To IaaS or Not to IaaS…That’s the Question for Today’s Organizations

The advantages of moving to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions are well documented, spurring continued growth in this area of cloud technology. For 2017, Gartner research predicts that IaaS spending will grow by 36.8% to $34.6 billion.

Any technology solution has benefits and potential drawbacks, of course. With IaaS solutions, organizations can enjoy flexibility, lower costs, faster service and better business agility. Balanced against these advantages are potential data security and privacy concerns, business disruption and changes in architecture and processes.

Organizations considering a move to IaaS solutions need long-term thinking. What criteria should a company use to determine if an IaaS solution is the right decision for its current and future business needs?

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Joint input from both IT and the business decision makers

As with most technology buying decisions, astute enterprises solicit input from both the IT and business points of view. When deciding to move to IaaS, examine an organization’s overall big picture goals and make sure the ultimate decision lines up with both IT and business strategies. From the IT side, the decision-making process takes into account not only costs, but should also include enterprise-wide considerations, such as the value of business agility and rapid go-to-market capabilities. On the other side, business units should look at whether a solution fits into the existing IT infrastructure, thus minimizing implementation costs and overall disruption, as well as thinking about new capabilities or competitive advantages.

Spiceworks research shows that IT and business owners often work in sync “to create a tech-decision duo.” Each side brings its unique perspective to the decision-making process. For example, IT researches compatibility with existing technology, implementation considerations and recommends optional solutions. The business side, which usually holds the purse strings, takes into account practical solutions, but also seeks innovation and technology advantages that will push the business forward.

Bottom line: IT brings deep insight to the buying decision and provides valuable input throughout the purchasing process. Meanwhile, the business unit looks at overall company strategy and adding a distinct point of differentiation, as well as improving customer service.

To learn how IaaS impacts areas throughout the enterprise, check out this post.

Build a trust with your IaaS Provider

An important part of any IaaS adoption is to have confidence in the chosen IaaS solution provider. Implementing an IaaS solution is not as simple as procuring additional processing or storage capability. Smart organizations also want a reputable IaaS partner that maintains the same levels of compliance, privacy and security when handling and storing customer data. Any agreements for IaaS solutions should include provisions for data privacy, security and governance that line up with the purchaser’s requirements.

Vendor lock-in is always a concern, too. Before signing the dotted line, determine how easy (or how difficult) it would be to migrate data and applications back to on premise or to another provider if the service level agreements are not maintained or costs no longer make sense. Take care to engage with an experienced IaaS provider who will work with you in the long term, particularly as business needs change.

Impact on in-house IT staff and resources

Saving on IT costs is one of the biggest advantages of an IaaS solution. However, most organizations will still maintain an IT staff that is responsible for managing the apps and determining how data are handled—either in-house or through the IaaS vendor or a combination of the two.

Organizations should consider which apps will move to the cloud, how application development and testing may have to be modified, and how new disaster recovery processes may affect liability and compliance. Keeping only core functions on premise enables the purchaser to focus on what’s most important to the business, while allowing the IaaS provider to manage capacity and handle more routine applications.

Cloud services must enable an organization to consume the right amount of the right IT services, on demand and at the right time. The ability to scale up or scale down is extremely important. An advantage of IaaS solutions is not having to worry about having too much or too little hardware on site as the business needs fluctuate seasonally, or even day-to-day.

Another important check point is to make sure the organization’s internal data communications resources allow adequate access to data and apps to and from the vendor site. It’s a real problem if internal and external clients can’t access IaaS because of internal internet service outages or clogged data pipelines.

Still on the fence? Check out Data Center Basics, Comparing Costs and Security.


Two questions to consider are “how much is it going to cost” and “what’s the pricing structure?” When purchasing IaaS solutions, determine if pricing will be pay-by-use or on a monthly subscription. Think about surcharges that occur during peak times, which can be costly depending on the type and timing of business transactions. A “try before you buy” pilot program is a good option to help a purchaser determine what it’s like to work with an IaaS solutions provider.

Have budget constraints? See how NEC Financial Services can fund your IT needs.

IaaS is not just outsourcing

Making the move to an IaaS solution involves more than a simple shifting of IT assets. The process affects an organization’s data and applications architecture, and will change the way IT work across all business and support functions. IaaS solutions impact security, compliance, customer service and even insurance policies, so these business components must be taken into account when making the move to IaaS.

