Cloud Computing

Join us for episode #06 of DIY-IT, where we delve into the transformative world of cloud computing. In this episode, Jason Null, hosts a dynamic discussion with Austin Ringland, Duane Taylor, and Adam Ringland. The conversation spans the evolution of IT infrastructure, from the days of on-premise servers to the agility and scalability offered by cloud solutions like Azure and AWS.

Key Highlights:

- The shift from physical servers to virtual and cloud-based solutions, enabling significant cost savings and operational flexibility.
- How cloud computing has been a game-changer for IT, enhancing scalability, reliability, and disaster recovery.
- Insights into how COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of cloud services, making remote work seamless and efficient.
- The discussion covers the security aspects of cloud computing, emphasizing the importance of modern security practices like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and conditional access.
- The team shares experiences and challenges faced during migrations to cloud platforms, highlighting the importance of strategic planning and execution.
- Explore the potential of cloud computing in supporting business growth and agility, with practical examples from MIS Solutions' client experiences.

Dive into the episode to discover how cloud computing is revolutionizing the way businesses operate, offering insights and strategies for leveraging the cloud to drive efficiency and innovation. Stay updated with future episodes of DIY-IT by subscribing to!

00:02:00 Evolution of IT infrastructure and the role of cloud computing.
00:05:45 Benefits of cloud computing for cost savings and scalability.
00:10:30 How cloud solutions supported businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
00:15:20 Transitioning email and collaboration tools to the cloud.
00:20:35 The importance of security in cloud computing and best practices.
00:25:50 Experiences with cloud migrations and the impact on business operations.
00:30:25 Discussing the versatility of cloud platforms like Azure and AWS.
00:35:00 Future trends in cloud computing and its potential for business transformation.
00:40:00 Strategies for data management in a cloud-centric world.

Tune in to unravel how cloud computing can redefine your business strategy and operational efficiency.

Jason Null: Welcome to DIY-IT. We're talking this week about cloud, cloud computing. So let's go around the room, do introductions again as we jump into this episode.

Austin Ringland: Austin Ringland, System Administrator.

Duane Taylor: Duane Taylor, vCIO

Adam Ringland: Jason Null Vice. No, I'm Jason.

Jason Null: You can be Jason all today. Adam Ringland Operations manager.

He should have said vCIO and been Nate. Yeah, good. So, and I'm Jason Null, Vice President of MIS Solutions. So welcome once again. So we got a host of different people in here from Tech to management to our vCIO office, which is our Chief Information Officer virtually. Yep. So cloud computing, I think.

This is a huge change in it. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Over the last, I mean, we've talked, and again, several of us have been in it longer than others, which is one reason I, I wanted you here, Austin. I love, I hate to say sound younger perspective. I mean, I don't think I'm that old, but in it, I feel like I am. I mean, doing this for 25 years, A hundred percent.

It has changed so much. You know, we went from single processors and computers to multi-core, you know, things have changed so much from on-premise to obviously what today is, which is the cloud. Yep. I mean, the cloud, I mean, it's, it's changed everything, right? Yep. It's cost savings, scalability, reliability.

You know, it's, it has changed how we deploy what we

Adam Ringland: sell. Yeah. I mean, well think about from. Our current basket of partners that you guys have been here, you know, longer than anyone else. How many physical servers have you seen gone away or new partners come on that they're like, sir, sir, A physical

Duane Taylor: server.

Yeah. Even step back further, we, we, we started with partners that had 32 physical service, right? Yeah. Then we virtualize those right

Jason Null: down to three, down to three physical, 32 virtual,

Duane Taylor: and now we're getting rid of the. Three. Yep. And, and we, you know, we're just finding better ways to make it, scalable uptime.

Mm-hmm. And not have that dependency on, on the

Jason Null: location. Oh. I think that's right there. The key, I mean, when you look at Azure or you look at, you know, AWS, there is the benefit. Literally, they stay up all the time. Yeah. Correct. I mean, nowadays they're not dependent upon that

Duane Taylor: location, have the internet up, so you've gotta tunnel into that and power people, you know, power.

Yep. Internet, all, all kinds of things. So, you

Adam Ringland: know, I think, I think honestly before Covid, you know, cloud was a, a buzzword to a lot of small business owners and, and decision makers at, in small businesses. But when they realized like, oh my gosh, we can't be here. What are we dependent upon? What are we losing now?

You know, that because we're beholden to this physical building. Yeah. And I think that that has helped, honestly, not only. In the moment so they could work, but making them think proactively, like, oh man, this is, this, it really is NextGen and, and what the world's gonna look like. And if now everyone that wants jobs after Covid needs to be able to work from, they're like, I have to be able to work from home three days a week, or, I'm not taking your position.

Yeah. Well now they're able to do that. It's more efficiently. A hundred percent right. Yeah. Yeah. You don't need physical hardware, like, oh, all this stuff, right. In each person's house. It just reduces

Duane Taylor: the dependencies. Mm-hmm.

Jason Null: Yeah. I mean, we, we took a lot of our clients and I think the, the biggest thing that changed.

Computing was moving email basically to Office 365 or even Gmail and the G Suites for partners. That was huge, right? That was really first premise cloud. Yeah. That was the first phase. First stage and, and we took partners kicking and screaming into it, right? Mm-hmm. Nobody understood it. We were showing 'em cost savings.

We were showing this. And I, and when you go back to what you just said about Covid, I mean, we shut down, right? Mm-hmm. And our partners shut down. But our partners didn't miss a beat. Right. And they know, they were already knew the lights were off here. Yeah. Yeah. And our, our partners, they went home and all their stuff worked still, right?

Because, Majority of their systems were already in the cloud. Mm-hmm. They were already able to work quickly, remotely, quickly, have the tool sets that they need quickly continue to do business.

Austin Ringland: Right. Yep. That was, I mean, even on the other hand, like our partners never even know if we're working from home.

Correct. That's true. Everything we have is all in the

Duane Taylor: cloud. The day that. They shut us down, but the state no one knew the lights were off here. Yep. You called and

Jason Null: you got one knew. Yep. One people can't tell the difference between babies crying and our texts crying and it sounds the same in the background.

