Server or No Server?
MSP technology is at a point where a business that isn’t massive can still have the same processing ability as corporate juggernauts. Additionally, those corporate juggernauts can expand their computational processing such that optimization solutions save millions of dollars annually–and in some cases, the same sums are saved through even smaller intervals. The reason this is possible is something called “serverless computing”, but you may know it by another term: the cloud.
Cloud computing actually uses servers. The “serverless” term comes in reference to businesses using the cloud. They don’t operate a server; the cloud provider does that for them. If you’re unfamiliar, cloud computing puts servers in an array so that their combined power is exponentially greater than the singular power of individual servers. Look at your computer screen. You’re not looking at one image, you’re looking at an image that is a composite from thousands of “pixels” that each carry a bit of information. You can see it if you look really closely at your screen. Well, think of cloud computing as though each server were an individual picture, and you kind of get the idea.
Why It’s Important to Make the Switch
Now, many MSP technology providers have yet to make a switch to the cloud. Sometimes, they act as a middle-man between a cloud provider and clients. While this is a sustainable model, they’re still running their own server arrays internally. As technology companies, this is more sensible for an MSP than most traditional businesses who need that kind of information today. However, it’s still needlessly expensive. Consider the minimum costs of a small server array that consists of only a dozen machines. Those machines aren’t going to be less than $2k per machine, and they’re not going to last longer than five years. If you want to be cutting-edge as a tech professional, you’re likely going to want to upgrade devices every three years or so. You might get five years out of the servers, but it could impact the level of service you provide to clients. So at that rate, you’re looking at a minimum of $48k over three years or about $16k a year.
Now, that doesn’t take into account the cost of shipping, storage, maintenance, backup or troubleshooting. You’ve got the personnel for all these things, but the time they spend managing operations is still going to cost you, and it will diminish the number of clients your MSP can successfully handle.
If you’ve got those 12 servers split up between multiple data centers, over time, the speed at which they interface with one another will additionally decrease as data redundancies pile up. So, another recommendable feature of serverless computing for MSPs is expedited data access, transferral, and utilization.
You Can’t Rely on a Static Level of Technology
Additionally, your MSP needs to keep in mind that technology isn’t static. You’d think this is a “par for the course” consideration among MSPs, but it isn’t. Oftentimes, an MSP will find a niche of service provision and stagnate in that area, perpetually treading water until they become obsolete. If you want to remain relevant as a services organization in the technology realm, you must continue to upgrade not only your service provisions but the technology that silhouettes your operational infrastructure.
Something else to consider is the competitive edge. Your competition is definitely going to jump on the bandwagon of the latest technology, and if you’re lagging behind with on-site server solutions, you’re likely going to lose clientele. Plus, you’ve got a bunch of antiquated servers you have to dispose of as you realize your error and feverishly work to update your business.
The best solution is to get into a practice of regularly updating your service provision. Today, if you’re not using serverless solutions like the cloud, you’re already about a decade behind. Such solutions offer:
- Expedited data transferral and processing
- More cost-effective operations
- Increased security
- Increased processing power
- Increased competitiveness
An MSP technology business that doesn’t pay attention to this reality will lag behind. If you haven’t upgraded your operations, now may be the time to do so.