Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Microsoft Cloud, Hybrid and On Premise Options -- Update from the Field

InfoStrat has witnessed growing interest in cloud computing among its customers, but not as much movement as you might expect based on the amount of press received from cloud computing.  Our primary customers are public sector: federal government, state and local government, and education.  These are not usually the first to implement new technology, so they tend to lag behind trends.   Nonetheless, we are seeing solicitations which either call for cloud deployment or request bids for both cloud and on premise deployment.

Another barrier to cloud computing is that government agencies impose security standards for computing solutions, and cloud providers are scrambling to achieve certifications such as FISMA and FedRAMP which are needed by federal agencies. 

Our solutions are based on the Microsoft platform, especially SQL Server, Dynamics CRM, and SharePoint.  Most of our clients own traditional volume licenses for these Microsoft products, and Microsoft affords an unusual flexibility to combine on premise with cloud options. 

Microsoft Office 365 is picking up momentum among our government clients, especially for its email capabilities. 

Microsoft Azure allows our clients greater control over the cloud environment than is available with Office 365 or Dynamics CRM Online.  It provides cloud infrastructure and is a way to get to the cloud quickly but still have control to manage your servers as if they were virtual servers in your data center.  Recently one of our clients chose Azure for its SharePoint requirements because of this greater flexibility to configure and integrate.

We welcome the move to cloud computing because it allows us to provide the same level of performance to all our clients and be less dependent on the unique attributes (and sometimes politics) of their infrastructure. 

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