Published: April 8th, 2015

Gone are the days when people would hear “cloud” and look up at the sky. Everyone has at least some idea of what the cloud is now. What they want to know is how to use it.

So how are you presenting the cloud to your clients? Are you just selling Office 365 and leaving it at that? Or are you seeing what kind of platforms you can help them leverage in order to really take advantage of the power the cloud offers?

For that, you need to look at a service like Cloud-A, a Canadian company offering “true cloud” services for partners like MSPs.

At its heart, Cloud-A is providing the framework for true cloud architecture. Sounds fancy, right? But really, it’s what you should be looking at for building cloud infrastructure for your clients. Brandon Kolybaba, the CEO and co-founder of Cloud-A, says, “Infrastructure is a utility.”

Which, frankly, is a great way of looking at it.

“Traditional IT infrastructure is expensive, painful to manage and inflexible. We are part of a major global movement that is changing the way IT infrastructure is delivered,” said Brandon. “It’s ‘true’ cloud.”

Brandon and I are going to be talking more about the notion of infrastructure as a utility and the need for better cloud services in Canada. One of the big things that needs addressing is the notion of “true cloud” services.

So what does that actually mean?

It’s essentially offering a completely virtual platform to code whatever services you want into it. The company provides the framework and the tools to do it, and then you put really whatever you want into it: a virtual desktop, file sharing storage, applications, whatever.

Best of all, there’s no lock-in to the service. You pay for what you use and you can pull out whenever you need to. “We don’t do services at all,” said Brandon. “We’re just the infrastructure and network component, but it’s on-demand and there’s no lock-in. It’s a nice model for folks that don’t want to invest in more hardware or don’t know if their customer is going to be there 3 years from now. There’s no risk associated with this.”

And with Cloud-A, you know they’re thinking about security, which is the biggest thing your clients are going to ask you about when it comes to the cloud.

“Security is a hot topic right now, and there are so many different layers to the security conversation,” said Brandon. “We’ve taken a different approach than the VMWare community, where you just install software on hardware and off you go. You can make some egregious security errors that way. Ultimately, you have to be security experts to do what we do. We lock everything down by default, we open what you need for what you need it for, and then we monitor the hell out of it.”

Cloud-A is particularly well-designed for MSPs in Canada that want to bring their clients into the cloud.

If you’re in the States, there are a lot of growing options for cloud architecture, but in Canada, your options are a little more limited if you really want to a) experience true cloud capability and b) stay on Canadian soil, as many businesses need to do. There are a LOT of regulations that many industries here in the Great North face in regards to data storage, and that’s why Canadian companies are having trouble really moving into the cloud.

Cloud-A works entirely in Canadian data centres and with Canadian tools, so there’s no chance of them ever being affected by something like the Patriot Act. They’re also looking towards expanding further cloud service across all of Canada in the near future, getting ahead of the wave that we all know is coming.

Ultimately, Brandon and the team at Cloud-A have seen the writing on the wall. They know that traditional IT infrastructure is a clunky old fossil taking up space that businesses can’t afford, and the cloud is calling out to everyone across the world. They’re setting up the tools to jump on in. Are you going to join them there?

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