What exactly is a Hybrid Cloud and why should I care?

December 16, 2014

Hybrid_Art_101The Cloud Computing industry is a buzz with growing popularity of the Hybrid Cloud, leaving many to wonder just what this means to them and their cloud needs. There are those who define the Hybrid Cloud as a connection between an On-premise environment and a Public Cloud. While this is an accurate definition,
it does not cover all that a Hybrid Cloud is.

Gartner defines hybrid cloud computing service as a: “Cloud service that spans both private and public cloud implementations, or both on-premises private and off-premises private or public cloud implementations.” They go on to say, “A hybrid cloud service can, among other things, synchronize and/or replicate data between public and private clouds, and migrate services on a continuous basis between public and private clouds.”

Finding real world examples of the Hybrid Cloud helps to clarify it’s benefits. In a blog by Managing Vice President at Gartner, Milind Govekar, shares a few of the benefits and challenges of not only the Hybrid Cloud, but Cloud computing in general. Among the Hybrid benefits are: Scalability based on available on-premise capacity, Cost Efficiency and Disaster Recovery.

System360-Copyright-IBMWhile the idea of linking an on-premise environment  to a cloud environment is not new, the growing use of this tool is a reminder of the innovation in the industry. Today’s decision makers are an educated group who pride themselves on being in the “know” of their cloud computing options.  IT professionals must be careful to stay in front of such resources as the Hybrid Cloud, to prevent their company’s decision makers from moving around their trusted IT staff in doing what’s best for their bottom line.

 


Project Hosts Validated for Microsoft Government Cloud

December 9, 2014

NadellaToday at a small event in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the availability of the Microsoft Cloud for Government.  This cloud offering, built from the bottom up to serve US federal, state, and local government organizations includes Microsoft Infrastructure, Platform, and Software as a Service (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS) offerings.  Access to the Government cloud is only being allowed to government organizations and a few dozen hand-picked partners like Project Hosts whose offerings have been validated by Microsoft to be highly valuable to government agencies.

FedRAMP Authorized SaaSAmong the many topics discussed by Mr. Nadella and other Microsoft executives was the importance of FedRAMP authorization, not only at the core infrastructure (IaaS) level, but all the way up to the software (SaaS) level.  Azure-G will soon achieve its FedRAMP authorization at the IaaS and PaaS level, covering about 25% of all FedRAMP security controls.  In January, Project Hosts’ Azure-based solutions will be fully authorized up to the SaaS level (100% of the FedRAMP security controls).  Among the applications fully FedRAMP authorized in this way through Project Hosts are Microsoft SharePoint, Project Server, CRM, TFS, AvePoint DocAve, Compliance Guardian, Governance Automation, BrightWork Projects, and Urban Turtle.

Mr. Nadella stressed the importance of a hybrid cloud approach in which private clouds, private partner hosted clouds (e.g. Project Hosts), and public clouds (e.g. Office 365) all work seamlessly together.  He thanked partners such as Project Hosts for making this possible while still complying with the strict federal FedRAMP security guidelines.

FedRAMP Project Sever Custom Clouds

FedRAMP Dynamic CRM Custom Clouds

FedRAMP SharePoint Custom Clouds


Project Hosts is recognized by CIO Review Magazine as one of the Top 20 Most Promising PPM Providers in the Marketplace

December 8, 2014

TOP20_CIOI’m very happy to announce that Project Hosts has been recognized by CIO Review magazine as a leader in providing Microsoft private and hybrid clouds.  We have received the prestigious honor of being recognized as one of the Top 20 Most Promising PPM Providers in the Marketplace. As quoted in the article: “Project Hosts provides solutions in partnership with many of their ecosystem of PPM partners who provide add-on applications to extend the capabilities of [Microsoft] Project Server in areas such as financial decision making, visual work-flow, large program management, ideation and organization or function-specific reporting. While lightweight versions of these partner’s applications are supported on [Microsoft] Public Clouds, the robust and complete versions are available only with Private Clouds, whether hosted by the customer or by a cloud service provider, like Project Hosts.”