Are you at home? No, I'm at work. That's just Austin crying again. You know, it's. Sounds like a baby scream, right? So yeah, I mean, cloud computing, I, I like going back to what you just said too a little bit ago and kind of rolling back to where this started and you know, it did start with virtualization, right?

Absolutely. Virtualization is what made the cloud what it is today, right? Because. Virtualization was the biggest piece to make cloud computing, whether it's docker containers, whether it's actually VMs, hyper-V, whatever it is, that scalability to build these massive data centers. If we were still doing physical one-to-one servers, this would never have worked.

No, no. When we started moving from, you know, 32 physical servers on site. Massive power constraints for it. Mm-hmm. Massive air conditioning systems, battery backup. Yeah. All that stuff. Massive amounts of switching racks for dedicated rooms to scaling that down to three to even today, where those places might have one physical box running, just a few VMs.

And those few VMs just don't make sense in the cloud because it's just not cost, it doesn't make sense. Cost. Right. I mean, a lot of it,

Austin Ringland: a lot of it this has shown us is like less is more. Mm-hmm. In like in an instance, I mean we have like one of our nursing homes where every single location had a server at one point.

Duane Taylor: Yeah. We had seven locations, seven servers, you know, seven 80 controllers

Jason Null: and backup dom domain controllers,

Austin Ringland: and. And having that, that many, like, that much hardware, it, your redundancy is like just gone. Right? Like, I mean, there's no, like if your server's down for that location, it's just toast.

Jason Null: Yeah. You know, and we, and we leveraged Microsoft for that.

Right? Right. So they're running Office 365 and they're not only running it for email, they're taking advantage of SharePoint, other services in one drive. To be able to eliminate, you know, now we have Azure ad right? Integration. So you got, you know, servers in the cloud for active directory if you need it.

And then we're running SharePoint for your file and you know, sharing. And then email obviously is in cloud. That's huge. And then you add all the extra pieces to it Teams. So you have that communication and you know, you have what's the other piece in there? That stream piece where you have internal YouTube for the company?

There's all kinds of Yep. Pieces inside of Office 360 365, and we see partners only using like this much of it. And the platform is huge and most of it is already there, ready to be used.

Adam Ringland: What I, one thing I really love that Austin and his team are, are doing right now to be more proactive is. Right. Let's look at, you know, each of our partners that have a domain controller and then a backup domain controller, and it's all on-prem, and it's like, okay, maybe it doesn't make sense to take their entire environment up to Azure, but let's make sure that we get a backup domain controller up in Azure so that they can still, you know, do the things they need to do.

Duane Taylor: People can authenticate. Correct. If that location is down, it's down. Right.

Adam Ringland: Or if, you know, if they're using a phone system, OnPrem, that's one thing that has to get up in the cloud, you know, in case the location goes down. Well, you can still take all your calls and make all your calls and yeah, it's a, it's been a really good initiative that they've had and I think there's gonna be more to come on that, you know, the, think about the, the actual physical servers that have come in over the past year for you.

And the amount of actual virtual servers that you're installing. It's not that many anymore.

Austin Ringland: Yeah. I mean, I feel like even a few years ago, like if, if we knew someone's server was kind of getting older and we're like, Hey, let's replace this, like our first conversation was like, okay, well what server do you want?

Yep. Now my first conversation with him is, can we just get rid of it?

Duane Taylor: Me find out, I, let me go look. And I'm like, we don't need this. We don't need to spend, we don't need the capital expense. Right. You know, it, it's just, it's,

Jason Null: those are the challenges we face today, now. Absolutely. It wasn't like we just replaced the server.

Let's project for storage growth. This and how many CPUs and how much ram do we need and how many VMs are we gonna run Now it's okay. What is it gonna take to get it in the cloud? Are we gonna have to do a data migration? You know, are we gonna have some type of software that we need to put in the cloud?

Yep. Can we, does the vendor have a piece of software? Right, right,

Adam Ringland: right. Yeah. If you're using something that is on-prem, you know, maybe five years ago that vendor didn't have a cloud solution. Right Now, it's rare that you find one that doesn't.

Jason Null: Yeah. I honestly don't. And if they don't

Duane Taylor: Right, they won't be around much longer.

Jason Null: Correct. Right. Adapt or die, right. Is that correct? Adapt or perish? And, and I think for, for a small business, as small business owner, you know, you look at your cost, right? And in the past we had huge upstart costs. You know, you're looking maybe 20, $30,000 to get a server in. Like, and we talk about small business server back in the past.

Yeah, right. You're running exchange on it. SharePoint, active directory file and print. You're buying a pretty decent servers, you're spending probably 10 to $15,000 for that. And you know, today you can have all that functionality and you only have five people. And even if you want, with like E three s with Microsoft, right?

That's 20 bucks a person, right? That's nothing. Yep. That's a monthly. You know, it's, it's budgetable. It is very budgetable. You're not like, oh, I got this upfront cost. I gotta buy all these computers. Now it's just like my business is up and running instantly. Mm-hmm. And then you want phones. You can add phones in very quickly.


Duane Taylor: And you take it a step further of the benefits of being in the cloud or, you know, when you had a physical server or a virtual server and it had an OS on it, you were. Stuck. You're a bound to that os and said it's end of life. So you would either run it out or you'd have to buy the new one and upgrade it, right?

Yep. So all that, all those costs associated with that are all built

Jason Null: in, correct? Mm-hmm. Yeah. You forget about that. Like all of a sudden, you know, server 20 twelves ending now. Right? Right. We've gotta upgrade and here I gotta spend another, you know, I have this many CPUs running, I need this many licenses.

You gotta buy cows, everything. Next thing you know, I have another $3,000 expense. Right. Just to keep this thing upgraded and keep it running and you know, and we talk about power, we talk about, you know, all the other things. People's power, footprints have lowered big time in office spaces because they're not powering.

