In a recent article on Cloudtech, Ian Finlay outlined issues facing European MSPs as they work meet data sovereignty requirements by creating datacenters in multiple locations. Potential customers have very real concerns about where their data is located, so offering choice becomes essential to winning new business. Without choice providers may lose business to in-house cloud solutions.
So how does a provider scale to do so? Multiple datacenters across the EU, working closely with customers to find the right options, provisioning VMs for each one – it’s a labor intensive process.
At AirVM we can help address these challenges. Our AirSembly software makes it easy for providers to deliver cloud services to customers, in a way that compliments their business model.
Let’s review the issues Mr. Finlay outlines, and how AirVM can potentially resolve those for cloud providers.
1. Providers are creating data centers in multiple locations in an effort to meet customer data sovereignty requirements; giving customers a choice about where their data resides.
If you’re not familiar with AirSembly it gives providers a UI and complete marketplace for selling, billing, provisioning and managing vCloud Director and vCenter based cloud services. This gives them the ability to create their own products based on their VMware infrastructure.
AirSembly makes it easier to resolve the issue of data sovereignty by allowing for the creation of product blueprints that can be named and organized according to geography. For example, a provider has datacenters in the UK, Italy and Finland. They can create products (VMs, VDCs) named for each location. Customers can place orders based on their chosen location, solving the issue of data sovereignty in a clear and simple manner.
Geo-based product blueprint
2. In their effort to meet data sovereignty requirements, providers may find themselves having to resort to manual provisioning of data centers and VMs.
Without a self-service portal, manual provisioning is the provider’s only option to configure resources within a customer’s desired location. This slows down order fulfillment times and also ties up vital IT resources.
The article suggests offering customers self-serve options for ordering VMs, including the choice of data location. This is fine, but still does not free the provider from manual provisioning.
AirSembly has both fully automated provisioning capabilities and a self-serve portal. So whether the MSP or the customer places the order, they can order the appropriate products and AirSembly will automatically provision them within minutes.
This allows the MSP to scale with current resources as the need for manual provisioning is eliminated. The self-serve portal gives customers the control they are looking for, and the issue of data sovereignty is addressed in the creation of location-based products through product blueprints. Customers simply need to be instructed on what to look for in the self serve portal.
3. Customers also want access to reporting on their cloud infrastructure.
Though not related to the data sovereignty issue, but definitely in line with wanting control, customers will want a full view of important metrics.
In AirSembly this is done through the client portal dashboard. Customers can see metrics such as resource usage and costs, offering a clear picture of their environment. They can self-manage – stop and start VMs, reconfigure or clone them, and more.
Though it sounds contradictory, self-service equates to excellent customer service because of the immediacy with which orders are fulfilled, and the transparency that goes along with having a full set of reports.
4. Choosing the trusted provider rather than doing it in house.
At AirVM we understand the expertise that lives within an MSP’s business. Having a trusted cloud provider is of great benefit to any enterprise – reduced costs, increased efficiency and an experienced partner to handle some or all of their IT infrastructure can bring an immediate and lasting return on investment.
New to AirSembly?
Having AirSembly allows providers to scale without having additional operational costs, and it gives them the ability to deliver excellent customer service…sometimes without doing anything at all.
If you’d like to know more about AirSembly then we encourage you to get in touch with us. Let’s talk about your business and see if we can help!