T-Systems offers three Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions. Dr. Helmut Cantzler, Lead Enterprise Architect Cloud Computing at T-Systems, helps companies choose the IaaS option that is most suitable for them as business users from the array of Telekom cloud services.
Dr. Helmut Cantzler, Lead Enterprise Architect Cloud Computing at T-Systems, helps companies choose the cloud services best suited to their needs. Part 2 of our interview with the cloud specialist deals with the combination of multiple cloud computing solutions as Infrastructure as a Service, multi-cloud approaches and cloud pricing models based on runtime or consumption.
Read the first part of the interview here.
Dr. Cantzler, does it occur that customer needs cannot be met by a single Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution, but instead require a combination of multiple cloud services?
Yes, that’s possible. Large companies sometimes use integrated cloud solutions consisting of several products, for example cloud services for customer care, also referred to as customer relationship management/CRM: Customers use SaaS applications such as Salesforce or SugarCRM as CRM solutions. Here, the centrally hosted customer data is loaded into the CRM application module from an SAP system using an Informatica data integration module.
From the CRM application, customer data is forwarded to a Marketo marketing automation solution for analysis. The cloud-based single sign-on solution OneLogin is used to give employees easy access to the cloud applications.
You can extend the functionality of a CRM solution from the cloud with additional applications as required, but not every product in such a bundle is always required by every customer. Many companies are already using cloud solutions and want to expand them by adding more applications; in this case, we integrate the new modules into the existing solution.
Data in multiple clouds: multi-cloud is common practice
What are the advantages and challenges associated with multi-cloud approaches? Is it technically possible to move data between multiple clouds?
The use of multiple clouds, also known as multi-clouds, is common practice in cloud computing. Here, companies combine various cloud solutions for a cloud application within the framework of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).
Modern cloud applications offer comprehensive programming interfaces (application programming interface / API), which allow data integration between cloud applications across cloud boundaries with minimal development effort. In the cloud, prices are billed according to consumption and runtime models.
Which model is suitable for which requirements?
The typical billing model for cloud applications is billing by monthly consumption. If a runtime model is chosen, the customer purchases defined cloud services over a longer period of time.
The cloud always offers the optimum service
Some IaaS products such as the DSI vCloud or the Open Telekom Cloud allow a combination of billing by runtime and usage. Here, a certain volume of services is paid for at a fixed price, while additional resources from the cloud are dynamically billed according to use. Usage-based billing is attractive for customers whose consumption varies significantly.
If a relatively constant capacity is required in cloud computing, runtime models are cheaper. Consumption models, on the other hand, offer the advantage of increased flexibility. For many customers, cost forecasting is an important decision-making criterion for usage-based pricing models for cloud services. The cost of an Infrastructure as a Service solution depends on the services and features required.
All multi-cloud versions of IaaS offer low entry prices
Is there a version of IaaS that is particularly well-suited for companies with a limited budget? Which pricing model for cloud services is best in this situation?
Virtually every type of Infrastructure as a Service offers small virtual machines with a single processor and as little as 1 GB of memory starting from around €10 per month. Open Telekom Cloud offers a particularly good price-performance ratio, and there are regular voucher offers and support programs, for example the “TechBoost” support program for startups interested in focusing on cloud computing.
The most appropriate pricing model for cloud services depends on the company’s usage pattern.
Are all data protection solutions on a par, or are there special solutions for particularly sensitive data?
With the exception of Azure International, all Infrastructure as a Service products we offer use German data centers for data storage. All of the major Infrastructure as a Service providers now offer a German data center, including Amazon, IBM and VMware. Other important issues relating to data protection in connection with cloud services are whether the contract is concluded with the provider under German law, whether the service is operated by an American company, and whether the American government can demand data disclosure under the Patriot Act.
All Telekom products and services subject to German data protection law
T-Systems manages the data from the DSI vCloud, Open Telekom Cloud and Azure Germany services in accordance with German law and it is not subject to the provisions of the American Patriot Act. DSI vCloud is already available in other European countries and in the USA and an expansion of the Open Telekom Cloud is planned.
Do the national and international cloud versions differ with regard to the price and scope of the services? What are the differences between Azure Germany and Azure International?
The price variation between different locations (e.g. Azure UK and Azure Germany) is noticeable, but not astronomical. When establishing a new location, however, there may be different levels of expansion in cloud services. New services are gradually rolled out across all locations and are only available globally after a certain delay.
In the relatively new location of Azure Germany, for instance, we will only be activating some Azure services over the next few months.