TORONTO – Multiple CDN Channel Elite Award winner CMS Consulting is heading into a new direction. CMS president Brian Bourne has launched a brand new company called Infrastructure Guardian to offer what he calls Cloud Management-as-a-Service or CMaaS.
CMaaS is a one-stop shop for cloud solutions with Microsoft Azure, from virtual machines and storage to network configurations and disaster recovery solutions for public, private and hybrid cloud environments.
Bourne introduced CMaaS at the Shoot for the Cloud Playoff event joined by Microsoft Canada and solution provider iMason Inc. of Toronto.
“With the cloud customers just expect it to work in an as-a-service model. Our goal is to manage it all for them and the key is to keep it healthy and performing well,” Bourne said.
The Infrastructure Guardian offering is in three areas:
- Financial Governance, which manages the customer spend. This is offered as a free portal from the company;
- Advisory Services, which builds the cloud specific to the customer’s core competencies; and
- Operations, which are the company’s around the clock, support team.
Currently Bourne is hiring staff for Infrastructure Guardian. He says very few solution providers are offering managed infrastructure for Azure today.
Given that approximately 70 per cent of CIOS are embracing a cloud-first strategy by 2016, Bourne sees CMaaS as a greenfield market opportunity.
Adi Morun, product manager – Cloud Platform Cloud & Enterprise for Microsoft Canada, based in Mississauga, Ont., told CDN that customers are challenged by management, governance and process as they journey into the cloud.
One of the key areas of concern for customers is dealing with CAPEX and now moving to a model that is either Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and the controlling the usage of those cloud services.
Peter van der Zouwe, senior business development manager for Azure Partners and SMS&P for Microsoft Canada, said customers are struggling to get their cloud to run in an optimal way.
Channel partners such as Infrastructure Guardian are able to strip that complexity away and get access to resources right away with 24/7 support.
“The big business benefit for all customers is not necessarily cost savings but agility. They are now able to increase their speed to market much quicker. An SMB, for example, had to buy servers, software and then hire someone to set it all up for you. Now you don’t have to. You can call an Infrastructure Guardian and they can set up your cloud and have you running quickly,” van der Zouwe said.
He added that channel partners who have expertise in Cloud Management-as-a-Service are able to manage risk better and can also act as your virtual IT department.
For Microsoft this new as-a-service entry has made the software powerhouse start to actively recruit Amazon Web Services (AWS) channel partners. Microsoft Canada now has a program in place to help AWS channel partners transition to Azure.
“With Cloud Management-as-a-Service channel partners can still do full managed services, while building on all parts of the Azure platform.