All of this equipment that's ours went down dramatically here in this office. Oh yeah. Yeah. When we, when we moved everything that we had basically into the cloud. Yeah. Yep. It made a big difference for us. Absolutely. I mean, it makes us be able to be flexible and allow our guys to work from home. So six years ago we were buying a

Duane Taylor: full size rack or putting a full size rack in an AC units.

None that stuff, none of that stuff's in. Expensive. You know, now we've got a telco rack with some switches and firewall and,

Jason Null: you know, yeah, I mean, I think about like some of the first cloud pieces that I started using. And this was back before I started using, like Microsoft. I was using DNA mail to host email in the, in the cloud back then.

And I, I jumped on the Meraki train very early on. Correct. When Meraki was still its own company and you know, looking at what I was supporting traditional Cisco, right? I had to go try to tell NET into something. I had no presence on site trying to do this, trying to do upgrades. And when I saw Meraki and the ability to manage from my desk, right, all of the aps, and that was.

You know what I mean? That was huge. That was like 2010 maybe, right? 2011. I'm trying to remember when Cisco bought them. Cause I remember the day I cried. I know obviously Cisco has kept it as a great company. Pricing has changed. Some of the functionality kind of went away. I mean, In 2010, I had 10 gig switches, switches with 10 gig, you know, ports on them, and then they got rid of those, you know, of course they, what was that like the ms, I can't remember the model numbers of those, but it was like the 40 or whatever, and, and the next thing, no, Cisco comes out with the MS one 20 and it's gigabit and you're like, wait, I lost my, you know, speed, but, You know, Cisco has done a good job at keeping it going and we've watched that integration go into all their other products and

Duane Taylor: they've adapted Correct a lot of the Meraki

Jason Null: into Tim proper Cisco.

Right. And that was one of the first no more console cables. Yeah, right. That's a first cloud platform right there. Right. I wasn't hosting servers there. Obviously Meraki's doing it, but all of my network gear was available. Right. To manage all of my partners. Wherever you were. Yeah. Wherever you were, you know.

Then DNA mail I was using that got Bird popped by Sherwood, I think it was out in. France and that went horrible. And I jumped into B Pause and, you know, live at EDU for our education clients. And then that's rolled obviously into Office 365, which now rolled into Microsoft 365 and next year it'll be Office, Microsoft Office, Microsoft 365 slash times two.

Slash 365. Yeah. So, but those, those are platforms today that are, that have changed the market. It has changed the footprint of everything. Yep. You know, we talk about servers on-prem. Right. And now all of our cloud systems, or all of our phone systems are hosted cloud-based. Right. We used to build servers on-prem.

Right, right. Obviously internet goes down power outage, your phones are down. We started leveraging that several years ago to make sure that clients didn't have. I, another benefit

Adam Ringland: of it too is for disaster recovery. Oh, yeah. Like if something hap was to happen to your physical server, your building caught fire or something.

Yeah. I mean, yeah, hopefully, hopefully you've got really good backups and you can restore to something eventually, but you know, in this instance, you'd have everything that you needed. Yeah.

Jason Null: Well, and and it's, it's cool because they're constantly maintaining it too, right? Yeah. So we talked about having to buy upgrades.

They just upgrade it. Right. They add new pieces. All of a sudden you got like, you're using Outlook and you look up and they're like, there's something new in it. And you're like, oh, cool. New feature. You

Duane Taylor: don't have to buy the new version of office. You get it. No. The cost is all that's built in,

Jason Null: right? Yeah.

And we're even seeing, I mean, yes, we have, we have partners that are all cloud. We have partners that are. I'd say there's nobody that's on-prem only, so I think the other side of that is hybrid, right? So they have some on-prem and they have some cloud. That's most of ours, I think. Yeah, it's either that or it's all cloud.

I don't think there is anybody, I can't think of any partner we have. Of course, we don't deal with government, so yay. But that has any requirements where something has to be OnPrem, right? I mean, the biggest reason we have things OnPrem is cost. Right? A hundred percent add or, or

Duane Taylor: the software that the,

Jason Null: that the partner

Duane Taylor: needs to run.

That's the only reason why we have something OnPrem.

Jason Null: Right? Yeah. And it may not run well out of Azure or aws, correct?

Adam Ringland: Yeah. Yeah, there's definitely, I can think some limitations. I can think of some that

Jason Null: for sure. Connectivity issues, speed issues. But we're watching, you know, that's the big thing is all of a sudden everybody's got gigabit connections right.

At their offices. I mean, like three years ago it was like two 50. Two 50. We're lucky. But as everybody's going the cloud, everybody needs bigger pipes. Mm-hmm. I mean, even our firewalls now, we're like looking at our firewalls going. Wow. We we're hoping Cisco starts revving all their models because, you know, we only need a small footprint for some of the models, and they're only, you know, they, they max out at, you know, 300 megs.

Yeah. But we need gigabit connections because every small business has gig connections, and I'm not going out and buying an mx, you know, $430,000 firewall. Right. Get connections. It's, it doesn't make sense. You know, I want an MX 67, if you want to call it an mx. 75. Well, I don't wanna say it's 75. That's still even a little bit big.

I mean, it's still that small form factor, but the 67 should be able to do gig connections. It should. And we're doing dual gig connections at most places now. Yep. Almost every one of our partners, if we are not running servers on site, we are running dual internet. Mm-hmm. To be able to have that high availability.

So if Spectrum is down charter, because

Duane Taylor: that's your only. Yeah. That's your only issue that you're gonna have is your internet being down when you're cloud-based, you must have the internet. You

Jason Null: must have two. Yep. Cool. Thing is if your office internet is down or there's a power outage at your office, you just go, you send your workers home.

Yeah. Yep. I mean, that's why we, I mean, everybody hotspot. Yeah. Or, or that, I mean, And that's why we don't, I don't see our partners cloud has changed what they're using at the desk too, right? Mm-hmm. We don't see partners running physical desktops that much anymore because they are in a mobile environment.

They are allowed to work anywhere, anytime, right? Right. And the cloud has given 'em that ability. Yeah. And so we're seeing 'em using laptops because if the power goes out here, let me pick up my, yeah. Yes. Go home and, and work. You know, why stay at the office and, you know, hope the powers can gone. You can get all your work done at home.

