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  • Joe Wichowski 1:00 pm on September 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cloud, ,   

    SharePoint Online versus On-Premise (Costs) 

    Recently, we held a seminar for our customers helping them better understand the costs related to either SharePoint Online (via o365), or SharePoint On-Premise.  As such, we came up with this 50-user costing senario, and broke it back down into a “monthly per user, per month” charge.

    I think it gives our customers a good understanding of the costs involved, and the potential savings, when they move to Microsoft’s Cloud offering.  The slide below is our 50-user comparison.  The pricing model assumes you do not already “own” On-Premise licenses.

    As the slide above illustrates, on average we see savings for our clients of around 40% when implementing SharePoint in the cloud (versus Local).  What this calculation doesn’t include is the additional patching/system updates that a typical Administrator would have to handle for Local installation.

    Pretty strong statement from Microsoft – basically, they are giving you the hardware for free, and charging you the software costs monthly (instead of being hit with a larger up-front cost).

    In my next series of posts, I will be in focusing how we are leveraging SharePoint to help our customers manage vendors, contracts, work orders, and other “operational-based” workflow – by pulling it out of email, and tracking it in SharePoint.  Stay tuned.

  • Joe Wichowski 8:07 am on December 6, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cloud, ,   

    The Azure pricing mystery… what about attachments??? 

    As a follow-up to my initial Azure post, I wanted to show that if you have an ASP.NET app that also has attachments (for example – PDFs archived against a PO work order tracking system), it really doesn’t affect monthly pricing that much.  For example, lets suppose we add attachments into our previous calculation.

    If we allow for attachments of 500kb, and each user either attaches (or downloads & reads) 5 attachments per hour, the total gigs transferred per month grows by about 50%.

    In addition, you also have to “store” those attachments in Azure.  If we assume storing about 50 new attachments per day, that comes out to about 6gigs of space per year (or 12 gigs over 2 years).

    But when we look at Azure pricing for the additional bandwidth and storage space, we see that it really only adds another $10/month.  Not a significant cost by any means.

    For Force.com, its also not an issue.  Their $50/user/month charge includes 612mb/user (or a little over 6gigs for our 10-user example).  So, essentially, the storage of attachments are “included” within the Force.com price (Force.com gives you a minimum of 11gigs storage space, so that should essentially cover our example 2-year analysis).

  • Joe Wichowski 11:37 am on December 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cloud, ,   

    The Azure pricing mystery… 

    Microsoft has had their Azure online PAAS offering available for a while now.  And while it does promise some awesome capability (mainly, zero-hardware scaling), some of our customer’s can’t help but get confused every time they try to determine “how much” their app will cost per month before they go-live.  Many believe it will be too expensive.

    The compute and storage pieces are easy enough to calculate.  But it is the bandwidth that scares them.  Often “older” applications were not necessarily built to be lean.  Taking advantage of newer frameworks like ASP.NET MVC can help, but that often requires a complete re-write of the application – usually not a cheap option.

    Most of our traditional ASP.NET workflow-based web apps come in at about 100kb per page (including images).   If 10 users hammer at it most of the day, their monthly bandwidth would come to about 10gigs.  You can scale this out by adding another 1gig per user per month.  Here is my spreadsheet calculation:

    So, for a 10-user app, you are probably in the ballpark of $280/month (Medium instance, 6gigs database, 10gigs per month bandwidth).  That comes to $28/user/month.  Not bad really, when you consider the fact that with Azure you do not need to pay for a hardware/technician to patch and maintain your infrastructure (Microsoft does it for you automatically), nor do you have to pay for the server hardware itself, any Windows Server licenses, or the SQL Server licensing.

    What other options are there?  You can also go for Force.com – which allows you to build your own Salesforce.com-type applications.  But there, you will have to essentially rebuild your app from scratch, as there aren’t any “converters” available to port code from ASP.NET over to APEX (the Force.com language).  Also, there comparable sever is $50/user/month – a bit pricier, but perhaps the better option if you are going to rebuild your app.  Force.com is fairly easy enough for anyone to develop a basic workflow app.  With ASP.NET, you are probably looking at hiring someone since it is a traditional programming model.

    Is there value in Azure?  I’m telling my customer’s yes – if they have existing ASP.NET applications, and no longer want the complexity of having to maintain servers internally within their organization.  Azure offers a great “first step into the cloud”.

    What if your ASP.NET app has an extensive amount of attachments? Not much different really. Your monthly pricing will go up, but the major cost with Azure is in the instance and the SQL database – not the file storage or the additional bandwidth. But to clarify, I will re-do my calculation to detail that in a follow-up post.

  • Kurt Higley 6:07 pm on November 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cloud,   

    The other day I got to thinking about cloud security and decided to do a little research.

    After a quick google and some on-screen filtering, I came across this site => Cloud Security Alliance

    There are a couple of interesting publications dealing with cloud security:

    Of course its not an exhaustive list, but its a start.

  • Joe Wichowski 9:50 am on November 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cloud   

    Today, we begin our cloud initiative… 

    Recently, we have begun the process of moving our company “to the cloud”. I feel we must do so, for the sake of our customers.

    It is my opinion that within 5 years, with the exception of financial systems, the majority of businesses will not have physical “servers” inside their company. They will instead rely on cloud-based software, or cloud-based servers. Doing so, they will no longer be responsible for maintaining operating systems, applying security patches, repairing hard drives, and the span of other initiatives that IT departments carry out for their companies but do not directly apply to the company’s core mission.

    I believe we are now at the crossroads of not just where these cloud services make sense from a logistics standpoint, but also from a price point. Whereas before, there were relatively limited players in this space, now every major software company has a solution. Where before we only had “pay by the minute & byte” services which were too hard to calculate out, we now have all-inclusive options to truly understand costs before implementation begins.

    So we “boldly go” first, to make sure that we have all of their questions answered, all of their needs met, all of their data secured, and all of their systems integrated. In essence, I feel we are paving the way for our customers future, so that again we can eliminate waste, and keep them focused on their true needs – selling, marketing, and servicing their customers.

    This blog is meant to capture our journey. Hopefully you will find some of our lessons-learned useful to apply to your own organization.

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