Those who implement cloud computing in general, and AWS in particular, are often confused by the role that managed services providers play. Cost and simplicity are driving the movement to leverage AWS through managed services providers as enterprises look for more ways to consume AWS services. These services are easier to mix and match with existing applications, and provide a better and more effective way to leverage AWS.
Managed services providers can place a well-defined layer of infrastructure, management, and governance between the cloud provider, in this case, AWS, and those who consume AWS as a managed service. Managed service providers get enterprises on-boarded quickly to AWS, and avoid initial issues that many enterprises encounter when going directly to AWS.
What’s more, managed services providers offer another layer of support, including guidance around on-boarding applications, and other best practices you should employ. Proactive monitoring of AWS services, including working around outages and other infrastructure issues, allows to you maintain an uptime records far better than if you leverage AWS directly.
The management of costs is another benefit, including the ability to monitor the use of resources in terms of cost. You can monitor the utilization of resources, and model the cost of levering these resources over time. Or, even monitor cost trends, and predict AWS costs into the future for budgeting and cost forecasting.
Managed services providers typically offer security and governance capabilities, which can augment the governance and security capabilities of AWS. This means you can set polices and implement security that spans your AWS and non-AWS applications.
The value of leveraging managed services providers as a path to AWS comes down to a few key notions:
First, it gives you the ability to remove yourself from having to deal with AWS directly. Managed services providers can quickly set up your environment, and manage that environment on your behalf. This means quicker time-to-value, and more business agility as well.
Second, you have the ability to monitor costs more proactively. There are no big billing surprises at the end of the month, and you have the ability to do better cloud expenditure planning.
Finally, AWS is only part of your infrastructure. Typically, you need to manage services inside and outside of AWS. Managed services providers allow you to manage both traditional applications, as well as those hosted in AWS and other public cloud providers, using the same management, security, and governance layers.
As time moves forward, I suspect that more enterprises will turn to managed services providers as a way of moving to AWS in a managed AWS capacity. The lower risk and lower costs are just too compelling.