Moving from private virtual servers to a hosted environment brings in a whole new set of questions and solutions to consider. What is discussed in this article is not by any means all inclusive. As IT is an ever evolving field, clients and service providers need to be constantly updating and adapting to new technologies. The following are some high level concepts that should be considered when migrating to virtual computers.
VSystems’ cloud is secure but how secure will you need your data? What level of security do you need to meet your organization's requirements? For a full list of VSystems’ compliant initiatives please visit: https://www.vsystems.com/hipaa-compliance/.
Security can also mean the reliability of your data. Do you have backups running of your data and do you need replication? How secure is your data in the event of a loss? What if the server operating system crashes or the hardware fails? In the case of backups, VSystems can support encrypted backups and offsite storage. Replication with encryption is also supported. If you need to just use us for a backup repository your WAN connection will be SSL secured.
Performance can be tricky when moving from a physical machine or local virtual servers to a hosting provider. When you own the hardware you will realize the problems of poor performance quickly. Virtual servers can perform a varying number of techniques to mitigate the poor performance of a machine. This helps in the short term but may create a long term problem. The key point here is to ensure you buy enough total resources. Within our resource pool setup, a pool needs enough total resources to divide among each virtual machine. VSystems recommendation isn't aim for the cheapest option on production VMs. Database servers may need more cores and more total GHz available to them. The fantastic thing about a hosted environment is that the resources are readily available to you. We can quickly increase resources when clients experience rapid growth. There are even options for dedicated virtual resources. Contact us if you think you fall into this category.
Last item about performance is that sometimes the right answer is to keep a server local to your office environment. You need local networking and we, most often, recommend local printing servers. A dev environment might be a good fit to be used on your local servers. Alternatively, dev machines can be cheap to use in a hosted environment. It is all based on your needs and what you have available for use.
VSystems can help with the planning of integrating your applications with a hosted environment. Whether that means a Remote app or a VMware View app we can virtualize your application so that you can save on server costs. We can also offer the hybrid cloud approach where your applications may move to the cloud during busy times and then off the cloud during your off season of work.
VSystems has a comprehensive agreement and contract with each customer. This covers the legal aspect of the responsibilities of both parties. We want to make sure that VSystems and the client are covered and in complete understanding. Be sure that when moving to a hosted setup that the location(s) or your passwords are in compliance with your requirements. Realize that if the hosting provider agreement is strictly hosting, VSystems is limited in troubleshooting VM issues without access to the operating system of the VM. However, to ensure legal and security requirements are met, this may be necessary to keep your access within your company.
I hope this article helps in the transition and planning for moving to a hosted environment. The inspiration for this article came from: Karen Scarfone, Nov, 12 2014. The 4 Factors of Planning a Cloud Deployment. URL: http://goo.gl/sL2MFp