IaaS: start afresh with Infrastructure as a Service (part 2)

Increasingly complex IT processes require powerful and stable IT infrastructure. SMEs can hit the ground running safely with IaaS. You can read why here.

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Your own IT infrastructure plus continuous management tie up time and staff. Both are resources that are often lacking in daily business. More and more SMEs are recognising that fact and thus working with cloud-based solutions such as Infrastructure as a Service, IaaS for short. Konica Minolta already offers the full spectrum of flexible cloud solutions. For your company, too.

The desire for an efficient and secure infrastructure constantly presents new challenges for SMEs. So-called ‘as a Service’ solutions in the cloud offer helpful support in that regard. They can be purchased from external providers such as Konica Minolta.

The three core services in cloud computing are shown in the graphic:

  1. Infrastructure as a Service, abbreviated IaaS. You can read about what exactly that means in the next section.
  2. Platform as a Service, PaaS for short. You can find out more about platforms and cloud computing in the third part of this series
  3. Software as a Service, also known as SaaS. You can find out more about software and cloud computing in the first part of this series: SaaS

Definition of IaaS: a secure infrastructure and the cloud – the basis of all external solutions

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) sounds more complicated than it is. Ultimately, it is by definition a question of which external cloud provider provides the IT infrastructure or the basis for all services in an external data centre. Applications include hosting, which means storing data, storage space, computing power and a secure network.

infrastructure as a service

infrastructure as a service

How SMEs free up valuable resources with IaaS

It is becoming increasingly difficult for SMEs to keep up with the rapid developments in information technology. This is due to the rising costs of keeping their own data centre and internal IT up to date with the latest, fastest and most secure releases. Having the time and staff to meet the increasingly demanding requirements is also problematic. The increasing complexity of data processing and the costs and effort involved in security and data protection should not be underestimated, either.

For small businesses in particular, supporting their own in-house data center is therefore increasingly unattractive. But are there external IaaS providers and cloud services that specifically address SMEs and their needs? Konica Minolta has for a long time had a large customer base of small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, and is therefore especially familiar with the requirements of these businesses and organisations. An entire orchestra of different hardware and software, as well as infrastructure solutions, is already available in the cloud, to be used in a flexible and yet customised way.

‘With our cloud services, we can offer our customers the exact IaaS solutions they need. Regardless of when, where and to what extent. The most important point is that we develop a payment model together so that they only pay for the services and resources that are actually needed and used'

Philip Plischke, Senior International Business Development Manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH

Three reasons why Infrastructure as a Service is so attractive

In summary, there are three reasons that are persuading more and more small and medium-sized businesses to outsource in-house infrastructure and use external IaaS:

  1. For more and more SMEs, it is becoming a challenge to meet the requirements of modern IT and the associated responsibility financially and in terms of resources, and are therefore looking for a reliable IaaS provider.
  2. Infrastructure as a Service provides security throughout: a stable infrastructure and compliance with all security standards and levels, whether that relates to antivirus, backup and update management or security monitoring.
  3. With cloud computing and customised IaaS services, SMEs save money by only paying for the software, services and resources in the cloud infrastructure that are actually needed.

IaaS grows with you: that is why Infrastructure as a Service is a future-ready concept for every SME

Teams of experts from Konica Minolta support small and medium-sized enterprises with a system and process analysis. This covers the current situation and formulates the next important objectives.

Together with the SME, an analysis and then an optimally adapted solution plan are drawn up. IaaS offers various possibilities such as on-premise edge server solutions, cloud prepared data capacities or a hybrid cloud solution combining both edge and cloud computing through virtualization. In addition, Konica Minolta offers solutions to improve system performance and storage capacity, thus significantly reducing the burden on in-house teams.

Cloud data security also plays a central role in all of these considerations. The good news is that all Konica Minolta data centers are located in Europe, and are therefore in line with the EU’s far-reaching General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Worried about hardware? How to get to grips with construction sites using IaaS

The example of the sports shoe manufacturer LOWA shows how Konica Minolta has supported the company in renewing its storage and server infrastructure. Sustainability was a central theme in this process. That is because at LOWA, it not only plays a major role in the production of alpine and outdoor boots, but in all divisions of the company. It was therefore important to develop and implement a sustainable and future-proof concept together with Konica Minolta for the renovation of the storage and server infrastructure, too.

After five years using the IT production environment at LOWA’s headquarters in Jetzendorf, near Munich, it was time for major changes. Mirrored storage and server systems were required, which had to be housed in different fire sections – this was fundamental in order to guarantee automatic uninterrupted continuation of applications in the event of a failure in the operating system or the entire fire section. One core aim was to minimise possible downtime. At the same time, however, new projects were also to be launched. Therefore, it was important to increase storage capacity and improve performance.

Securely into the future: how the Konica Minolta teams of experts install a sustainable storage and server infrastructure

Once offers for the planned project were available, Konica Minolta’s print system customer care manager, with whom LOWA has a good relationship, recommended also obtaining an offer from his IT colleagues. The price–performance ratio was right: an important motto at LOWA is ‘go for the best offer, not the cheapest one.’ Key points were the reliable personal contact together with strong support in qualitative and quantitative terms.

After a short but productive offer phase, the installation of the infrastructure began, with most of the work being done during continued operations. Once completed, the stability, performance, and ease of use of the storage and server infrastructure were significantly enhanced. The availability of all possible resources and the lowest possible downtime are further significant advantages of the new solution. The biggest plus point is that all together the system is highly conducive to business productivity and networking.

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