With Security Updates for Windows 7 and other Microsoft applications about to end, here’s why NOW is the right time to migrate to the Cloud.
On 14th January 2020 Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7, Server 2008 and the bundled Small Business Server 2011. Later in the year, on 13th October, it will also be ending support for Exchange 2010, though if this application is being run alongside Server 2008, it will no longer be security and GDPR compliant from January. All of these applications are still widely used so this end of support programme will have a real impact on business.
End of Support means that the Microsoft will no longer issue security patches for these products. Although the software will still work, it is inevitable that new security flaws will be uncovered and the patches to close them will no longer be issued, leaving it open to exploitation. Remember the WannaCry Ransomware attack?!
Most businesses will look to upgrade their PC fleets to Windows 10, which is an obvious move. However, there are a number of issues which will need to be considered for this option. Firstly is your existing infrastructure sufficiently robust to handle the differences within Windows 10. The Operating System is reliant on Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure for security updates and general operation, and more and more of the most popular software packages are also moving to a cloud access model, some even giving up totally on standard on-PC residency. On top of this, Windows 10 itself is due to go ‘End of Service’ in 2026, meaning that companies that upgrade will find themselves in exactly the same position in a few years’ time.
Or Migration to the Cloud?
There is an alternative! One which offers a more ‘future-proofed’ approach; namely Migration to the Cloud. This is quite a change from the traditional on-premises IT infrastructure currently utilised by most companies. But it is becoming increasingly common, particularly as more and more companies transfer to an e-business model.
Migration to the cloud offers many benefits for the growing company. It is a lot more secure than on-premises systems as well as offering fast, flexible scalability and significant cost savings. It also does away with the problems and costs of upgrading Windows Operating System every 6 years, as that can be done by the cloud services provider.
How does the Cloud Replace Standard Desk Top Architecture?
Most cloud service providers will offer a Cloud Workspace or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Service. This is where a full windows desktop, along with all the customer’s vital software, files and data are stored and served from a cloud platform. The user simply logs into their cloud profile from their existing PC, Laptop or even from a dumb terminal. This facilitates hot-desking and remote working, as profiles are no longer stored on individual PCs but are accessed from any internet connected device.
No More Windows Updates!
As all the applications are served from the cloud, this makes updating Windows and other business critical software a lot simpler and will generally be undertaken by the cloud service provider. This also means that Software and applications can be better controlled as user-profiles will be based on your company’s specified “Golden Image”. Updates can be done without having to access all the individual PC’s, Laptops, Terminals, etc in the company’s fleet.
What about Security?
The good name of a cloud provider rests with their system security, platform stability and service availability. As a result, a good cloud provider will employ the highest, most advanced levels of malware and firewall protection. They will also deploy multi-location backup, where customer’s data and applications are backed up to data centres in different geographical locations. This guards against any local on-site disasters and means business systems can be up and running again in minutes, rather than days. Similarly a good cloud provider, like Innovate, will constantly monitor their system performance to ensure that nothing interrupts the service they supply to customers.
And Cost Savings?
One of the major cost saving benefits of migrating to the cloud is the removal of on-premises infrastructure such as servers and server room infrastructure. This considerably reduces costs by removing the need to replace expensive equipment, saving also on accommodation footprint and the costs of running the infrastructure, such as cooling and power supply.
But another advantage is the infinite and instant scalability of the system. Should you need more processing or storage capacity to cover a peak period or a new customer’s requirements, then platform resources can be scaled up or down at the click of a mouse, meaning better management of IT resources.
Who are the Cloud Providers?
The concept of The Cloud has been around for a while now and many of the big names in IT have products aimed at this growing market, including Microsoft with Azure, The Oracle Cloud and AWS from Amazon. These big names generally provide standard, pre-defined packages of storage and processing power. However, these packages tend to be inflexible and customer service is usually automated and impersonal.
Increasing in popularity are the independent cloud companies who offer higher quality, flexible and bespoke cloud solutions to business. One of the leading names in this sector is UK based Innovate Ltd who offer a range of customisable modular business cloud services through their Continuous brand.
Based in Bournemouth (often called the UK’s Silicon Beach) Innovate is one of the longest established Cloud Services Companies in the UK and, unlike most other smaller providers who act as re-sellers to the big brands, they own and operate their own Data Centres and Cloud Platform.
Innovate offers flexible packages of Cloud Services through its Continuous Brand. This include services such as Continuous Backup, Continuous Disaster Recovery and Continuous Workspace, a secure virtual Windows desktop solution which can be accessed from almost every internet connected device in the world.
The services are aimed at fast moving businesses that need flexibility to deal with their customer’s changing demands. Services offered by the Big-Tech names usually tie customers into pre-configured packages and proprietary data formats, which make them difficult to migrate away from. Similarly the large brands are not being able to match the 99.99% availability and consistency of service that Innovate boasts.
Continuous is backed up by Innovate’s experience in cloud consultancy and custom systems development and offers a real alternative to on-premises infrastructure by removing the workload, costs and risks of regularly updating in-house infrastructure. It has a growing network of Data Centres across the globe, providing one of the most stable and reliable platforms in the industry.
Would you like to know more?
Innovate Ltd is one of the UK’s leading cloud infrastructure, services and consultancy providers. We are dedicated to helping organisations benefit from the power of the Cloud and as a result, become more agile, connected and efficient. We have the experience and skills to make your migration to our cloud platform as smooth and simple as possible.
We have a growing network of Data Centres across the globe providing one of the most stable and reliable cloud platforms in the industry. Indeed, our performance figures are well in excess of our big name competitors and our cloud services offer true flexibility and scalability.
To help you, we can offer a free Cloud Audit, which is a no-obligation review of your existing and future infrastructure. We will show you how you can improve efficiency and save costs by migrating to the cloud.
If you are thinking of bringing the flexibility, scalability and cost efficiency of the cloud into your organisation, then we have the infrastructure, knowledge and experience to make your migration fast and easy.
If you are interested, please get in touch – our contact details are at the top!