I’m frequently asked which cloud deployment option do I recommend the most. Appspace offers several excellent cloud deployment options, and in this 3-part series, I’m going to talk about the fundamental criteria of any cloud-based solution, go more in-depth on Appspace security, and finish up with infrastructure operations that maximise uptime and performance.

What are your options

First, I have to talk about deployment terminology. It is a confusing mess. I’ve been in the industry for XX years, and words that used to have a precise meaning are no longer as clear as they once were. To cut through the jargon that is out there, here are how best to understand the options:

#1 Hosted multi-tenant – Multiple customer accounts share computing resources. Appspace manages the infrastructure, security, software updates, and technical problems before they arise. Appspace also chooses where the customer account is hosted on its global network of locations.

#2 Hosted single-tenant – A deployment dedicated to a single customer account. Appspace manages the infrastructure, security, software updates, and technical problems before they arise. The customer chooses the location of their deployment from Appspace’s global network of locations.

#3 Self-hosted single-tenant – This is a deployment that is dedicated to a single customer account but is hosted on a third-party cloud infrastructure. Examples of approved third-party cloud hosting options would be Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. With this option, customers choose the location of their deployment and are responsible for the management of the computing power, the operating system configuration, security measures, Appspace software updates, and any technical problems that may arise.

There is a fourth deployment option called Hybrid which is a deployment that combines one of the above cloud-based implementations with an on-premises environment (a fifth deployment option with Appspace). A hybrid deployment isn’t as typical however Appspace is engineered to handle this scenario.

Know your success criteria

Onboarding time, security standards, management and maintenance overhead, and of course pricing are several factors that can and will contribute to your choice of deployment.

Before starting out, I highly recommend you rank your criteria in order of importance and weight them – that way when you evaluate possible solutions you can score them very quickly.

By design, all Appspace-hosted options come with a set of enterprise standards that should be part of any solution you are evaluating:

Straightforward budgeting 

A significant consideration when adopting any platform into your business is the time and resources involved in rolling it out to your organization.

At some point, every IT professional will have seen an example (like the one below) of how on-premises or licensed software deployments compare with that of its subscription-based cloud cousin. While I’ve seen percentages fluctuate in these examples, the message is accurate: it is easier to budget with a subscription-based cloud deployment. And you benefit from a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Appspace subscriptions remove a ton of complexity and boil hundreds of decisions down to one. As your communication initiatives grow, you adjust your subscription to cover the devices and users you have while we continue to handle everything else. Easy to understand, easy to budget. And for below-the-line costs, Appspace is built using industry-standard technologies and practices which make adopting our platform easy.

Fast and scalable deployment

High availability should definitely be on your list of priorities. In the case of hosted multi-tenant accounts, Appspace availability is instant by signing up for a free account online. You’ll find that the majority of platforms (even those that claim to do only part of what Appspace does) won’t let you do this – often due to manual processes and lengthy training needed. Once you are in, we’re ready to scale as fast as you are.

Strong security background

You care about your data. You want your data to be secure in transit and at rest. Our security team has spent 15+ years continually improving its network, operating system, and software security KPIs to meet the expectations of some of the world’s largest brands. As technology continues to advance and threats form in new ways, you should expect your provider to test frequently, adapt accordingly, automate wherever possible, implement strict physical and digital access controls, as well as record and report at all times. All the things that Appspace has been doing for years. You can find out more about our infrastructure and security practices at https://www.appspace.com/trust

Immediate user support

Things don’t always go according to plan, and when that happens, you want to know that you’re in safe hands. In a hosted deployment, our Customer Success team have immediate access to help with requests on your account. They can quickly identify a problem, recreate it in our labs, and resolve in half the time of an on-premises deployment. This is infinitely more difficult to achieve for solutions that are on-premises, use a mix of cloud and desktop software, or aren’t leveraging real cloud architecture best practices.

The unsung heroes behind the scenes

There are things that you never get to see, but they are so critical to the confidence your organization has in its chosen platform. Essential tasks like software patching and upgrades, disaster recovery plans, back-ups procedures, fail-over implementation, data archiving, fault tolerance checks, networking optimizations, and performance tuning all take time and expertise, and are necessary for maximum uptime and performance.

Our Cloud Operations team are responsible for all of this and use the best tools in the industry that are sharpened further with customizations unique to the Appspace platform. This white glove type of service frees up your technical resources to focus on other business objectives while Appspace takes care of all enterprise expectations.

Summary

Highly available, priced to scale, and backed by real cloud implementation and leading operational practices are critical must-haves of the solution trusted to drive your team communication initiatives. Frankly, if these aren’t in place, then the provider is doing it wrong.

Join me for the next installment in this series when we are looking closer at security standards and enhancements provided by some of the Appspace cloud deployment options.