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What you need to know about IT services in West Sacramento
IT services is a huge sector with multiple niches and subniches. In basic terms, it allows SMBs to get all the IT infrastructure they need without the hassle of buying and maintaining it, thus also sparing them the need to recruit, retain and manage an in-house IT Ops team. The sheer range of options in the IT services sector is so massive, that navigating it can be very confusing. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about IT services in West Sacramento.
Managed hosting has replaced the need to buy infrastructure
The traditional model of setting up on-site data centers left SMBs with all kinds of problems. First of all, IT infrastructure needs to be kept in very specific conditions and the average office is not necessarily set up to deliver them. Even if it is, office space is usually relatively expensive, especially in cities.
Colocation solved the problem of finding somewhere to put your infrastructure, but it still required SMBs to invest up-front in hardware. What’s more, they needed to buy enough hardware to cope with peak demand and be prepared to leave it idling the rest of the time. They also needed their own staff to install, maintain and manage it as colocation vendors simply provided the facilities and nothing else.
Managed hosting services go much further. To begin with, they make it possible for their clients to lease infrastructure rather than buying it. They then go on to service that infrastructure to a very high level. Typically, a managed hosting partner will take care of everything up to and including the operating system on the servers. All the client has to do is manage their applications and data.
Public cloud platforms are a variation of managed hosting
Public cloud platforms are basically managed hosting but in a shared environment. They can be an “all-in-one” solution for SMBs as they can supply not just the infrastructure, but also apps and some will even undertake automated backups of your data.
Many SMBs have come to love public clouds due to their robustness (provided that you choose a reputable provider), their flexibility, their scalability and the fact that they can offer a very cost-effective solution. There are, however, a couple of key management issues of which SMBs need to be aware and be ready to address.
The first issue is that in public clouds, the provider only takes care of protecting their own platform against external threats (and leakage between client accounts). It’s down to each client to protect their own data from internal threats, such as erroneous deletion and from external threats caused by lax security on their side. This can be more challenging than you might think, but the good news is that there are IT services providers who can help.
The second issue is that the “pay-for-what-you-use” model of the public cloud heavily penalizes SMBs which continue to apply the “data center” mentality of “just leaving stuff to run”. You absolutely must train your staff to spin up only what they really need for only as long as they really need it and spin it down again as soon as they are finished. You then need to monitor them to make sure they are doing this.
Managed IT services providers organize regular maintenance
You might have thought that the shift to the cloud, especially the shift to public clouds, would have put managed IT services companies out of a job, or at least reduced demand substantially. Actually, it’s just changed the nature of what they do. These days, managed IT services vendors probably spend most of their time managing private clouds and helping SMBs with their use of public clouds.
The basic nature of their IT service is, however, essentially the same as it’s always been. They take care of predictable tasks for a guaranteed, regular fee. This could be anything from applying updates and patches to the client’s own infrastructure to monitoring security in a public cloud, just as long as it’s a predictable service for which the managed IT service provider can budget and create a billing structure.
IT support vendors provide short-term support for specific needs
The last (but not least) major branch of the IT services sector is IT support. IT support vendors provide help with projects and break/fix work. Basically, they fill in the gaps left by managed hosting and managed IT services. Unlike the other two services, however, their work tends to be billed in arrears and can be open-ended (for break/fix issues).
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced IT services partner in West Sacramento, please click here now to contact Salient.IT