The article also highlights one of Project Hosts’ PPM private cloud deployments with AutoTrader, a leading online resource for car shoppers. “Thanks to the flexibility of their (AutoTrader) Private Cloud, when AutoTrader wanted to move beyond just project status reporting, they were able to add in a financial forecasting tool that met AutoTrader’s growing needs and functional capabilities, something that would not have been possible in a Public Cloud.”

To read more case studies from customers using Project Hosts’ services, click here.

Attractive Businesswoman Holding Blank Placard. IsolatedAlso noted in the article was Project Hosts’ “in-process” FedRAMP Authorization status.  Scott Chapman, Project Hosts CEO and Co-Founder was quoted: “One of our initiatives is to supply Custom Clouds to the government sector. We are currently in the process of gaining FedRAMP authorization for our PPM, CRM and SharePoint environments. This will enable us to provide cloud solutions to departmental agencies that most comply with the U.S. government’s Cloud-First initiative and mandate to use only FedRAMP authorized cloud services providers.”

To learn more about our PPM Services and other services we offer, use the links below:

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison

Custom Cloud Advantages (Advantages of A Managed Private Cloud)


Just how do you choose the right Hosted Microsoft Project Server, Dynamics CRM and SharePoint Cloud provider for your enterprise or government agency?

December 2, 2014

Leader_in_CCTo answer this question, you must first understand the difference between the various Cloud options. We will start with the Public Cloud. A Public cloud shares data center hardware, applications software  and operating systems with all other users. For small businesses and start ups, this low cost model may work well. I only say “may work well” because some start ups and small businesses are just as concerned with security, performance and customization as larger enterprises. Enter the Private Cloud option.

When considering a Private Cloud option, you’re essentially choosing a Dedicated Cloud option.  A Private Cloud is deployed in a manner that gives a customer their own virtual or physical dedicated infrastructure — meaning that the application and customer-associated data is stored and managed in its own space or place.  A Private Cloud with a physical dedicated infrastructure delivers the highest level of data security by placing it in its own physical space. In other words, on its own dedicated hardware, free of any other users or pool of shared resources.  Security is often at the forefront of the Public Cloud provider debate. Especially when considering Government applications and customer data. Project Hosts is now in the final stage of obtaining FedRAMP Authorization. This makes the decision far easier for Government Agencies.

publicvsprivate-cloud-oct2014While a high level of security is important to many businesses, application performance and customization are two other critical elements of the Public vs Private Cloud debate. I’ll address Cloud application performance and customization differences between Public and Private Clouds in an upcoming post.

 

 

You can review some of the Public vs Private Cloud differences at these links:

Project Management Private vs Public Cloud Differences

CRM Private vs Public Cloud Differences

SharePoint Private vs Public Cloud Differences


Department of Defense (DoD) Eyes Clouds For Future Application Deployments

November 21, 2014

"Cloud First" FedRAMP Authorization for Project Server, Dynamics CRM and SharePointIn an article by InformationWeek.com, The Department of Defense (DoD) has recently reported that they are changing their Cloud Computing Policy. The hope is that branches of the armed forces will have more say in choosing their service providers. While this is in line with the government’s new “Cloud First” Initiative, be advised, you can’t just pick any cloud. Click here for the full article.

According to former DoD CIO Terry Havorson, aside from the hurdle of convincing these owners of physical data to “Let go” of it, the military will have to manage the ever-present security concerns with all things government. Fortunately, the government has already solved the issue of secure cloud options with the FedRAMP authorization program, which includes over 300 specific security controls and continuous monitoring for cloud-based services. Project Hosts is in the final stages of this unique authorization, having recently reached “In Process” status.

Security_CloudOver the past year, Project Hosts has been moving through the FedRAMP Authorization process for CRM, Project Management and Collaborative SaaS solutions, assuring that we meet every requirement along the way. We are now in the very final stages in completing our FedRAMP authorization for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Project Server, and SharePoint, and are prepared to provide the DoD with the right cloud and services they require.

“By having a Project Server 2013 solution that is fully FedRAMP approved and recognized as FISMA / NIST standards compliant, we will be able to deliver Microsoft Project private cloud solutions to far more U.S. Government agencies and departments. A number of agencies have already approached us for hosting services, including the EPA  – taking advantage of our ten-year experience in hosted Project Server while knowing that our solutions will be FedRAMP authorized later this year.”  – Scott Chapman, CEO and Co-Founder, Project Hosts, Inc.

