, who can best
test and deploy functionality than the provider themselves,
who are often the ones who wrote the code?
Some cloud applications lack all the same features that
their comparable on-site solutions offer.
If you lose Internet connectivity at your office, if you
have 3G/4G, or have the option of moving to a
site (a coffee shop for example), then as long as your
service provider has not also been impacted, you still have
access to your cloud-based resources.
won't help you with backing up your server, or providing DVR
for your facility surveillance cameras, but it IS an option
for many other cloud-based services like email, CRM, office
productivity and local backup.
Your access to your services are only as good as your
connectivity. If you have multiple, redundant Internet
connections, and so does your cloud services provider, you
probably won't be impacted by connectivity issues.
But if you're like most small businesses, you probably have
a single Internet connection, and when it goes down, so go
all of your cloud apps. So consider if you didn't have
access to an application or service for a day or more, what
would the impact be to your business. And then look at
the provider's uptime, and outage history, as well as your
own history with your Internet provider.
when you run an application directly on your network, you
have wire-speed access to the data, without the sort of
delays that can often occur when you're accessing a resource
over the Internet.
None of this is your problem.
System-level and site-level redundancy must both be
considered. Some cloud service providers have multiple,
redundant data centers, each with multi-homed Internet
connectivity, and redundant systems within each data center,
while others may have a single data center, with good
redundancy, but no site redundancy, and others may have even
less. It won't do you any good if they have a generator but
the building collapses after an earthquake, and there is no
duplication of your data to other sites. If Google,
Amazon and Microsoft can experience outages, then NO vendor
should be considered 100% redundant.
Cloud apps are often one-size-fits-all, or may lack features
that a traditional on-prem solution provides. Because you're
often one user of hundreds, or thousands of others, you
cannot often customize the application in the way you would
if you owned it.
Cloud services are both easy to deploy and easy to migrate.
Don’t like your email or web security vendor? Just change
your MX record or proxy settings and you have a new provider
that same day. Try that with a special purpose hardware
appliance that you just purchased and installed.
If the vendor has operational or fiscal problems, or if you
just decide that it's not working, you could be stuck with
them for the duration of your contract. And although
this may be cheaper than buying a product you don't like,
you may also have challenges with getting your data OUT of
the vendor's system(s) should you decide to leave. So
consider data export functionality they provide, as well as
the format of the data - if they save it in a proprietary
format, it won't do you any good to export it anyway.
If you're considering moving an application to the cloud
that needs to communicate or integrate with
other applications, such as CRM, Email/messaging, or
Accounting, it's important to ask HOW it will communicate.
If the application vendors are all the same (Microsoft, for
example), this is much easier to deal with. But what
about competitors, who don't WANT to play nice? Or
applications that haven't taken this into their design
consideration? Or services which cannot be monitored
or supported by you or your service provider, due to design
limitations in the products? These may or may not be a
problem for your particular needs, but they are certainly
Your data is your livelihood and losing it can be expensive, if
not a game-ender to your organization. Following are some
sobering realities about the potential impact of data loss. Of
companies experiencing catastrophic data loss:
- 43% of companies never reopened
- 51% of companies closed within 2 years
- 80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within
one month are likely to go out of business
- 75% of companies without business continuity plans fail
within three years of a disaster
- Companies that aren't able to resume operations within ten
days (of a disaster hit) are not likely to survive
NetCare™ Online Backup is the solution to preventing this sort of
a disaster. Features include:
- Instantly recover your data.
- E-mail confirmation off your completed backup.
- Low cost
- Access your data from anywhere.
- SAS 70 and HIPAA compliant
Hosted Microsoft Solutions
Unlock the Full Potential of Microsoft Technology to Build
Business Solutions that Maximize Your Success.
At Valley Network Solutions we understand that it is more
important than ever to seek opportunities to provide technology
solutions that will increase your organization's competitive
advantage while decreasing costs. Our expertise with Microsoft
Cloud Computing platforms including Dynamics CRM Online and Office
365 helps provide our customers with cost saving alternatives to
traditional, on-site productivity, collaboration, and communications
Business Focused Advantages of Microsoft Cloud
Productivity Solutions Include:
- Decreased Costs: Organizations no longer need to manage on
site hardware and software and also have the ability to allocate
IT resources to more strategic initiatives, reducing overall
- Flexibility: The Microsoft Cloud Computing model allows
Valley Network Solutions to partner with our customers to create
a comprehensive, flexible solution that works best for them, 100% hosted / 100% on premise or a combination of the two.
- Availability and Reliability: Moving your company’s
collaboration and distributed communication needs to Microsoft
Cloud Computing ensures that the information you need to do your
job is always at your fingertips – simply login to the
appropriate Web service; and Microsoft’s Online Services are
synched with Active Directory maintaining security and the
ability to manage users from a central location.
Ask us how we can help you evaluate Dynamics CRM Online,
SharePoint Online, Lync Online, Exchange Online, Office Professional
Plus, and Office Web Apps.
Features & Benefits:
- 25 GB mailbox space per user
- Month-to-Month Contract
- Accounts open instantly 24/7
- Administrative control panel
- Advanced anti-spam and virus
- Download of Outlook 2007/2010 or Entourage for Mac
- Attachment maximum size of 50 MB, auto reply, aliases, filters
- Mobility Features: Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA), Exchange
Mobile Messaging / PUSH ActiveSync for Windows Mobile devices,
- Group Productivity Features: Full Features of Microsoft Exchange
2007 including distribution lists, personal and shared calendars,
personal and shared contacts, corporate address book, group
scheduling with real-time availability, disk space for public
folders (per user) is 100 MB (max 2GB per organization)
Office 365 (formerly BPOS) gives you access to email, calendar, and
contacts from virtually anywhere, at any time, on desktops, laptops,
and mobile devices — while it helps to protect against viruses and
- Work from almost anywhere and get automatically updated
email, calendar, and contacts on the devices you use most,
including PCs, Macintosh computers, iPhone, Android phones,
Symbian phones, BlackBerry smartphones**, Windows Mobile, and
- Get professional, easy-to-manage email. Exchange Online
provides each user with a 25-gigabyte (GB) mailbox and lets them
send email messages up to 25 megabytes (MB).
- Connect with Microsoft Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2007 and use
all of the rich Outlook functionality you already know and use,
whether you are connected to the Internet at home or in the
office or you are working offline.
- Easily schedule meetings by sharing calendars and viewing
them side by side, so you can see your colleagues’ availability
and suggested meeting times from your calendar.
- Access your email, calendar, and contacts from nearly any
web browser while you keep the rich, familiar Outlook experience
with Microsoft Outlook Web App.
- Help protect your organization from spam and viruses with
Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange, which
includes multiple filters and virus-scanning engines.
** Currently, Users of BlackBerry Internet Service get push email
and can add calendar and contacts to their BlackBerry devices by
wired synchronization (sync) with Outlook on the PC
All of our hosted solutions can be provided a-la-carte, or as an
integrated component of our
NetCare™ managed services plan, allowing
customers to maximize and consolidate their IT spending, by
leveraging the hosted model to provide functionality to resources
that may be cost-prohibitive to implement in-house.
VNS has been providing cloud computing, hosted and online solutions to our Fresno,
Clovis, Madera, Visalia and Oakhurst customers since 2005.
For more information or to discuss implementing a cloud/hosted
solution with VNS, give us a call at
(559) 650-2600, or send us an email at