Yep. Because you have obviously power at home and internet, if not, run down the library. And it's, it has definitely changed it. The, the cool thing, I think too is how we have learned to adjust to cloud. And, and it took me a while. I remember when virtualization came out, it took me everyone, and you know, you're kind of trying to grasp this, you know, one thing now it does eight and how you carve it up like a piece of pie and you know, the segmenting and then, you know, cloud comes out and, and then Azure and then we start looking at running servers in the cloud and getting smart, you know, minimizing our CPU usage.

When you have on-premise, You just buy the biggest, baddest thing you had, who cares? It had, you know, 256 gigs or RAM and, and it had 18 CPUs. But cloud, you pay for that.

Adam Ringland: Right? Right. And we're even tweaking with some of our partners, right. At during off hours, let's shrink it. Correct. You know, during not the not busy season, let's shrink

Ep 06 - Cloud Computing V2: some

Jason Null: things.

Right. Because it's almost like. It's almost metered as if I start thinking about like electricity. Yeah, yeah. You know, a hundred percent. Or leaving the water running, you know, it's like, it's, it's ticking away. So if you're peak hours and you know, you only need this box between, you know, nine and five, you literally can turn it off.

Mm-hmm. And then the meter stops. Scale

Duane Taylor: down. Scale up. And. Yeah, just a few clicks.

Jason Null: We, we have, we have a partner who is a seasonal. Mm-hmm. Right. And we actually ramp the phone system up during peak season to handle the call volumes. Right. And during, as the season ends, and it goes into the winter for them.

Right. We ramp it down and there's a spike in cost for them, but it then drops back down instead of running something that's massive all of the time. Mm-hmm. Right. And it's cons. Assuming all these resources, we don't need to do that anymore. So I think that's, those are kind of neat things that we, we didn't do on premise.

Yeah, it just ran all the time, right? Yeah, it, yeah,

Austin Ringland: I mean, I think, I think a big benefit of like pretty much anything in the cloud is, I feel like. Like truthfully, it just runs better than it would on-prem. Like you run into like less issues, like even like simple things of a program you have to install on a machine versus just going to a web browser and opening it.

Mm-hmm. That's a step that we can skip. The user doesn't have to deal with that. Yep. We don't have to deal with it. There's not gonna be a breaking point if the website's down the website's down. Correct. There's no, nothing wrong with your program. Yep. And even from, even from servers, like when we put a server in Azure, I feel like it just runs, like there's really no, there's not a whole lot of like.

Maintenance on it. I mean, obviously keeping it patched and you and your backups and all that good stuff, but there's not a whole lot of like faulty issues with putting servers in Azure.

Adam Ringland: Yeah. To your point, it just eliminates all your fail points. Like literally so many fail points. Yeah. Even, even though the software isn't truly, you know, physical, but it's, again, it's a program that has to be installed on a computer that can become corrupted.

And yeah, like you said, a website's not gonna become corrupted. Someone just messed something up on the back end. Right. Whoop. And I

Jason Null: mean it

Austin Ringland: kind of. It covers us with, with being an MSP as well, because like if someone's, if someone's email's down, it's like, well, Microsoft's having issues.

Jason Null: The whole world's down.

Right? Correct. There's bigger problems. The world is down. Yeah, that is definitely true. I mean, and it doesn't happen very often. We see regional issues with Microsoft. Yeah. And even Azure or aws. Everybody kind of has their issues, but still in the end, massive data centers, massive redundancies. They can swing, they can swing from one regions to another region and and, and do all kind stuff.

We get zero day exploits. They are able to fix it like that. Right. Right. They're not hoping everybody patches this exchange server and fixes this zero day exploit. They can just call across the board. Yeah. It's so nice. Yep. Mm-hmm. And then we don't have to patch, we don't have to. There's so much maintenance that's been taken away from us.

Exactly. I love because I remember. Having information stores crashing, running is and tag for 18 hours, praying mailboxes come back, you know, information stores mount. We don't have that. I mean, the guys at Microsoft may have it. I don't have to deal with it. Yeah, we don't have to deal with it. You know, they get paid for that.

That's great. Sweating. Correct. And so, you know, something else about cloud I I, I kind of want to ask you guys what you think about this. Is, what do you think about the security of it? Obviously before it was on-prem, right? It's harder to hack into, maybe, maybe not. What do you guys think about the security of cloud?

Adam Ringland: I it's almost scarier kind of to, cuz you don't really, you don't control as much. Obviously, you know, we have virtual firewalls up in some of our instances too, but even the ones that we don't, I mean, it's got their, they have their own Windows firewall and you can, you can tweak that kind of stuff, but yeah, you, I mean, I would say if a Microsoft data center got hacked again, we, we got some bigger issues.

Duane Taylor: Well, you know, and I talked to a lot of our partners and our prospects about, you know, when you had your on-premise exchange server, they had to find you, the hackers had to find you. Mm-hmm. Now they've got one place to go. Yep. And then that just leads you into the next conversation of here's how, why they've only got one place to go, how we still keep 'em out.

Yep. And that's through, you know, MFA and. Correct. Just there's, there's increased security, right when the hackers are just pounding away and then it goes down to user awareness and you know, phish training and just making sure that people are aware because the end users are the weakest links.

Adam Ringland: Yeah. Yeah.

Cuz honestly, if your Microsoft 365 portal got breached, then the next thing a hacker's gonna do is in the same browser. Go

Duane Taylor: Right. Right. And now he's got servers. And so we do a very good job here. I just want to say the team does a very good job of making sure that we've, we've got all the doors closed.

Mm-hmm. And all the locks engaged.

Jason Null: Well, because we're running MFA for everything, we're making sure that we have conditional access running. That's what's cool too. In the past, if you wanted to add a security product, you'd have to go out and get the security and probably get an appliance to do it, right?

Yeah. You have to buy something. You're putting it in. You're getting it up. Literally, if you wanna increase your security in Microsoft, you can just go out and buy a new license and take it to the next level. Right? Take it to the next level, and it's on instantly. Yeah. I mean,

Austin Ringland: I, I think it's out of your hands a little bit more.