Developing a strong relationship between the solutions partner and the purchasing organization can help ensure success of an IaaS implementation. Consider which applications to outsource and which to maintain in house. Take into account the organization’s big picture business strategy. Finally, to secure the best solution and provider for their organizations, wise IT and business decision makers need to work together to balance the benefits with any potential challenges.

Want to learn more about IaaS and high security data solutions? Check out this recent post.

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Decisions based by expert insight increase the probability of more successful outcomes.  This is why we at NEC are pleased to offer you Achieving High Availability In UC, an informative ebook/white paper by communications and security consultant Gary Audin, president of Delta, Inc.


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In addition to a comprehensive look at unified communications (UC) and the importance of system availability, this 22-page report also examines the key components needed to put together and sustain a UC-enabled communications environment.
Insight ranges from:

  • UC types
  • Downtime costs
  • Availability verses reliability to UC data center creation
  • Certification
  • Approaches and solution comparisons

This free offer will help you to educate your stakeholders on how best to deliver a 24×7 solution capable of supporting today’s need for ongoing business continuity and connectivity.. It also serves as a reminder that when backed by NEC, your organization can more readily realize the benefits of an UC-enabled workplace.
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Excellent Turnout for the 2012 NEC Advantage Executive Conference

Last month, more than 500 NEC channel partners, consultants and representatives gathered at the Saddlebrook Conference Center near Tampa, Florida for the 2012 NEC Advantage Executive Conference. An annual event, the conference is designed to reinforce NEC’s channel-management strategy and introduce the company’s solutions and product roadmap for the current fiscal year.

NEC's Jay Krauser discusses UNIVERGE Cloud Services at the 2012 Advantage Executive Conference.“The Empowered Workforce” was this year’s conference theme, consistent with NEC’s presence earlier in the year at Enterprise Connect 2012 in Orlando. NEC highlighted technologies that respond to today’s evolving workforce, which is highly social, more mobile and accustomed to on-demand communications. Throughout the three-day event, channel partners attended demos, training and breakout sessions for various solutions within the NEC UNIVERGE® family of products, including 3C, the SV8000 platforms, Cloud Services, Unified Communications for Enterprise (UCE) and Unified Communications for Business (UCB).

A few of the opportunities and topics discussed throughout the event included:

  • Communicating and collaborating in the cloud
  • Getting started with UNIVERGE 3C™
  • SV8000 migration strategies
  • SMB & vertical-specific solutions

NEC partner sponsorships help make the Advantage Executive Conference possible.Additionally, the Innovations Showcase included exhibits from other technology partners as well as NEC divisions, including NEC Financial Services, NEC Document Solutions and NEC Corporation of Japan.

“The Advantage Invitational showcases NEC’s direction, products and industry in an engaging, social environment,” says Larry Levenberg, channel sales marketing vice president, NEC Enterprise Communications Technologies.  “The goal is for our channel dealers and consultants to build relationships and hopefully leave with valuable, relevant information that will help make their business more productive throughout the year.”

In addition, 10 channel partners also received the NEC Sales and Marketing Leadership Award during the conference. The annual award has been established to recognize dealer organizations that have made significant achievements in sales, marketing and/or community initiatives. Dealer organizations are nominated by their NEC account managers. This year’s award recipients include:

  • Armstrong Telecom (Binghamton, NY)
  • Parallel Technologies (Dublin, Ohio)
  • TeleCom Business Solutions
  • Matrix Communications (Plymouth, MN)
  • KKWorx, Inc. (Naperville, IL)
  • Digital Telecom, Inc. (Van Nuys, CA)
  • Black Box Network Services (Northwest)
  • NATG (Abbotsford, BC)
  • Empire Communications (Windsor, ON)
  • Scharfstein, S.A.(Santiago, Chile)

While the Advantage conference is designed for both consultants and dealers, NEC hosted a conference for customers a few days later. The 2012 NEC Customer Technology Expo (CTE) was held May 20-23 at the same location.

OpenFlow Happenings: join us to learn about this transformative technology


Awareness of the benefits of OpenFlow continues to grow, and the ProgrammableFlow team will be making a number of appearances in the next few weeks to participate in the discussion.  We would love to have you join us.