FedRAMP Project Sever Custom Clouds

FedRAMP Dynamic CRM Custom Clouds

FedRAMP SharePoint Custom Clouds


Taking Dedicated Microsoft Dynamics CRM Clouds to a whole new level

November 18, 2014

Leader_in_CCWhen it comes to clouds, not all clouds are created equal. Some clouds lock-out solution providers from accessing core database capabilities and other administrative controls, making it difficult for them to give their customers the experience they expect.

At Project Hosts, we’re different – we give Dynamics CRM Solution Providers a dedicated cloud infrastructure. Our CRM Custom Cloud platforms ensure that you have more cloud control, more cloud visibility and better support and service for your customers.

We take “dedicated” CRM clouds to a whole new level. Here’s a quick link to our Custom Cloud Advantages page.

Project Hosts is recognized by CIO Review magazine for PPM, CRM and SharePoint Private Cloud Hosting.

Project Hosts is recognized by CIO Review magazine for PPM, CRM and SharePoint Private Cloud Hosting.

Recently recognized by CIO Magazine as one the top 100 global Microsoft partners, Project Hosts has more than 11 years of Microsoft hosting experience. We know how to help Dynamics CRM Solutions Providers with their dedicated, private and hybrid cloud hosting needs.

 

 

 

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison

Custom Cloud Advantages (Advantages of A Managed Private Cloud)


6 Advantages of a Hosted Microsoft Project PPM, CRM and SharePoint Private Cloud Solution

November 9, 2014

Project-Server2013-Custom-Cloud-BusinessmanHosted Cloud solutions have given individuals, enterprises and government agencies many benefits, such as the ability to access their important files from pretty much anywhere internet access is available. But today I’m going to share with you 6 Advantages of a Private Cloud, particularly for Microsoft Project Server, Dynamic CRM and SharePoint users.

1. Dedicated Solutions IT Architecture. With a Private Custom Cloud from Project Hosts, enterprise customers gain a secure, reliable and cost-effective cloud solution eliminating the need for an on-premise deployment that is managed by their in-house IT staff. Click here to read more.

2. Trusted Applications support and integration. With our Hosted Microsoft Project Server Private or Hybrid Cloud solutions, employees throughout your organization have immediate and secure access to critical information 24×7 and have a holistic solution that operates seamlessly with applications such as Outlook, Excel and Marketing Automation Systems. Click here to read more.

3. Specific Security Requirements. Private Custom Clouds extend the level of security beyond what typical Public Clouds offer, with variances based on a customer’s specific requirements. For example, some organizations require dedicated servers (virtual or physical servers), encryption of data at rest, access restrictions to limited IP ranges, custom password policies, and more.

4. Real Time Business Intelligence (BI) & Customization. For enterprises with a medium to large amount of project and resource data, the Public Cloud restriction to only access databases via OData will still mean that users will have to face very long wait times for reports to populate with new data. Enterprises that would like to use the full power of the leading BI tools on the market today can achieve this requirement by choosing a Private Cloud or a Hybrid Cloud configuration through Project Hosts and our partners.

P2P_CustomCloud_cntrd5. Customer Person-2-Person Support. In this age of automated self-help systems, community bulletin boards and FAQs, Project Hosts is proud to offer a unique Person-2-Person Support service. We have experienced engineers working around the clock to respond to your support requests quickly. The time required to resolve a support issue varies depending on the severity and nature of the issue.

6. Built in Business Flexibility. We don’t lock you into our way of doing business, you have the flexibility to choose the business model which best suits your needs. We have more flexible ways of doing business than public clouds. We extend standard public cloud business terms by offering, monthly or annual terms, support for customer/partner hosting agreements and customer/partner chooses when to upgrade system versions.

PPM Public Cloud and a Private PPM (Custom) Cloud comparison

CRM Public Cloud and a Private CRM (Custom) Cloud comparison

SharePoint Public Cloud and a Private SharePoint (Custom) Cloud comparison

Custom Cloud Advantages (Advantages of A Managed Private Cloud)


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