I mean, it's always kind of up to Microsoft, I mean, right. If they get breached, then we're all breached, but. Or Amazon, but I mean, right. But I mean, like the security features of being in the cloud are much stronger than anything that's gonna be on premise. I agree.

Duane Taylor: We didn't, we never really knew when, you know, there'd be somebody pounded on your terminal server that was open to the outside through the firewall until, unless you were sitting there watching the logs of failed.

Correct. Or, you know, and. And now with the conditional access and, and all the security features that you can turn on, on the back end, you can know right away sign. Yep. Yep. It's like, hey, you were, you were in, you were in Cincinnati 30 minutes ago and now you're in la. Like, how did that

Adam Ringland: happen? Correct.

Can't you mentioned this kind of pivoting, you mentioned AWS obviously being a Microsoft partner. We're heavy Azure. Yeah. We do have a couple partners at aws, but they were kind of AWS before we took 'em on and we don't really manage those for 'em cuz they're like proprietary stuff that's in 'em.

I guess I'll ask you, Dwayne, do you have, like, when you're meeting with people, are they ever asking you like, Hey, what, what do you ever, do you guys ever think about AWS versus Azure or any other cloud solutions? Mm-hmm.

Duane Taylor: Yeah, I don't really get a lot of. Aws, like you said, like the partners that we do are, the people that I talk to are already in aws.

Mm-hmm. And they're there for a reason. Right. Because they're in, they're developers or they're, they're, they're software, you know, programmers. Yeah. And that's just where they decided to start before they called. Yeah. NM MSP to say, how should I do this? Right. And then, but I, I don't get a lot of questions.

And, I mean, cause

Adam Ringland: those are really the two big dogs. Would you steer someone, would you steer anybody else to. To a, to another cloud provider for something like that? Hosting?

Jason Null: Possibly. I mean, it depends. I mean, five, six years ago we were using other providers, you know, it was, whether it was, you know, GoDaddy I could think of a dozen other companies that provided media.

Yeah, anybody, yeah, they did all these services and they had this stuff. Microsoft and Amazon have done a good job about advertising, getting their names out there. I guess Google to a point too. Yeah. Well, yeah. You know, and hosting their environments and having these massive, they've spent lots more money than some of the smaller mm-hmm.

People that were, they've gone packed, man. Yeah, yeah. They have, I mean, they're massive and they're, you know, to get into their data centers are just crazy. Right. Like, you're not getting the servers, you know, in the past we could have somebody pull up, break the window, walk into the data center, load up all the servers and drive away.

Yeah. That's not happening. I'm just

Adam Ringland: saying. Yeah. Based on reputation though, like Yeah. The, the, those are the big ones that if, if someone's asking our opinion at

Duane Taylor: the end of the day, that's just cloud hosting. Yeah. So I mean, it's, it's one's AWS one's Microsoft. Mm-hmm. I, I, I'm partial to the Microsoft.

Sure. Because they offer. More than just a cloud. Right. That station, that's main thing.

Austin Ringland: A cloud hosting you, you can have, everything's a one stop shop. I mean, like why would we have a partner that's in your VMs or over here, but your emails over here. Yeah. Right. Yeah. It doesn't, your files are here. Like, it doesn't make make any sense

Jason Null: for us because we want 'em to be down.

All at one time. Right. When something really bad happens. Right. On Microsoft's, mainly it gone easy for us to build. There's so much geo we can go right from here into Azure, into this and have it all in one ecosystem. Right. You know, versus having to jump out to go something else. A single pane of glass.

It is. Mm-hmm. It is. It's a support thing. You also know the Microsoft environment cuz it's very familiar. Well then it's, it's also.

Austin Ringland: Like it helps not having to teach end users about four different kinds of software, four different

Jason Null: solutions. You're ready. Go for

Duane Taylor: your email, go

Jason Null: to clock in.

Austin Ringland: You can have one screen with Right.


Jason Null: Everything. Yeah. I definitely think in the end to get back to the original question, which was cloud security is like anything, it really comes down to whether it was OnPrem. Or in the cloud that you make sure that you're enabling all of the security features that you need. Mm-hmm. The two fa.

Mm-hmm. Having all those pieces, cuz I mean, you can get breached just as easy on Preem. Maybe it was harder to find you, but if somebody knows your email address, it's easy to look. Do a, a look up on MX Toolbox, find your IP address and tunnel in. You just don't have to go to one place. Well, also,

Austin Ringland: I think like realistically, the chances of someone having like a two factor VPN account where if you want a VPN into something right, into like our network, right?

And then two factoring into a a VM itself, the chances of someone having both those on versus someone just having an email account. Two factor on it is. Is

Jason Null: much smaller, you know, and yeah.

Duane Taylor: The hackers, they want the low hanging fruit anyway. Correct. They don't want to, they don't wanna have to sit and try, you know, for 16 days to get in.

They want that quick 500,

Jason Null: 5,000. They're hoping for the business owner who went out and set up his office 365 on his own. That's, and didn't turn anything off. That's

Adam Ringland: why security is extremely important to small businesses. Yep. Because they don't have the overarching someone that's telling them the right

Jason Null: way to do things.

Right. Well, I also love, I mean, the other side of it, we talked about this earlier, is the scalability to instantly be able to scale something up. I'm trying to remember. Without downtime,

Duane Taylor: right? Or very, very minimum downtime. But you wanna just scale your server? You'd have to turn it off. Turn off all the VMs.

Now we're down. Right? How much does that cost? Yep. We gotta do it after hours. We gotta get the ram and put it in. Make sure it all works and you just go and click. I want more CPUs. I want more hard drive space. I want,

Jason Null: I saw a demonstration with Azure one time where. They were converting, I think they were just using like the Bible, right?

It was a simple, everybody knew what it was. They understood how big it was, how many, you know, words were in it. And they basically said, this is how long it takes one computer to translate it from English to Spanish. Right? And it was like, you know, days, months. And they were like, watch this. And they like literally had this, Sliding scale in Azure to go from a single CPU to Infinite.