First off, take a moment to follow our new Twitter handle at

Samrat GangulyLive this week from where it all began – the Clean Slate Program, in conjunction with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) hosted the Open Networking Summit 2011, October 17-19 at Stanford.  The sold-out program featured tutorials on OpenFlow/SDN for engineers, and NEC’s Chief Network Architect, Samrat Ganguly, was a featured speaker on Tuesday, from 2 p.m. to 3:30pm, on the topic of “Redefining Network Virtualization for Cloud and Datacenter Networks with OpenFlow”.  NEC and IBM demonstrated how OpenFlow can be used to build high performance, open, data center fabrics.  The ProgrammableFlow switch and controller were featured in a number of other demonstrations.

October 25 is the OpenFlow Symposium, streamed live via Packet Pushers from the Doubletree Hotel in Silicon Valley.  In addition to NEC, panelists include Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Big Switch and Juniper.  From 10 a.m. – 12a.m. will be a business discussion around practical and applied OpenFlow Networks, and then from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. will be a technical deep dive, again with a representative panel including NEC.   Both sessions will be archived at  This event is also sold out.


On October 27th, NEC will be hosting a dozen bloggers at our Santa Clara facility.  We’ll be reporting more later on this, and for sure you will be reading about us in the days to come.   Check out this link for Tech Field Day, which will be filmed live, and tweeted at length—you may want to add some of these Twitter feeds to your Follow list:

Finally, I want to tell you about the Advanced TCA Summit, a free OpenFlow seminar planned for Tuesday, November 1 from 8:30-11:20 a.m., also at the San Jose DoubleTreee.  Register at and use the code OPENFLOW.  Chaired by Craig Matsumoto of Light Reading, this free seminar will feature speakers from BigSwitch Networks, Broadcom, and NEC.  I will be addressing “Network Scale Out Using OpenFlow:  the Rise of the Superswitch” from 10:30 a.m. – 11a.m.


NEC and ESnet Present “OpenFlow with OSCARS” at Joint Techs 2011 Event

NEC and ESnet demonstrated network virtualization across wide-area networks at Joint Techs.Samrat Ganguly, Senior Systems Architect, for NEC Corporation of America (NEC) paired off this week with Inder Monga from ESnetat Joint Techs 2011 in Fairbanks, Alaskato present “OpenFlow with OSCARS:  Bridging the gap between campus, data centers and the WAN.” They were demonstrating for the first time end-to-end network virtualization across both LANs and multiple WANs, with the ability to program the network via ProgrammableFlow.  This has implications for both the researchers attending Internet2 Joint Techs, and their ability to connect and collaborate all the way through their networks, as well as enterprises implementing clouds across multiple data center sites in delivering IT services rapidly to their lines of business.

If you aren’t familiar with ESnet, it stands for the Energy Sciences Network, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.  They provide high bandwidth connections that link scientists at national laboratories, universities and other research institutions, as they work together to solve the world’s biggest scientific problems.  Because of our OpenFlow expertise and capabilities, and dating back to NEC’s initial involvement on the Clean Slateprogram at Stanford University, we were invited to work with ESnet on this exciting virtualization and automation implementation.

Even though science networking uses network virtualization today, mismatches still exist between campus networks, HPC data centers and R&E networks.   These typically require manual intervention and limit network control and flexibility.   The presentation from Ganguly and Monga demonstrated end-to-end network virtualization and flow management, making networks much easier to manage and control.

In my experience, enterprise customers need to reduce the time required for network deployment, reduce operational complexity, and enable network level automation in supporting diverse application requirements.  Now, with the open source toolkit supplied by ESnet’s On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System (OSCARS), and ProgrammableFlow, together they will provide the automation and secure network service provisioning that scientists and industry need to maximize the full potential of cloud computing.

Networking researchers and administrators can access OpenFlow’s capabilities on ESnet’s Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI) testbed, using NEC ProgrammableFlow switches to test out advanced concepts in networking.  More information can be found at   The media advisory about Ganguly’s presentation is at

And for those of you who missed our press release announcing ProgrammableFlowat Interop, learn more about our award-winning Network platform based on OpenFlow at NEC website, or call today 866-632-3226 to set up at test of ProgrammableFlow at your own installation.