Choosing The Right Online Strategy


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Why put your business online?
What approach to take?
There are lots of ways to do it - choose the right one _for your business_.

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Choosing The Right Online Strategy

  1. 1. CINFINITY Choosing the Right Online Strategy Getting Online For the Start Up Business Aidan Finn MCSE, MVP Systems and Infrastructure Manager
  2. 2. ABOUT ME • Working in IT since 1996: consulting, contracting and administration • Worked in large infrastructures, e.g. government, finance and transport • MCSE, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) • Leader of Windows User Group • Some writing and blog: • Systems and Infrastructure Manager at C Infinity
  3. 3. ABOUT C INFINITY • In operation for 2 years • Provides professional outsourcing services • Data security services: – Secure online backup – Laptop and USB device encryption • Managed server hosting: – Using the best data centre in Ireland (Data Electronics) – Enterprise class equipment and support – Enterprise class management and services
  4. 4. AGENDA • What is happening in industry now? • Do it yourself • Co-location • Basic entry to the Internet • Unmanaged server hosting • Managed server hosting • Some tips • Microsoft BizSpark
  5. 5. WHY GO ONLINE? • No need for “brick shop” • Rapid transactions • Global reach • Have one customer contact point • Eliminate customer environment from affecting your service/product quality • Stickiness
  6. 6. INDUSTRY TREND XYZ-as-a-Service • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) • Storage-as-a-Service • Servers-as-a-Service • Etc
  7. 7. WHY SERVICE ORIENTED? Do you build a power station in the backyard to turn on a light bulb? • Customer: avoid becoming an accidental IT company, pay for service as you use it, no big bank loans • Supplier: Provide one stable service, control support and development, improve customer stickiness
  8. 8. CLOUD COMPUTING • The way to deliver Software-as-a-Service to the customer • Supplier can avoid becoming an accidental IT company • Use pre-existing infrastructure and expertise • Scale quickly and reliably • Pay for infrastructure as you use it
  9. 9. WHAT ARE CONCERNS? • Being offline • Breach of security • Poor Performance • Being non-compliant with regulators • Damage to start-up business brand name • Being an accidental IT company • Distractions from developing the business
  10. 10. THE OPTIONS? Lots of options and variations on the themes: • DIY • Co-Location • Shared web services • Unmanaged server hosting • Managed server hosting Lots of names and branding too
  11. 11. DO IT YOURSELF Build your own “data centre”: • Hire in expertise • Expensive Internet connection • Complex security infrastructure • Server and storage hardware • Difficult licensing • Huge up-front investment and recurring costs
  12. 12. DO IT YOURSELF + - •Get exactly what you want •Lack of available Internet •Hire your own expertise •Risk of being offline •New security required •Poor performance due to budget •Non-compliance: physical security •Damage to start up brand reputation •Distractions from core business
  13. 13. CO-LOCATION Use and existing “data centre”: • Use existing data centre and connections • You provide your own expertise and hardware • Build your own security • Supply your own licensing • Large up-front investment and recurring costs
  14. 14. CO-LOCATION + - •Can use pre-existing data •New skills required •Poor performance due to centre •Utilise internal expertise budget restrictions? •Control hardware choices •Still risk to network and server •Extend your own management security •Build your own management systems and network •Gain access to large Internet systems •Damage to start up brand connections* •Improved availability* reputation •Better physical security* •Distractions from core •More compliance* business •Brand protection*
  15. 15. SHARED WEB SERVICES Use existing services for web site and database • Very cheap • No infrastructure management required • Small scale • Great for brochure websites • Risk to web site, e.g. shared application pools • Larger attach surface • Risk of DOS attacks on other sites
  16. 16. SHARED WEB SERVICES + - •Very cheap •Web server is handling 1,000’s •Skills to develop are widely of sites •Database server is handling available •Quick to purchase and deploy 100’s of databases •All infrastructure handled by •Other sites bring service provider vulnerabilities •Can have excellent •Servers have large attack performance surfaces •Superb for brochure sites •Other websites affect you •Serious security issues •Risk to brand reputation •Are there backups?
  17. 17. UNMANAGED SERVER HOSTING Called many things: • Virtual private server • Dedicated Server Hosting Features: • Leased server and storage hardware • Hardware managed by provider • You still must provide all management systems and expertise
  18. 18. VIRTUALISATION Traditional Server: • 1 piece of hardware = 1 machine & OS • Resources underutilised Virtualisation • Use specialist software to slice up the server • 1 piece of hardware = many machines & OS’s
  19. 19. VIRTUALISATION OPTIONS Like anything, lots of options: • Memory oversubscription/bursting • Processor oversubscription/bursting • Clustered or un-clustered host servers
  20. 20. UNMANAGED SERVER HOSTING + - •Lease instead of purchase •No management services for hardware hardware, operating systems, •Provider manages hardware services or applications •Access cheaper virtualisation •You must provide server with no investment management skills •Dedicated servers customised •Potential security issues •Risk of performance to your needs •Improved security* bottlenecks •Improved performance* •Beware non-clustered systems •Improved reliability* •Backups? •Billing can be unpredicatable
  21. 21. MANAGED SERVER HOSTING Features: • Leased server and storage hardware • Hardware managed by provider • Complete end-end and top-bottom management systems in place • IT infrastructure skills available • Focus on compliance, performance and availability
  22. 22. MANAGED SERVER HOSTING + - •Lease instead of purchase •You normally must use the hardware providers preferred brands •Provider manages hardware and virtualisation •Dedicated servers customised to your needs •Use existing expertise •Superb security •High performance •Extremely reliable •Backup systems •Predictable billing
  23. 23. SOME TIPS: SECURITY Security Is Complex: • Physical facility • Network • Server • Services • Applications • Custom programs
  24. 24. SOME TIPS: FACILITY All data centres are not alike: • Computer rooms – typically converted from office space • Data Centres – usually custom built • Tier I to Tier IV data centres: differences in fault tolerance • Inspect the facility by appointment and randomly late at night • Investigate SLA claims
  25. 25. SOME TIPS: SERVICE PROVIDER Do your homework: • Check references • Ask for proof of certifications • Investigate SLA’s • Do some searching on the Internet • Meet the technical staff before you sign up
  26. 26. SOME TIPS: PICKING A SOLUTION • Don’t just take my opinions • Seek many opinions • Beware anyone who says there is only 1 solution • Take your time – this is the foundation of your online business • Have your techies meet their techies • Get demonstrations
  27. 27. MICROSOFT BIZSPARK Aimed at start ups: • <3 years old • <$1,000,000 annual revenue • Privately owned • €100 cost on exit Benefits: • Free MSDN for development • Free PSS Support • Access to partner network • Reduced price server hosting from partners • Free MS production software via hosting partners
  29. 29. CINFINITY The experts in data protection and infrastructure hosting services Aidan Finn My Blog: Happy to take questions now or afterwards ...