Meet Clyde Ludd of XYZ Manufacturing based in the upper Midwest. Clyde manages technology operations at the plant, which is one of the few remaining facilities in the world where cassette tapes are built and distributed.
Unlike all other area manufacturers who have long outsourced their power needs to the large energy companies, XYZ Manufacturing runs a group of 24 generators wired in a custom-built grid that can tolerate up to four simultaneous generator failures. A large gas barrel is positioned at each corner of the generator array, with twice-daily refills trucked in from the local gas company.
“My business is simply too important to trust to some far-off electrical company that shares its infrastructure with thousands of other users,” Clyde says angrily when asked about his unique setup. “What can they do if their power fails? Nothing. But I stay up and running. If a generator goes out, I just run to the store and get another one.”
Ludd has the same philosophy about the newly-popular Cloud Computing concept, in which onsite servers are replaced with computing power in remote data centers. “That’s just dumb!” he laughs. “I’ve got everything I need on this thumb drive here in my desk,” he says, motioning at an empty drawer that he opens and shuts while speaking. Behind him, two dusty computers are running on a steel table. “I have a guy that comes in every week to apply patches and to ensure that everything is okay. I think it’s almost time to add another computer, but we can’t figure out how to get Windows Server 2012 to interoperate with the Windows 98 systems that I’m already running here.”
While this example is extreme, I think we all know a Clyde Ludd. Concerns about cloud computing costs and security are a fair consideration when making important business decisions.
It is undeniable that traditional SMB computing is undergoing a radical change. Many businesses see the move to Cloud Computing as a means of cutting capital expense while gaining agility and disaster recovery features. The ROI calculations have been done. The question is no longer one of why, but when.
According to researchers, 38% of SMBs have budgeted larger amounts for technology spending in 2015, citing needs for hardware replacement, server infrastructure modernization, and network security upgrades.
Moving servers to the Cloud can help accomplish all of these goals. Capital expense drops dramatically in a service-based model. Hardware replacement is accomplished in the transition to the Cloud, and is handled automatically without user involvement into the future – no hardware replacement budget is needed in 2016, or 2017, or any other year. Virtualization of the server infrastructure yields unparalleled efficiency, as the need for equipment space, power, and cooling is outsourced and simply disappears. Network security is also enhanced in a cloud model, with your provider keeping all systems patched and helping to mitigate intrusions in a manner far beyond what is available to a typical business.
Additional values to the Cloud include secure access to data and systems from anywhere, the ability to massively scale operations, and the alleviation of the physical risk of losing customer data to common thieves or disasters.
The question is no longer why, but when. When do you want to start reaping the benefits of Cloud Compute? When do you want a controlled monthly IT expenditure? When do you want to realize the many savings of a cloud-based IT model, and make this a competitive advantage for your business? Find our more about Consolidated Communications Cloud Compute.
EDITOR’S NOTE: After this interview, XYZ Manufacturing operations were unexpectedly shut down when the plant could no longer meet its financial obligations. Auditors cited high operating costs and lack of modernization as the primary reasons for the company’s demise. Ludd is hoping to re-open the plant with a focus on 8-track tapes if he can find an investor.
Article courtesy of Roger Hislop, Consolidated Communications Sales Engineer
About Roger Hislop
Roger is a Sales Engineer II at Enventis, helping to solve business challenges of customers and ensuring that everything will work when it’s plugged in. He has never seen a network diagram that he didn’t like. Roger enjoys a good hamburger and will travel great distances for one.