My wife and I enjoy watching the television show Fixer Upper. For those unfamiliar with the reality series, husband and wife Chip and Joanna Gaines remodel homes for their clients. Joanna is the designer. She’s “the big idea” person. Chip is the contractor who focuses on making it happen and building the house.
Most of Joanna and Chip’s projects start with demolition. He’s a bit of a goofball, yet at the same time, it’s fun watching him wield a sledgehammer. As the remodeled homes are near completion, Chip will hang pictures on the walls as Joanna stages the house for the big reveal. What’s missing? Chip’s sledgehammer.
While he swings a sledgehammer with confidence, he’s not going to risk the project by using the wrong tool. An error at this stage could cost tons of time and money. The same can be said for managed service providers (MSPs) who must use the right tool for the job.
That’s why we created The MSP’s Guide to Modern Cloud Infrastructure along with Richard Tubb, a former MSP business owner who now helps other MSPs make more money. The right tool for the job sometimes isn’t going to be AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. When misused, they can be dangerous and expensive. Just like Chip won’t use a sledgehammer to hang a picture, MSPs need to always choose the right cloud for their clients.
Richard Tubb also provides the ebook’s foreword as well as commentary at the end of each chapter. His “Tubb’s Takes” offer a unique perspective on topics such as:
- Understanding the Cloud Provider Landscape
- Improving KPIs with the Alternative Cloud
- Alternative Cloud Use Cases
- Security and the Alternative Cloud
- Alternative Cloud in Action
In this blog post series, we’ll preview chapters in the ebook and provide key insights into each. Here’s a preview of the chapter, “Alternative Cloud Use Cases,” with two examples of essential services MSPs rely on from alternative cloud providers.
Regardless of the types of managed services you provide or verticals you cater to, the chances are that an alternative cloud vendor can help you offer the services you already deliver—or build out new ones—as part of a multicloud strategy. These services include:
Managed Data Storage
The cloud is a great foundation for building a managed data storage service. You can add value by managing storage for customers, which saves them from the hassle of needing to understand complex cloud storage tiers, API, egress pricing, and more.
It’s possible to use object storage from just AWS, GCP, or Azure to build managed data storage. However, alternative cloud providers can help lower operating costs and increase profit margins through open source data storage strategies and solutions that allow you to maintain flexibility in the cloud providers you utilize. At the same time, a multicloud strategy that involves storing data in a Big 3 cloud and an alternative cloud can maximize data availability, an important consideration for meeting SLA guarantees and delighting customers.
Managed Application Hosting
Simplicity, price-performance value, and support make alternative cloud providers the ideal location for your customers with enterprise-grade needs but are budget conscious. They also provide you the ability to improve margins without sacrificing the quality of service.
If you choose a multicloud strategy with an alternative cloud provider, consider charging more for the high-availability hosting service. You’ll also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that one data center failure is not a major crisis because workloads remain available in a second data center.
If you offer application hosting or managed web servers as part of your portfolio, you can maximize the reliability by pairing an alternative cloud provider with the likes of AWS, GCP, or Azure. If a cloud provider experiences disruptions due to DDoS attacks or a major incident such as a data center failure, instances hosted on another cloud provider’s infrastructure remain available.
Additional use cases covered in this chapter include data backup and recovery, managed Kubernetes, bare-metal managed infrastructure, and more. Download your free copy of The MSP’s Guide to Modern Cloud Infrastructure here.