Of course it's, it was, it was Markovich. And of course he is the founder kind of of Azure. So he has like basically the ability to use the entire Azure platform, right? And he's like, watch, and literally in like 10 seconds it translated the Bible, right? And it was just the show, the scalability. He basically used the entire Azure Farm for 10 minutes.

Yeah. And then turn it back down. Right. Which, and if you look at, I think he had billing running too at the time. And it was like, the bill was like ridiculous. It was like several millions of dollars, but. If you needed that kind of computing power, you could instantly have it to solve something. Well, it's just so

Austin Ringland: easy to change too.

Like literally it's just a couple quick of a buttons and you can have a different size

Jason Null: vm. Yeah. Like it's, it's that, it's not like all of a sudden we've tapped out the physical box. Right. Right. There's no tapping, there's no, there's no tapping out. There's not like, there's not a ceiling. It's, no, not at least we haven't found it yet.

I really wish

Adam Ringland: when we put that in six months ago, I would've thought it was gonna need more hard drive space or resources, brother. I'm gonna have to go back to the, well, yeah, none of that.

Jason Null: Where were, we have a partner where we planned for that growth and all that, and then they acquired somebody the same size and they all wanted it on this, and you're like, wow, we gotta buy all new now.

They're like, why? And you're like, you're combining two companies together. Yep. This is not gonna fit. We can just be like, whoop, you're done. Yeah. That's, that's awesome. I mean, our biggest, our thing, our biggest problem with moving to the cloud half the time is just the speed of getting the data up there.

You know, it's, you know, the internet we just talked about, how it's getting faster and faster. Right. But upload, that's Download speeds. Upload speeds are still not very quick. Right. And sometimes, or they're very expensive. Yeah. And sometimes getting, getting data up to the cloud could take some time, but you know, that stuff keeps getting better once it's there.

It's, yeah, it's cool. The golden,

Austin Ringland: yeah. Yeah. It's just like anything, it is getting better. Like, I mean, doing a SharePoint migration like a few years ago was definitely much more a pain than it is now. There's definitely's a lot more tools and resources you can use to make

Jason Null: it a little bit easier. Well, I mean, think about when we used to migrate email.

Right. No man. It used to our entire office was everybody. Okay, here's a USB

Duane Taylor: stick or, yeah, here's Here's your five users.

Jason Null: Here's your five users. Yeah. We were promoting it, flipping stuff, doing reverse PST syncs. Yep. Right. It was all hands on deck to migrate 15 users, and it was like, Just mm-hmm. Two days of just pure, just torture.

Yep. Today we're like missing emails. Yeah. Today we have a tool. It's synchronizing cloud to cloud on the back end, doing all kinds of crazy stuff. Cuts over, cuts it over. And you're like, cool. It happened. Yep. I had to do a couple DNS entries and that's about it. Yeah. I did a,

Austin Ringland: when I did that 10 to 10 a few weeks ago, like I didn't have to make any DNS

Jason Null: changes.

Really? Yeah. Just the tool does it all. Yep. I love that. And that's the cool thing is our tools have gotten better. You know, you look at what Office 365 looked like 10 years ago and what you have to, I mean, I remember having to run command line, you know, stuff constantly to do things to mailboxes. I think the gooey has certainly caught up.

There are times you still want to use, you know, PowerShell and do stuff, but that's, a lot of, that's changed. The tools are, the tools have caught up. They're better. They're continuing to grow. That's everything. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Austin Ringland: I feel like it's a, it's a, it's a weird thing if I have to power shell into 365 anymore.

I mean, there's a few things like here and there. They're exporting stuff's kind of still a little bit rocky, but yeah. It's, it's

Jason Null: not really that big of a deal. I had a whole notebook of power shell commands. Yeah. For Office 365 to do just. Basic tasks. Yeah. That's crazy. And then, you know, it's like you have to make the connection and doing all that stuff.

It was just such a pain. And then it would do something and change it and it would break, and you'd have to upgrade this and this. Yeah. And so it's, it's gotten much better. Mm-hmm. I mean, Azure originally has gotten better as a management tool and on how to use it. The training has certainly caught up. I mean, that's, that's something different too, is.

You know, we were training for on-prem devices before, right? Nowadays we're asking these guys to take training on on cloud. Yep. And some of that is awesome. Some of that is a problem because the cloud does change so fast, so it could have looked one way yesterday and today the interface has completely changed and they move.


Austin Ringland: on us. Yeah. I think that's why I think Microsoft certs are only good for like a year or something. Yeah. Because it's just constantly changing. Like, well, two years ago it doesn't even mean anything anymore. So

Jason Null: true. That's he's

Adam Ringland: like, how am I getting those?

Jason Null: That's kind of a waste. Right, but, and you look how fast the operating systems are changing the.

Now too. Yeah. I mean I

Austin Ringland: feel like if someone was starting off like, you know, you're right at a college or whatever else, like if you're just now starting an it, you really don't have much of a baseline information. I would probably just honestly go right to cloud information more than

Jason Null: absolutely anything.

I, I think we had struggled to hire younger guys outta college who have experience. Installing on-prem stuff. Yeah. They, I just don't think they understand how it works anymore. And, and maybe it's something that's lost a little, maybe it's not needed anymore. But yeah, the, the market has certainly changed.

Agreed. So we're definitely in a, and it's gonna continue to change. We, you know, I joked not too long ago that. There'll be data centers on Mars next, maybe the moon first. Right? So we'll have moon computing next, and then we'll have Mars computing. So, you know, the, the market will change. It'll take a little

Adam Ringland: longer to get our stuff.

That's for, that's for long storage. That's cold's.

Jason Null: Cold storage. Yeah. That's what's called cold. True cold storage. Yeah. Literally. Yeah. But I mean, in, in, you know, it'll always continue to change. And I'm excited about what we're seeing. Like we talked about as da tuna. You mentioned this. Or Austin, I should say.

Tuna's, your nickname can't help but call you that. That's out the cat outta the bag. I made a mistake a couple podcasts that ago anyways, so, but Austin, like you mentioned, like people just starting their computers up and, and getting into the browser. Right. And I think about how I use my own computer.

