What is a Managed Public Cloud?

The public cloud is a freely accessible cloud offering that allows companies to flexibly and quickly access shared IT resources over the Internet. The best-known public cloud providers are Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure) and Google (Google Cloud Platform). This cost-effective approach to IT deployment makes a lot of sense for small and medium-sized businesses, as they do not need to purchase hardware or software.  

When you decide to move to the cloud, you are probably wondering how to run your environment because every cloud needs to be managed. You can either do this completely yourself or leave all or part of the operation to external specialists. In the latter case, you refer to a so-called Managed Public Cloud. IT service providers who have specialized in this area are called Managed Public Cloud Providers (MPCPs). They help you with planning, implementation, ongoing support and continuous development of your public cloud. As cloud adaptation continues to grow, there are more and more managed public cloud providers on the market. According to a study by the research and consulting company Crisp, most German companies consider it a good idea to use the services of a managed public cloud provider for their public cloud project. As many as 71 per cent said they would rely in whole or in part on external experts to drive their cloud transformation. 

What exactly does a Managed Public Cloud Provider do?

The scope of tasks that a Managed Public Cloud Provider can do for you is very extensive. Here I have summarized for you which services can be included:

Preparation and planning of your public cloud project:

  • Analysis of your business processes and determination of the potentials of the Public Cloud for your company
  • Support in creating the preconditions for a successful move to the Public Cloud (“Cloud Readiness”) 
  • Selection of the most suitable Public Cloud(s) 
  • Design and build an architecture that helps you achieve your goals, mitigate risk and maximize the benefits of the cloud 

 Migration support:

  • Creation of a migration plan  
  • Creation of a disaster recovery plan
  • Migration of your data and applications into the public cloud
  • resource optimization 

 Managed services at cloud infrastructure level: 

  • Ongoing system administration 
  • Monitoring of performance and costs 
  • Back-Ups 
  • Security and Compliance 
  • Managing DNS Settings 

 Managed Services at Cloud Platform Level: 

  • Capacity Planning 
  • Set up DevOps– and automation tools 

 Managed services at application level: 

  • Application Deployment 
  • Application Management 
  • Database Administration 

What are the reasons for choosing a Managed Public Cloud?

The large cloud providers Amazon, Microsoft and Google have several million customers worldwide. This means that the support level you get directly from the providers is rather low. If you opt for a Managed Public Cloud, you will be relieved of many tasks by the MPCP and you will get the support you need to leverage the benefits of the cloud. In general, companies do not have the in-house expertise about the multitude of services offered by the different cloud providers. Building and maintaining this knowledge is difficult, expensive and, in most cases, not a viable alternative, as cloud computing is a long way from the core business of most companies. In a DIY scenario, there is a high risk that the desired goals of cloud transformation will not be achieved. The advantage of the flexible “pay-as-you-go” pricing models in the public cloud can easily become a downside if you pay for services you don’t use to the full extent. It helps to have a partner who is familiar in the jungle of different pricing models and knows how to optimize resources and has future developments in mind. Finally, a MPCP ensures that you play your right role in the Shared Responsibility Model and that your cloud environment is and remains secure.   

Traditional Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are often not adapted to cloud computing and see themselves as mere on-premise infrastructure operators. Although there are attempts to carry out the cloud transition to keep pace with changes in the market and companies’ efforts to achieve digital transformation, classical MSPs often lag behind cloud-native MPCPs. MPCPs are the new species that emerged from the rapid growth of the public cloud and are actively driving the digital transformation of their customers. Managed public cloud providers are often referred to as “next-generation MSPs”.  

The most important criteria to consider when choosing your future MPCP is the right fit. The MPCP landscape is quite heterogeneous with service providers that have different company size and industry focuses and specialize in different workload types. There are two streams of MPCPs. One has a competence focus in the area of classic enterprise workloads such as CRM and ERP systems and the other one in the area of web applications and digital workloads. In a practical context, the hybrid cloud also plays an important role and enjoys great popularity among organizations. If this is your preferred approach, make sure your MPCP also has experience operating hybrid IT environments. Finally, it makes sense to consider the partner status with different providers and the certification programs completed.  

Conclusion 

In most cases, choosing the managed approach for your public cloud project is the best option. A good Managed Public Cloud Provider will manage a great number of tasks for you, continuously support your Public Cloud environment and make sure that you reach your transformation goals with confidence.

Having completed many successful cloud projects for SMEs, we would be delighted to be the right partner for your public cloud project. Feel free to contact us and we will discuss your project together. 

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Dennis Kionga

Dennis Kionga

Dennis is Managing Director of Cloud Cape, an IT services company that implements and operates future-proof IT security and cloud solutions for SMEs. He previously worked as a Business Development Manager at Lufthansa Group, where he was responsible for global sales of outsourcing solutions for airlines. He graduated from the University of Mannheim with a Master of Laws (LL.M.). He also holds a postgraduate certificate in Project Management from the University of Cape Town. In his career, he has spent extended periods abroad in Portugal, the Czech Republic and South Africa.

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We help companies to create transparency in their own IT landscape and accompany them along the path of secure digital transformation. As a ‘cloud-first’ company, we have specialized in the field of cloud security.

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