Posts made in December, 2015

Are You a Cost Saving Super Hero?

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Azure, Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

  Everyone has the potential to be a cost saving superhero. Have you thought about how to save costs with your IT infrastructure? How often do you thing about saving money when standing up new server infrastructure in your office or school? When you look through the online catalogue for your preferred supplier to get the best price on the hardware, how often to you thing about the hidden costs associated with your purchase? The cost of electricity The cost of ventilation and cooling Back up infrastructure and media The cost of licensing (and the stress of making sure you have got it right) Support staff costs Environmental costs As your need for efficient workloads increases and we demand more from our server infrastructure, that too puts a strain on other budgets to support this.  But that’s OK isn’t it because someone else has to worry about those additional hidden costs. Right ? In preparation for this blog post it has been incredibly difficult to get some real life figures for you to consider, but I am grateful to Ray Fleming at Microsoft Edu in Australia for this very simple table designed to just start the conversation. Consider why IT managers worry about consuming cloud services like Azure IaaS.  Is it because they imagine an open cheque book or an open charge account against their budget.  What about the open ended cost of simply plugging more servers in.  The table shows below that you can run a server in Azure for about the same cost as a light bulb and that includes electricity, software licenses and maintenance. Description KWh rating Electricity cost Cost per day Cost per week Cost per month Standard On Premises Server 0.75 £0.18  £3.36  £23.52 £94.08 100W light bulb 0.1 £0.18  £0.43  £3.02 £12.10 Azure small server  £0.35  £2.47 £9.90* *Basic tier: A1 Server with 1 core, 0.75 GB Ram and 20 GB Disk This simple calculation looks at electricity alone.  How much could you save if you look at the whole picture.  Even if the cost of electricity doesn’t appear on your budget sheet you are demonstrating to the management team that you can think about the entire organisation.  You’ve just become the cost saving super hero. So now think about the cost of your next project and take a look at the Microsoft Azure Cost Estimator Tool. Click on the image to download the tool. You can: Profile your current environment and estimate the cost of your existing workload Prepare a budget forecast for a new service Scan your existing Hyper V or VMWare environment Follow usage patterns for up to a month in order to iron our peak costs Download the tool here and remember there might be even more savings to be made for enterprise users. Talk to the team at AspiraCloud who can get you some pretty nice discounts for a longer term commitment to Microsoft...

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New! Office365 E5 Plan with Cloud Based PBX

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in Cloud, Microsoft | 0 comments

Microsoft have announced availability of the Enterprise E5 plan in the UK for Office365.  This new offering as part of the Office365 plans is bound to be a great opportunity for many small and medium sized businesses to consider a refresh to their telephone systems. Built on the experience of Microsoft’s  Skype know how, the new E5 plan offers everything we have come to expect from Office365 but several additional online services. Host online multi-party HD video and audio meetings, it feels like working together face to face, virtually anywhere.  Nothing new there, but now you can join the power of Skype for Business in to your business model and start saving money. Never miss a meeting It’s easy to meet and connect online from wherever you are on whatever device works best. No travel time, no travel costs. So you can get more done and keep your projects on budget. Meet from wherever you are In the office, on the road, or with a client or supplier? Video meetings can be quick and easy. And an effective way to do business. Schedule ahead or meet on the fly Set up online meetings in advance with Outlook integration, or on the fly with a personalized link for easy join. Your new Office365 Telephone Exchange in the Cloud is here Now you can replace your PBX telephone system with the modern facilities provided by Skype for Business. You can add your own direct lines and set up PSTN calling to your cloud based PBX.  This will allow you to make and receive calls in Skype for Business whilst still managing all the modern call features you expect like call waiting, hold etc. Meeting attendees can dial in to Skype meetings from virtually any device and organizers can dial out to pull attendees in. The dial-in capability is in addition to single-touch join options on PC, smartphone, and browser, and allows people to join an online meeting even in places with no Internet access. So how much will this cost and where can I get it? Pricing for the E5 plan is due to be released soon and it will be available through your Cloud Service Provider (Like AspiraCloud) Keep an eye out for the next post when I will let you know just how much you could save with the Enterprise E5 Plan as part of Office...

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