I don't have any apps installed. I don't have. I use everything in the cloud, right? So when I start out my machine, I literally click on Firefox and I click on Safari and my tabs come up. And my tabs are my, my applications. Well, that's the

Adam Ringland: funny thing is that almost everyone is working out of the cloud.

They just don't know it. True. Like

Jason Null: everyone is, right.

Austin Ringland: Another cool, another cool benefit too is. A lot of these systems that are, they are going, you know, going cloud and you're opening up a web browser, like you said, like you can have like a less powerful machine now. Yeah. Like you can, you can kind of go on the cheaper route of like just an eight gigs you am instead of you're 16 or, you know, like, because your machine will still work.

Like I try to limit any application I have open, I don't even use Outlook. Right. I use

Jason Null: Outlook on the web. That's it. Yeah. That's how I am. But I, I use Excel. I have Excel installed, but because some of my spreadsheets are larger, The cloud Excel is not quite there. And then the other applications I have installed locally are like art tools.

You know, I use Lightroom. I kind of need that locally to do work on photos and stuff like that. But from a work standpoint, I don't use Outlook. I don't use PowerPoint Local. I don't use Word local, you know, if I, if I have to install them, it's cool. I can do it on the fly if I needed it. But everything is right there in my tool set and it's, it opens up Outlook, it opens up my calendar, which is Outlook two, then SharePoint, which is all Office 365, and it has my OneDrive then in SharePoint sites.

And then I jump into our tool sets. Yep. And that's where I live.

Austin Ringland: I think what they've done with Teams is, is awesome too. Like creating all those teams channels where you can just have files and teams just right there for you has been, it's been interesting. Like I know a couple partners like a SharePoint migration I'm doing currently, they're, they're going pretty much the whole teams, channels, routes, and it's super, it's interesting, like they're super easy to share documents back and forth and chat about 'em.

It's, it's pretty cool. It's a cool integration.

Jason Null: It is. Teams is Microsoft's obviously you think about what. We had Skype and we Skype have, what was it before? It was Teams Link. Yeah. And then merging those two into what we have teams today, and I think teams came almost right at a great time. When Covid hit, it started getting really good.

Mm-hmm. Obviously, zoom then took off. Everybody was using that to make calls. I mean, talk about cloud computing and its, and its finest right there. Yep. You know, Microsoft teams quickly changed very fast and there are so many features in it that it caught up to Zoom and probably has passed Zoom and, you know, I, I had to get on what is it, Cisco's, was it WebEx.

WebEx the other day. And it was like for some meeting someone was hosting and it was horrible. Yeah. It's not good. Yeah, no, I'm like, You guys got left behind it, that's not good. Mm-hmm. Microsoft, even Google Chat and all those are much better. It is amazing what these companies have done, and that is all, I mean, think about the data being pushed from video standpoint.

Yeah. And all the cloud computing that's required to have that. Streaming everywhere. It's, it's pretty impressive. And it's, it's obviously changed our world. It's changed how we work. So the cloud definitely is an influence and for small businesses to come back around to the beginning. If you are a small business owner and you are looking to start a business or to take your business to the next level, if you have under, I'd even say probably 75 employees, 50 employees mm-hmm.

You really could not have. Any it on-prem. We see that a lot with a

Duane Taylor: lot of our partners that are, I don't mean to say this wrong, but a lot of the younger generation Oh yeah. Small business, you know, entrepreneurs that are starting their businesses. We just took on a couple of 'em and they got people working all over the country.

Yep. And they just work out of the cloud. The phones, their, their software, the all, everything that they do, they, you have literally have a person working in, you know, anywhere.

Jason Null: Yeah. Yep. The younger the company is. Yeah, definitely. The younger the management team is, the more likely they are using all integrated cloud systems and it makes them very fast to scale.

Yep. Because as a business, we talk about being able to scale from the cloud. Right. But as a business, because you're in the cloud, you can scale fast. Oh yeah. Right? So all of a sudden you can go, you know, all of a sudden you bring on this one client and you need, you know, 15 more employees, you can quickly bring them on overnight, not be like, there's no delay.

Yeah. I mean, it's, it's there. It's on. You have 50 new phone extensions, 50 new, you know, email addresses, six weeks

Duane Taylor: for a

Jason Null: new server. Right. You know? Right. Yeah. And you're not having to have office space because everyone's working from home. So it has definitely, definitely changed the scalability, the quickness.

Yeah. The only thing is,

Adam Ringland: The only thing that really ever prohibits any of our partners from fully is, you know, the 75 and under small business platform is just it. What, depending on their files. Yeah. Yeah. I mean that's, that's really the only thing that can, that'll, that'll keep you stuck.

Duane Taylor: But file size and software, the only two

Jason Null: things that'll just make, yeah, you get to a company who's using, like, you know, it's a small cat as I say.

You got CAD drawings, you can videos. Yeah. You're not putting in cloud. I mean obviously there are programs out there like Box and stuff like that where they have unlimited storage, but you're talking like 60, $70 per month per user. And when you have, that's cheaper to buy a server. Yeah. When you have a hundred employees, absolutely.

That's expensive. You know, you're talking. You could, what? You would buy a server for one year that you could buy a server every year. Correct. Save 30. Thank you. That what I'm save 30 grand. It's like, right. It could be 30 grand to buy the server right now and 30 grand for that subscription for one year.

But that server's gonna run for five years. Right. So you're saving definitely some money in the long run. Mm-hmm. But if you, if you're a company where, You know, this is where the hybrid gets into it and you get people to maybe understand this like, well, let's move to SharePoint and let's just start bringing our active files up there.

Right? Leave the legacy stuff behind because I mean, I think, how about how much data do you use daily? How many of your files are just sitting there? Yeah, a hundred percent. Right. So why are we bringing up. 10 terabytes worth of data and paying for it every day. Right. When maybe we're only really using, you know, a couple hundred gigs, we move that up into SharePoint, it doesn't cost you anything because you already have that space allocated.

