The main difference between Cloud Computing vs Managed Services models is control over the data and/or processes required. The choice between these models depends on the type of technical service and software access \ support you need to most effectively support the profitability of your own business model.
Managed Services Model – You have specific servers and other components are assigned to you, and the provider is doing the things your IT department would do if you were sourcing the computing services internally: keeping hardware up and running, applying patches and updates, monitoring systems and keeping historical trend data for an increase in efficiency as it relates to a process. You still manage any applications running on the systems. There are typically service level agreements in place that support the managed services arrangement.
Add-on fees may apply as your usage grows. The per-server per-hour fee is the base with additions such as: internet bandwidth consumed, data storage, data transfer to and from storage, server CPU usage, server memory usage, backup frequency and size, etc. Some specialized Managed Service Provider can also be provide application support to perform functions on the hosted software cost plus.
Cloud Computing Models -
Cloud Computing is a buzzword thrown around loosely by different groups in the industry and can mean many things. A cloud computing arrangement is more of a subscription to use a tool available. Cloud comes in various flavors from least to most expensive for the value provided – IaaS PaaS, SaaS.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – This model provides you with access to virtual servers and networking devices but in many ways you need to manage them just as you would if they were sitting in your own data center. This is the least expensive option and provides the least added value. This approach is most like Managed Services model.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) – You get a specified configuration such as firewall, servers and load balancers that are managed by the vendor up through the level of the operating system. You need to install and manage any applications that run on top of the infrastructure.
Software as a Service (SaaS) – Vendor is managing the software application and typically provides a SLA for application uptime. You are responsible for the specific setup / configuration of the application and your business processes it automates. This model is the most expensive and adds the most value.
In each of the above described cloud environments, the application is often shared among multiple users – which leverages application \ data mgt across a broader base of users and lowers the individual user cost. This also requires careful attention to security, isolation and process for the specific cloud user \ usage.
The choice of what’s right for your company depends on the type of technical service and software access \ support you need to most effectively support the profitability of your own business model.