I've been asked to go to Governors with a Powerpoint of the Positives and Negatives of virtualising our servers and the same for going to a cloud based network and storage. Just want the Pros and Cons - really am trying to persuade them to go Virtual rather than cloud based!!
Any help greatly appreciated!
You could propose a hybrid. Virtualise your servers and have a copy of your servers in the cloud in case of server failure.
Anyway... Cloud based only:
As for issues...
Internet connection, what type of internet connection do you have? Do you have a backup line in case your internet connection dies?
What company would you consider? Are your Governors happy to have their (the school's) data in a different country that may not different data protection laws?
Cloud based failures; Azure, Amazon EC2, etc...
Prices can change per year
Lower/reduce hardware costs (server, backup, etc)
Up skill yourself to the cloud environment
Not reliant on external services for your network.
Depending on your infrastructure, can be expensive upfront costs.
Up skill yourself.
These are just a few points
Some of the top advantages of server virtualisation are:
1. Lower number of physical servers - we can reduce hardware maintenance costs because of a lower number of physical servers.
2. By implementing a server consolidation strategy, we can decrease the space taken up by the current server provision.
3. Increase availability of hardware and applications for improved business continuity: Securely backup and migrate entire virtual environments with no interruption in service. Eliminate planned downtime and recover immediately from unplanned issues.
4. By having each application within its own "virtual server" we can prevent one application from impacting another application when upgrades or changes are made.
5. We can develop a standard virtual server build that can be easily duplicated which will speed up server deployment when required for new systems and tasks.
6. We can deploy multiple operating system technologies on a single hardware platform (i.e. Windows Server 2003, Linux, Windows Server 2008, 2012 etc).
7. Lower power consumption, by having fewer physical servers, we can reduce the power required to run them.
There are loads more advantages but the above are some of the talking points I used when justifying our virtual environment.
If you go fully cloud, you need to have a very good internet connection with some sort of backup link too. This can become very expensive. Also it's likely you'll still need local services, such as storing large files, streaming media etc. There is also a matter of trust, how much do you trust your cloud provider with your data? Although the positive is that it can offer great scalability and wide variety of free resources.
In my opinion it's not a black and white decision about virtualisation vs cloud but finding a good compromise between the two. I would start there and once they concede going fully cloud isn't viable, suggest how you would start the move to a cloud by introducing localised virtual servers?
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