Mm-hmm. And let's leave the legacy stuff behind if you need it, it's still there, you know, and you can buy a small server just to house it. Maybe you move into a NA situation, you something. Even cheaper than buying, you know, these massive services

Duane Taylor: just to house your legacy stuff. Back it up, it'll be fine.

Eventually. That legacy stuff, it's called Legacy for a reason. Correct. Right.

Jason Null: You know, but you guys, it's hard for people to see that and then also take the time to truly move data into that. Cause everybody's like, I need everything. And you're like, you don't, you don't really, I'm looking at, it's just a comfort thing.

Your, your data is all time stamped and you're not, you're only using 10% of it. Mm-hmm. I mean, If you have to go back to this, it's still there. Right? Right. But the rest of it's available to you anytime, anywhere, any place. Right.

Austin Ringland: Well, even like using that hybrid environment, it's, it's gonna be cheaper because you're, if you can, if you can move what you can into the cloud, like if you have file server, you get a SharePoint domain controller, you just go to Azure ad, but you have that one piece of software on a VM that has to say local.

Yeah. And that's fine, but you don't have to buy that big server anymore. Right. You can buy a

Duane Taylor: small box scaled down server.

Austin Ringland: Right.

Jason Null: That'll just run that one piece of software. Yep. Yeah, that might be some of the other side of it too, is just having a piece of software that you have no choice but to run onsite.

And sometimes you can run in cloud, but I mean, sometimes it's just easier to let it run. Right. Sometimes we, sometimes you can move it to a pc. Yeah. You know, just back, we've done that a lot. Yeah. You back up the pc. Right. You know, great. There's great backup tools for computers. Just let it run on something very cost effective.

Get a laptop, put it in the corner. It's got a battery in it, so it's got battery backup. Yep. And it's just running something and it's just used. Even maybe for a legacy application that you just need because the QuickBooks or something. Mm-hmm. Something where you don't need it on a massive server. You're running QuickBooks in a cloud, but you didn't bring your old data with you and you just need it for, you just need that laptop to run for seven years.

Right. And then it can go away forever. So definitely. There's creative ways to be hybrid. There's creative ways to get your current data in the cloud to keep costs down. You know, there's, it's great to find a good managed service provider like us, right, that can think like that. It's not like this is your only solution you're going to cloud.

I don't care how much it costs. Right? Right. That's not the ideal solution. It is ma. It is truly finding solutions for partners to work with that they have. Sometimes you have to force 'em to the cloud. Sometimes you have to force 'em here and there, but that's what we're here for. That's what our expertise are for, to help guide them, to help keep their costs down, to give them savings and give 'em reliability.

Yeah. The only

Adam Ringland: forcing we do is when it comes to security, that's one of the like, sorry. Yeah. We're not gonna be nice.

Jason Null: That's for your owns good again, that all come. The good thing is, is all the PCI compliance and all the other, you know, cyber insurance, all those are doing that for us today. Yep. Well, I feel like we're, we're not

Austin Ringland: the bad guy anymore.

I feel like cloud and security, like from a customer or a partner learning standpoint is kind of similar of where. Obviously you want to increase your security after you get breached. That's a kind of common thing for a partner. They get breached. It's reactive. You're right. But it's, it can be the same thing for the cloud.

Like, you know, one of our partners, tire server went down, everything was down. And I, I was thinking, and he was thinking like, man, if a domain control and the, and just phones were up, wouldn't be, this situation wouldn't be

Jason Null: 10 times better right now. Yep. That's very true. Just thinking about what, what did it take just to make sure we can run.

Yeah. And those two, that's, that's small. That's nothing to put in the cloud. It's Right. Right. You know, so, yeah. I mean, that's, that's what we're here for. That's what our partners come to us for. That's what they have our, our, our expertise are in. Mm-hmm. We can help leverage them, whether they're full cloud, right.

They're hybrid, you know, whether we want legacy pieces and how do we get there and how do we take 'em to the next level and how do we help them grow their business? So they can scale and they continue to be profitable easily. Yep. And that's a cloud. The cloud's a cloud and that's, that's a wrap, right?

The cloud's a wrap. Cloud. I mean, cloud. It's a cumulus. It is. I mean, it it has definitely changed. It has changed computing forever. Yep. It has changed our markets forever. And like I, you're gonna be sitting here someday tune and you're gonna be like, back when we used the cloud, I know. Now it's called the universe.

I know. You're,

Austin Ringland: you're always like, You always like giving me a hard time with all these like hard things used to do and I'm just like, I'm glad I wasn't

Jason Null: doing. Yeah,

Duane Taylor: I like, we wish we didn't have to do a meeting.

Jason Null: Cool. You guys have it so easy. We had to lift servers. You guys don't have to do anything. We had beep beepers.

The cloud is so light. We had beepers. Yeah, we had beepers. Yeah, things have definitely changed. So, well I just wanna thank everybody again for tuning in. You know, next time on episode seven we're gonna talk about data management. How we manage data, whether it's obviously in the cloud or on premise, or even just on mobile devices today.

I mean, things have obviously, again, another market that has changed. Continue to follow us head over to to catch up on all the previous episodes. Obviously if you have some kind of cool pod catcher, I'm sure you can, you can catch it with that. Pod catcher. Pod catcher. You know, we got blogs coming, checklists, all kinds of guides up there, so feel free to do that.

Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, you know, I'm sure that tuna, you have all those. I know. I don't have any of those. So what are the Facebook, what are those? They're cloud things. They're cloud things. They're things in the cloud that we just don't, I don't use that cloud stuff. Please tell me what Twitter is.

Twitter's the best actually. What are we using Twitter for? Scratch Mastodon. Where's our Mastodon server? No, I mean, come on. That's, that's it. Right now. Everybody's moving a MAs. To Don. Gotta get our name space. So, but thanks again. They're due Pump. Did you promote our MySpace page? Oh yes. MySpace, please like us on my, we need more friends on MySpace.

I mean, we've only got Tom right now. MySpace is, it's only like us and one other guy. So if you guys could all come to MySpace, it is, the cloud is growing and because it's in the cloud, it'll never go away. So thank you again. All right. Thanks guys. Thanks.