Just for this blog post you can call me John.  I’m a hardware lover, Lord King of IT Infrastructure for my company.  When I hug it, I do get reciprocal love right back – from the storage frames to the blade servers.

I’m the “as-a-Service” machine for my company behind our firewalls.  I’ve watched a parade of Public Cloud vendors grace my conference room with their crafty UI demos, all the while sitting on the same hardware stack I own.  There’s nothing they can do, that I can’t emulate in my Private Cloud.  Yes, to my CEO, we have Cloud – as he tells me about what his fellow executives peer shared with him during their last round of golf at the country club.  But, I do have a confession, once you go Hybrid Cloud, you never go BACK….

Once I envisioned, created and managed the world’s greatest Private Cloud, I started thinking about all the things that I manage that, well, actually suck.  Not to mention how these chores pry open the window allowing CAPEX dollars to fly out.  Actually, it dawned on me one day while I was on a hardware vendor paid, boondoggle somewhere. Here’s my rundown or list of activities (garbage) that I was going to offload to a Public Cloud provider:

File Sharing- I used to spend millions of dollars procuring file servers, networking and shipping these bad boys to my global offices.  FAIL.  Why not allow my users to securely sign-in, upload and share their files at will.  This makes them more productive, plus I look like a rock star for the ROI savings.  Vendors like Box.com, Microsoft SharePoint Online and Citrix ShareFile can handle this business function from me.

Office Productivity- I’ve been on the Exchange/SharePoint sauce for an awful long time.  I starting thinking, what if instead of buying Cloud point solutions, I could invest in a platform that had all the functionality for one monthly OPEX – a per user volume cost?  Turns out the two main flavors are Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365.  They offer video chat, email, calendar, SharePoint, file sharing, instant messaging and document collaboration in one package.

DR- What I quickly discovered that while managing my own Private Cloud is sure fire, sexy times, owning DR during a disaster isn’t where it’s at.  I have no desire to build a one-for-one match between my production and DR environments.  I want my whole virtual environment sitting cold at a Cloud provider, except my daily change rates coming over my MPLS wire.  It’s on them to manage the failover/failback to my primary data center.  I’ve found vendors such as nScaled, Windstream, CenturyLink and Peak 10 that can provide amazing DR-as-as-Service.  As Mr. Chow said in The Hangover, DR is “NOT MY PROBLEM!”

The point is you can actually have it all.  I was a fool for keeping everything in my own fiefdom for so long.  I can have the latest toys every three years from Cisco, EMC, VMware, Nimble, etc.  I also have amazing cover now with executive management.  The fact is, I’m protecting the crown jewels of the business with our (MY) Private Cloud, while offloading the activities that are primarily support functions for the business – and not revenue making.

To learn more about CDW cloud solutions, go to CDW.com/cloud

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