Cloud Services in the Southwest

Cloud Services: The New IT Infrastructure Model

AIS provides enterprise-class cloud services that empower business leaders to transform capital expense (CAPEX) into operating costs (OPEX).

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Cloud services enable a wide range of options; typical scenarios for business clients using AIS cloud services include:

  • IT Extension, where a Layer 3 VPN connection is added to the company’s current VMware infrastructure and then managed using vCenter.
  • Hybrid Cloud, which provides instant IT scalability with built-in firewalling, single management console, and complete public / private network isolation.
  • Rapid Scaling (bring-up and tear-down) of massive quantities of virtual machines for short-lived IT projects (e.g., test and development).
  • Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity (DR/BC), which with zero CAPEX investment can mirror data between geographically diverse sites in both public and private cloud systems with full infrastructure duplication.

Note: Many clients choose to use the AIS private regional optical network (with redundant 10GigE transport) between AIS data centers in San Diego and Phoenix.

Buying Equipment No Longer Necessary

Cloud services such as AIS BusinessCloud1 make it easy for clients to get the Network, Compute, and Storage services they need without the burden of purchasing and maintaining IT equipment.

Studies indicate that IT equipment purchase price typically represents only a small percentage of the total cost of ownership, which also includes: Installation, Integration, Operation, Maintenance, Security, Staffing & Training, and Backup Cooling and Power.

AIS Cloud Services ROI

Instead of going through the non-trivial burden and expense of building and running your own data center and related equipment, it makes smart business sense to source these services from a company dedicated to providing them: AIS.

Cloud ROI – Cloud Return on Investment

One of the biggest questions facing decision-makers today is whether to continue investing in physical IT infrastructure or start migrating to cloud services.

The challenge with calculating cloud ROI (return on investment) is identifying all of the relevant costs.

Some, like the cost of purchasing hardware and software, are fairly obvious. However, even these may have cost components that should be brought into a cloud calculation such as maintenance contracts and initial setup.

Below is a brief discussion of key cost considerations that, in addition to capital expense (CapEx), should be considered when calculating cloud costs. Some of these will not apply to all businesses; others will be invaluable.

Bottom Line: Net net, the operational and financial reasons for migrating to AIS cloud services are quite compelling.

Traditional IT procurement consists of considerable lead time for financing, hardware, power, and/or space provisioning. A typical implementation cycle from decision to production is easily two to three months, resulting in lost opportunities or service degradation.

AIS can provide network, compute, and storage in mere minutes, not months.

Then, once the hardware is received, there are still numerous tasks prior to reaching production:

  • Acquiring new space and power
  • Physical installation of the servers, switches, storage
  • Cabling and network configuration
  • Prepping and testing the hardware, including burn-in
  • Integrating the new hardware into the existing control infrastructure

With AIS, these requirements are included in our service.

Hardware maintenance contracts are roughly 20% of purchase price per year.

Contracts can be avoided by lowering expectations of availability or by purchasing additional hardware (spares), but this too can be risky and expensive.

With AIS cloud services, this requirement is included in our service.

Virtualization software licensing is a considerable portion of the upfront costs – and usually only covers basic items.

Support for these licenses, which provides access to troubleshooting, patches, and new features, typically runs at about 20% or more of the purchase price — every year.

With AIS, these requirements are included in our service.

For production environments, a high degree of redundancy is expected, including all levels of the platform from internal and external connectivity to orchestration and the automatic recovery of hosts after a failure.

Such redundancy can be very expensive – and it adds to the labor required.

With AIS, these requirements are included in our service.

In order to maintain consistent performance and uptime, resources and procedures are required to operate, patch, and support the platform.

This may require additional personnel, training, or third-party support contracts – which means more overhead.

With AIS, these requirements are included in our service.

Taking advantage of the full features and benefits of virtualization software requires additional costs and the management of a more complex platform.

Some technologies are built into the hardware platform (e.g., snapshots) but can be very expensive to implement and maintain.

With AIS, these requirements are included in our service.

By optimizing performance one can often meet production requirements with fewer hardware resources.

Better performance typically requires the purchase of expensive technology that must be configured correctly, adding to costs and complexity.

AIS cloud services are already pre-optimized for maximum performance.

Additional workloads – either unexpected or derived from organic growth – can be problematic when you have a fixed set of resources.

The inability to meet these needs may result in lost opportunities or over-purchasing of resources to meet production demand (and under-utilization in non-peak periods).

With AIS, immediate scalability – both up and down – is inherent.

Building and operating an in-house cloud environment requires a high level of expertise. Skill sets must be obtained through training and/or experience, and can be a distraction from the enterprise’s primary business objectives.

AIS has a staff of seasoned professionals who are trained and experienced in advanced cloud technologies.

Reliability, Redundancy, Results

  • No single point of failure; rigorously architected for maximum availability
  • Integrated VMware network functionality widely considered best-in-class
  • Redundant NetApp storage diversified and optimized for top performance
  • Self-healing architecture with automated failover for seamless continuity
  • High-speed network access provided via our private MPLS backbone.

AIS Makes It Easy:

  • Augment existing private clouds, rapidly scale up hybrid cloud apps
  • Implement cost-effective Disaster Recovery (DR) strategies
  • Leverage regional network to achieve Business Continuity goals
  • Avoid CapEx investment for short-lived IT projects (e.g. Test/Dev)
  • Effectively manage and budget for predictable IT expenditures


Contact Us Nowto learn more about AIS Cloud Services.