Clearpath Insights: Managed Services | Cloud Services | IT Solutions

Partnering for Success with AWS

APN Channel Partner resized 600Many of you know that Clearpath partnered with Amazon Web Services starting in early 2013. We did this because our customers were already using the AWS platform, asking us for integration assistance, and pushing the envelope of hybrid cloud. Prior to our partnership with AWS, Clearpath delivered managed cloud services through our managed services division, Clearpath hosting. Clearpath hosting - a sister company to Clearpath Solutions Group, was founded in 2008 and originally launched as a private cloud computing service provider, with bolt on managed services for clients hosted in our cloud. In June 2013, Clearpath hosting was renamed to Clearpath Cloud Services (CCS), a division of Clearpath. CCS now provides managed services on the Amazon Web Services platform as well as our own private label VMware vCloud environment. We also deliver comprehensive managed services through our Clearpath Select platform – which is run out of CCS.

Since we started down this route, there are two questions that I hear regularly.

1. Why did you partner with AWS?
Many of our clients have indicated a desire to migrate some portion of their infrastructure to Public Cloud – but lack the internal resources to make this shift. Migrating to AWS is not as simple as transferring virtual machines to the cloud – there are implications in networking, performance, site-to-site connectivity, and application architecture. This is where Clearpath comes in – as an Advanced Consulting Partner, we help our clients with these initiatives, avoiding costly mistakes, downtime, or negative impact to your business.

2. Why would I work with Clearpath when I can work directly with AWS?
When you purchase services direct from AWS, your customer support also comes from AWS. To say that AWS Support can keep up with the volume of requests they receive – would be generous. There are a lot of very smart people over there, but there’s a ready acknowledgement that AWS wants its channel to scale and provide support.

In addition to basic support -we’re also offering Clearpath Select services for Amazon – this includes performance monitoring, tuning and support for infrastructure hosted in AWS.

Expertise - Clearpath has extensive expertise in Amazon Web services. We have a dozen certified architects on staff and we’ve helped our clients migrate to a hybrid cloud architecture with AWS for with offerings such as infrastructure as a service, disaster recovery, and backup to cloud. Our entire operations staff is trained on Amazon’s technical platform. We provide tier 1 service for AWS customers, with a guarantee for live person on the phone within 60 seconds of placing a call to Clearpath for AWS support.

This expertise enables us to help our clients integrate traditional technology infrastructure inside the data center with hybrid cloud infrastructure inside of AWS. Using this approach we’re able to help our clients save money on infrastructure and operations. Using this approach, our clients can deploy new applications much faster than before, with more efficiency and at lower costs.

Ideas- One of the benefits of AWS partnership is that we have more tools “in our bag” to solve complex business problems. We recently engaged with a client who was replicating their data center to a location in the pacific northwest – the cost in terms of time and money for upkeep on this solution was astounding. Clearpath proposed a new disaster recovery architecture that leveraged AWS for compute, and enterprise storage for replication. The net result produced cost savings in both capital and operating expense.

Clearpath recently engaged with another customer to design a scalability solution that leveraged not only traditional infrastructure, but also Amazon Web Services VPC, Direct Connect, CloudFront and Cloud Formation. The end result was that the client received a workable scalability solution at a significantly lower cost. The architecture integrated with their existing technology. This was a win for everybody.

AWS is staffing levels and client engagement methodology don’t always allow them to engage with customers to this detail. Furthermore, Clearpath’s specific expertise with on premise technology enabled us to design a solution that leveraged the client’s existing technology, training and investments.

Support - Traditional AWS support can leave something to be desired for certain end-users. Clearpath provides not only tiers 1 &2 for support escalation, but we also provide managed services beyond AWS standard services.

Clearpath Select is a managed service designed to provide SLA reporting and monitoring, operating system support and maintenance, and service provider escalation services. Beyond that, Clearpath Select provides an extension of your team. We provide you with a virtual bench of highly trained engineering resources to support you with major and minor projects such as updates new deployments or overall systems redesign.

I’ve included a sample service breakdown here: 

Clearpath Select Sample Services resized 600

You can find more information about Clearpath Select here.

Cost Optimization – Another area where can really help our AWS clients is cost optimization. We have the ability to analyze invoices, determine the most effective use of resources, employee phenomena such as reserved instances and storage commits to reduce the clients overall bill. We also have expertise with CloudFront S3 and Glacier in determining how your application architecture and placement of data affect the overall invoice.

We’re also able to extend discounting to customers over and above what AWS may have available traditional infrastructure and major projects. Contact us for more information on this.

My next blog post will talk about specific use cases and specific architectures that Clearpath has developed and that is offering to that AWS userbase as a whole

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