This post is part of a regular series, where we interview customers and industry leaders about cloud infrastructure and how it’s transforming their business and/or market.
Cloud computing is the future platform for technology deployments for small and medium businesses.
With the increasing complexity of workloads and business needs for analytics, custom applications SMBs are rapidly moving beyond simple SaaS solutions and are broadening their deployments into cloud infrastructure.
One of the newest Managed Service Providers to join the ProfitBricks partner program is the Tel Aviv-based company, Forthscale. Tel Aviv is the heart of the vibrant Israeli startup scene and Forthscale. Founded in 2007, Forthscale, is leading the way in scalable infrastructure consulting to a global audience. Initially, they started as an infrastructure consulting company but today their operations span three different centers and support clients on five continents. They’ve had some great accomplishments including the public release of infrastructure management tools backed by their patent-pending technologies.
In our latest Cloud Interview Series, we speak to Naor Weissmann, the CEO at Forthscale and we find out just how they’ve capitalized on their partnership with ProfitBricks.
Cloud migration is an important and increasingly common set of projects for many companies. We see more and more companies of all types embracing cloud infrastructure for their workloads. The problem is, everybody has their own views and understanding as for what cloud computing really means. From my experience, a lot of companies we are engaged with, especially traditional enterprises, are often trying to approach cloud the same way they are running physical or on-site infrastructure
At Forthscale, we see one of our goals is to educate our clients about the best way to architect and deploy an ever scalable environment. One of the “killer features” we love about ProfitBricks IaaS, and this is something we always demonstrate, is the ability to scale up resources of an instance without the need to restart. How great is that, we can start low and grow as we need, no downtime. It opens a totally different possibility set for management. My advice is, if just starting to plan a cloud migration, consult an expert, see examples from a related industry and think for a moment about what new possibilities your organization can gain from the cloud beside the obvious ones.
What cloud infrastructure management services are most needed by your clients? Intrusion prevention, performance optimization? Patch management?
Personally, when I think about the last 7 years when I’ve been running infrastructure as a service, the most need services are around performance optimization and capacity planning. Also, once getting a taste the cloud’s capabilities, customers try to optimize costs. The understanding that infrastructure design and code quality have direct relevance to the monthly bill drives companies to invest in the parts they neglected before.
What are the primary service features of the cloud?
Agility. Just remember that few years back we had to wait months for the servers to get online. Now it takes minutes. A single person can manage in an hour deployments that took months of teamwork to coordinate and execute just few years back. The public cloud approach is the greatest game changer for the industry since the introduction of Linux OS.
Do you think 2014 was a pivotal year where so many large enterprises went to the cloud, and now MSP’s feel safe talking about moving infrastructure out of the server closet to the cloud?
There is still a lot of regulation-related issues, but we are seeing that in general the cloud approach has changed. The same way a decade ago an acceptance grew that Management Information Systems are not necessarily part of company’s core business, today we are realizing that physical hardware and it’s management layer can be outsourced to professionals. Technology today is mature enough for any type of customer to operate their own infrastructure on any location on the planet. A new generation of infrastructure management tools, such as Heili, Ansible, and Stackstorm, are causing a big impact and of course improvement of infrastructure as a service user experience, just take a look at the ProfitBricks Data Center Designer for example. Today the entrance barrier to cloud technology is extremely low and anything is possible and very little effort or risk.It’s a huge drive.
What key three things are MSP’s looking for in a cloud infrastructure vendor?
Reliability, simplicity, and location. Since it is an infrastructure as a service all service aspects from engineering quality to human response should be reliable and accessible in time of need. We love the fact that ProfitBricks is designed and developed in Germany, a country known for its engineering talent. Also the fact that technical – professional level support services are included in pricing, unlike some bigger providers. Simplicity of a business and pricing model is a huge advantage. Why in a cloud era we are still forced by some vendors to pay for bundles of CPU and RAM? it just does not makes sense. In that model the customer keeps paying for resources they do not need. It just not fair. Locations, from both a data locality regulation point of view and also when there are use cases that require having multiple locations. You can be closer to your customer, you can plan disaster recovery, you can keep data in the same geographic location. Multiple locations play an important role when selecting an infrastructure provider.
What three things might hold MSPs back from planning cloud in 2015? For example, People’s technical skills? Sales training? Business modeling – more recurring revenue to deal with?
From my point of view the most important thing this year is a shortage of talent which you’ll find pretty much everywhere. It is very hard to find the right people for filing engineering positions. We, in Forthscale have offices in four countries and are looking for people in three of them. It’s the same situation at every one of our customers and our partners. Our greatest challenge in 2015 is to lay a foundation for cloud engineering education and we are doing it full steam. From expansion of our cloud engineering blog to the introduction of our new Site Reliability Engineering meetups, we are trying to educate and give back to the community as much as we can. We must and we will overcame this obstacle and have even more cloud migrations in the upcoming year.
If you’d like to learn more on how your firm can benefit from our Cloud Computing partner program, please contact the ProfitBricks team at +49 (0)30 577 008 40 or firstname.lastname@example.org We offer partner commissions and discounts as well as dedicated pre-sales solutions architects that will help you and your clients to transition to the cloud.