Expand capacity, scalability, redundancy and availability

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You're probably looking to understand how using the cloud enables businesses to scale out their cloud presence and protect against outages. In this video, I want you to gain the awareness and understanding of the way in which the cloud allows you to expand capacity and consumption, and also ensure that your assets in the cloud are redundant and always available. I once worked for a gift marketing company, and they spent most of their year gearing up for the holiday period. During the months from November and December, they made over 80% of their money. Let's take a look at how they optimized their computing requirements.

Imagine if they had to buy and then maintain service and rent data center space for the whole year. That's very expensive, since they would have a lot of underutilized service for most of the year. A better solution is to purchase a base level of computing resources and then rent the additional capacity for the busiest periods. This hybrid approach provided the business with rapid scalability and better economics by using the cloud. So that you can estimate the cloud usage and therefore cost, you need to perform some analysis.

This includes looking at the current demand on your resources. Capacity analysis provides you with the threshold limits that you expect for current and future utilization. You will need to track the actual performance utilized by application services such as the processes, the bandwidth, storage, and networking. This data will help you determine what level of cloud resources you'll start with. Scalability relates to the responsiveness of the system, how much work it can handle. Consider a horse pulling a carriage. Most of the time, the horse is walking, but it can speed up to a trot without too much delay.

How fast can the cloud resources react to the workload? You configure the cloud service to be elastic, meaning that once your current resources are at full capacity, additional resources can be added dynamically by the cloud provider. This time, we're adding more horses, which gives us more pulling power, scaling out the capacity. Our data center can be copied to multiple separate storage locations within a data center, and also stored in different data centers geo-located across the globe. Very few businesses could achieve geo-redundancy without the cloud because of the huge costs involved.

Enterprises require reliable IT systems and spend a lot of money to prevent downtime. When a system is reliable and protected against failure, it is called highly available. The amount of uptime that a cloud provider will advertise for a particular service such as Office 365 is usually shown as a percentage of the total uptime as shown in the table as a number of nines. As the availability percentage increases, the cost of providing the service also increases dramatically.

Most cloud providers will deliver a service level agreement which specifies an official commitment to the levels of service that they will strive for. If you're migrating mission-critical services to the cloud, you should check the SLA carefully. In the next movie, we'll cover how to compare cloud services with on-premise services.

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For businesses with 150+ licenses Request Office 365 onboarding assistance from FastTrack

You can request remote and personalized assistance with onboarding. Our FastTrack engineers will help you plan your Office 365 project, assess your technical environment, provide remediation guidance, and provide user adoption assistance. For businesses with at least 500 licenses, Microsoft also provides personalized assistance to migrate data to Office 365.

See the FastTrack Center Video: http://aka.ms/meetfasttrack

Get started today: http://fasttrack.microsoft.com

Tip: Businesses with 1-149 licenses still have access to FastTrack guidance via links in the Admin Center and also available at https://aka.ms/setupguidance.

Gain a new or enhanced understanding of cloud principles, service offerings, delivery mechanisms, and security requirements. This course focuses on the objectives for the first two domains of the Microsoft Cloud Fundamentals exam (98-369: Understand the Cloud and Enable Microsoft Cloud Services). IT professionals and those interested in pursuing certification can use this course as an exam preparation resource.

Topics include:

  • Cloud principles and security mechanisms

  • Cloud security requirements and policies

  • Cloud updates and availability

  • Types of cloud services

  • Signing up for cloud services

  • Configuring cloud services

  • Configuring Microsoft Intune

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