How to know if you need software hosted?

A consistent solution, zero server performance issues, and anywhere access to your software, all at a cost based on the usage. If this is not you receive from your existing solution, it's the first sign.

Avoid managing IT and focus on your core business function.  Enable your staff to work from anywhere and stay productive with a hosted software model.

With one or two servers in your office, frequent network issues, unable to administer applications, backup and you are starting to feel the burden of overseeing IT management. Take a break, evaluate your options.

When talking about hosted software, there are two delivery methods.  One is Software as a service (SaaS) which is subscription basis managed by the vendor, and second is a hosted environment, either public or private. But choosing between SaaS vs Hosted depends on your preference. 

Moreover, poor security standards, lack of a disaster recovery plan, and resource cost to manage IT are few additional facts to decide if hosted software solution is a fit or not. 

Consider all departments, job functions and the software applications they use and the total cost for IT to deliver. If cloud hosting could provide value than your on-premise solution, it's the second sign. 

Wes smith, CEO of AEC Cloud has written a series of articles on "cloud transition cost management" and it can be helpful.

AEC Cloud deploys mission-critical applications on Microsoft Azure stack, provisions users through a web portal making access easier and convenient to work.

The J Companies, AEC Cloud's longtime client utilizes hosted solution for their business, and we have been supporting access, software upgrades including infrastructure maintenance.

Simplify your IT by hosted software model, reduce costs and empower users with anywhere access to applications.  If you are unsure about whether you need software hosted, but crying out with issues, sign up for a proof of concept now.  Experience first, decide later.

Sage Estimating Application Hosting By AEC Cloud

With cloud-hosted servers becoming more sensible for businesses, AEC Cloud hosts, and manages Sage Estimating and other construction software for its customers on the Microsoft Azure stack.

AEC Cloud is one of the early adopters to work with Sage suite of applications in server-based environments. Sage Timberline Office (now Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate) was the first Sage product we started hosting for our client Dyna Service of Oklahoma, LLC . Our customers and partners began asking us to host sage applications to improve collaboration and offload local workstation and server management issues.

AEC Cloud Hosting Model

Focused on the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry, AEC Cloud hosts a wide range of business applications based on the NIST Cloud definition. This framework includes the Software, Platform, Infrastructure, and Resources (SPIR) required to manage cloud services.

The infrastructure (IaaS) including servers and networking is the fundamental bottom layer required to stand up any solution. With the help of our expertise, architecture, engineering & construction companies can work with us to build and manage a hybrid, private or public cloud environment.

The Resource (RaaS), is the human resource to manage the top three layers, software, platform, and infrastructure. These resources are focused on user support, systems maintenance, upgrades, and account management.

Microsoft Azure Technology

Azure is a game changer in the IaaS space. With high compute virtual machines, backup and disaster recovery options, we can deploy sage estimating and other applications in lesser time and configure.

Cloud Hosting Provider

AEC Cloud, a Microsoft partner, is a preferred cloud hosting provider for the AEC industry managing and hosting a range of construction software including sage estimating, sage accounting, primavera p6, on screen takeoff, viewpoint, prolog, and other designed based applications on Azure for its clients.

If you are considering to move your application management to a cloud hosted solution, we can guide you. Contact now!

Cloud backup: Are you taking advantage of the value?

Reducing on-site data storage, archiving to cloud and recovery are few aspects of a cloud backup.  For an IT team, backup is a critical task and cloud helps simplify on-site backup process and cuts resource time. 

Why use a cloud backup?

Traditional backup methods using tapes, or disks has few setbacks.  Lesser security, longevity, and additional costs for increase in storage, and for managing.

Whereas, a cloud backup solution does not require additional hardware, it is flexible, and storage is reliable. You can implement in two ways, a hybrid cloud backup and a direct cloud backup.

Problem scenarios with small businesses

Backup planning and poor implementation are two major issues with small businesses. In a research by Gartner, they say about 35% of businesses have a backup plan, and 70% are not confident.

Other than the above two issues, onsite server management, PC based backup solution running on all staff computers, an office manager taking daily backup only on hard drives are a few other problem areas. Also, lacking a document management system adds to it, as there is no proper way to organize and control duplicates which makes data storage and access inefficient.

 Our client Alliance mechanical, a specialty contractor was desperate to solve their ongoing data storage issues and managing their servers.  There were two options, either to continue managing servers and fix the storage part or offload their server management to cloud so they don't have to deal with on-premise servers.  Application hosting on cloud was making sense for them, so their choice was to move away from on-premise server management.

 Microsoft Azure is a great fit for any size of organizations and allows to set up either direct or a hybrid cloud backup. We at AEC Cloud have been supporting our customers on Azure for both application hosting and backup services.

What does Azure Cloud backup offers?

Scalable

The ability to meet the requirement in size or volume allowing business to continue function is the value of cloud.  Conversely, as data grows the need for increase in storage, and relative costs are unstoppable.

 Security

The main element in the cloud backup process is confidentiality as internet is the medium for data transfer.

Data goes through an encryption process when you upload or download. It converts as a code during upload and decodes while downloading. This encryption involves a key to code or decode. And encryption takes place over the network using protocols including Secured Socket Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) . In addition, access controls helps to avoid over writing existing backups.

Recovery

IDC research states that the average cost of downtime is about $20,000 or more for 80% of businesses. And about 20% claims their cost per hour of data loss is at $100,000.

A cloud based-backup is also a solution to business continuity and disaster recovery due its ability to restore or recover.

Cloud backup solution in Microsoft Azure provides Global redundant storage (GRS), and Local redundant storage (LRS). GRS creates three copies of data in three regions, and LRS generates three copies in a single location.  Enabling these features, the recovery experience is better than any other tools.

Costs

The emerging trend in the Cloud is causing all types of solutions to be transparent.  Pay as you go model allows you to only pay for the volume of data in offsite storage. An IT team can easily forecast costs and usage which may not be possible before. But the cost is incremental as the data grows. However, when comparing between buying hardware which is a capital expenditure, cloud storage cost becomes an operational expenditure.

Cloud backup, an entry point

Cloud-based solutions are transforming IT infrastructure management and using a Cloud backup can be an entry point for businesses to realize the value it offers.

The two options to test them are, setting up backup directly to cloud or setting up a hybrid cloud backup solution.

Azure stand out among the available cloud backup solutions, and it is a best choice for businesses. You don’t need to install backup software on individual user computers or keep running a backup round the clock on your server. The backup agent on the server can handle the process depending on the backup routine.

However, with a backup plan including retention policies and recovery procedures, you may realize the value.

What next?

 If you are not already taking advantage of a cloud backup solution, maybe it is time to make a choice. The trend is Cloud-based solution, and you don’t want to stay behind.

AEC Cloud is a Microsoft Cloud Solution provider assisting organizations on backup planning and implementation. Wherever you are in the cloud journey, contact us now and we are confident our expertise would make a difference.