In October 2009 IT Leaders has launched a new Cloud Computing division.
This business arm specialises in cloud based solutions for businesses that are simple, complete, and cost effective.

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Cloud Computing and Virtual Server Solutions for Business

Cloud computing basically just means the provision of computing resources over the Internet. In plain English, this means that an IT provider sets up servers, applications and storage in their data centres, and customers make use of these facilities over the internet, without needing to have any servers themselves, nor any knowledge of how to maintain that infrastructure.

There are many examples of 'cloud' products, but what many of them lack for SME businesses is simplicity and accessibilty. IT Leaders has developed a packaged solution that allows you to use all of the applications you normally use, in the ways you normally use them, with familiar Microsoft Windows environments, and all running on our server infrastructure. This means a very very easy change for most businesses, and the ability to take advantage of the benefits right now.

To achieve this IT Leaders sells Virtual Servers with maintenance and support pacakages. A virtual server is a server software environment often exactly the same as what you may be used to having in your business, for example Windows Server 2003 or 2008. The main difference is that this software environment is installed onto our industrial-strength server hardware, at our Australian data cente locations. A customer business will then access the server environment via any Internet connections and any computer devices they wish, but the virtual server works for the business exactly like a physical server would.

 

What is the advantage of a hosted virtual server?

With traditional server methodology where a business buys and maintains their own server infrastructure, they have to:

  1. Pay the upfront capital cost for the equipment, which includes:
    • Server hardware with sufficient levels of redundancy
    • Software (eg Operating systems, antivirus, backup software)
    • Backup hardware (eg tape drive, external hard drives)
    • UPS power protection and battery backup for the server
  2. Maintain the equipment themselves by hiring IT staff, or outsourcing the IT management to an IT firm
  3. Buy and maintain quality PCs for their network; a poorly performing PC will result in lower productivity for expensive human resources.
  4. Keep analysing the features and benefits of new server technology and upgrade where a benefit seems to be worthwhile

 

With a hosted virtual server environment run by a high quality IT provider, all of these costs and complexities are looked after for you, resulting in zero capital cost, a cash-flow friendly monthly access fee, the latest technology, and simple and immediate adaptability to your growth.

For example:

  1. IT Leaders owns latest generation, industrial-strength Hewlett Packard 'Blade' server farms, with multiple systems that prevent failure.

    All required software licences for the Windows Server operating system and antivirus licences are included and instantly expandable.

    Backup systems for all your data are maintained by us - with an optional secondary backup back to your office via the Internet.

    Our data centre has highest quality power supply, fibre optic internet, and cooling systems, and backup or redundant systems for every one of those aspects too.

  2. IT Leaders team of highly skilled engineers looks after our cloud servers with regular maintenance and 24x7 performance monitoring.

    We can also extend support to cover all of your staff and equipment in your offices so that no matter what the technology issue is, we can provide the answer promptly.

  3. The quality and speed of the PCs in your office(s) becomes largely irrelevant with a hosted virtual server solution as these PCs no long do any real work. They just access the server across the internet through one 'virtual desktop' window, and all of the processing is done by the server, not the PCs. In this way, instead of having to upgrade PC computers every 2-4 years, you could keep using them for 5 or 10 years with no loss of productivity.
  4. With IT Leaders hosted solutions we always use the latest IT infrastructure, so you no longer have to think about 'keeping up' with technology.

 

Are virtual servers for small companies or big companies?

This hosted infrastructure works great for small business who dont want or need the cost and complexity of their own equipment.

It also works well for larger SME businesses, especially those with multiple sites and fast growth strategies who want maximum performance and immediate flexibility. A larger company can choose to host all or only part of its corre infrastructure. By using fast VPN connections, local physical servers and data-centre-housed virtual servers can work together seamlessly. Larger businesses may want just virtual servers with no included support and management, or they may want a completely managed VM also.

Some analysts predict that within 10 years (even earlier in the US), only the largest corporates will continue to use their own server infrastructure, and all other businesses will be using virtual servers. We expect to see the majority of SMEs using virtual servers within 5 years.

Just as people expect electricity to come from the wall socket safely, reliably and cheaply, and don't need to know how that electricity is produced or maintained, so too will IT become like an 'instant-on' utility that is considered to be safe and reliable without needing to have local equipment 'powering' it.

Contact us for an assessment of your needs, and a full written proposal that explains our cloud products in simple but complete terms.