How to select your managed cloud service provider and benefit of the best cloud services
When adopting cloud, a lot of companies do so with a partner to whom they delegate the management of the newly deployed cloud infrastructure – as they used to do with their local IT infrastructure. In Luxembourg, the managed cloud service provider (MCSP) is also often called the “Resource Operator” in line with CSSF regulations. However, the choice of a partner is a strategic choice and should not be underestimated. So, what are the elements that define a good managed cloud service provider? Here is our take on the three elements you should be looking at:
Multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud but also innovation!
Most cloud journeys, despite the hype of multi-cloud, usually start with a single cloud provider – especially when talking about IaaS. This mono-cloud strategy, tends to evolve later-on into multi-cloud. So, when choosing your partner, you should keep this in mind in order not to have to work with a multitude of managed service providers. This thinking should also be the basis when anticipating the need for new services and more advanced, cloud-native services. Your service provider should indeed not be limited to providing you with managed VMs but should have the ability to provide you services along with your innovative journey to cloud-native architectures.
The range of services
Service providers may range from providing specific out-tasking to a fully managed service – similar to a turnkey solution. So, what should a turnkey solution include? It could include support for different phases of a project like advisory, design, setup as well as management responsibilities: migration, configuration, optimization, security, maintenance and managed services. As much as the enumeration may seem easy, a complete package includes a large set of services and competencies that need to be well thought about. Need an example? Let’s say your company wants to use the Azure API management service in order to managed centrally all your APIs. Your service provider should be able to:
- Propose the optimal service plan
- Implement the service in the best suited network topology
- Monitor its availability and performance
- Manage the policy statement and configuration
- Manage the gateways, its API keys or JWT tokens and certificates
- Manage quotas and limits
- Manage the configuration of cache responses in reduce latency
All those services should of course be managed following the various cloud principles: predictable pricing, flexible services, etc.
Knowledge of the industry and regulations
Luxembourg has a very peculiar regulatory environment that is many times not well understood by outside players – which tend to ignore these aspects. Luxembourg’s financial regulations set out a list of requirements and may even impose specific status’ or authorizations to service providers in order for them to be able to provide managed services to regulated institutions – this may apply for banks, ManCo’s, insurances, etc. From this perspective, your choice should be for a service provider that has already received the required status’ or authorization in line with your cloud adoption strategy – in order not to be blocked or slowed down by the regulatory burden & time an authorization may take.
Management of a cloud infrastructure, especially when leveraging infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS), requires a set of skills and experience. In Luxembourg, this is a rare treasure as the adoption of cloud has only taken off a few years ago with the change in local regulations. At Telindus, as Support PSF, we provide a set of managed services both for public cloud – namely Azure, Microsoft 365, Google and AWS but also for our private IT infrastructure located in Luxembourg i.e. U-flex.