Shedding Light on AvePoint’s Cloud Strategy

Post Date: 06/07/2012
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“Cloud” for many is probably the buzzword of the year. Whether it’s cloud conventions, seminars, or myriad articles and blog posts in major business and technical publications, the notion of cloud computing is seemingly everywhere. Even on the New York City Subway – I just saw a few advertisements pitching various cloud computing vendors. We’ve all seen the buzz and the hype curves for the cloud. With all this exposure it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by all the subject matter on virtualization, elastic computing, data center consolidation, big data, and more. On top of all this technology and necessary training, there are dozens of offerings from various vendors, and seemingly myriad paths to the cloud an organization can take. This will be the first post in a series about Microsoft SharePoint in the cloud. Today, we’ll cover the higher level strategy and vision the talented team here at AvePoint is taking into consideration when developing products that will live and breathe on this compelling new technology platform. Particularly amidst our announcement today of full support for organizations utilizing Microsoft Office 365 and Windows Azure. As we look at numerous cloud implementations of SharePoint today, we see a healthy mixture of strategies. Each strategy varies greatly depending on the level of commitment to the cloud with which an organization is comfortable. I like to summarize them with this simple image. Those technologies with the most control on the bottom and those with the least control on the top. cloud.png There are countless reasons for an organization to deploy to the cloud with any combination of the above strategies, but regardless, an organization wants to move forward with confidence knowing the option it has selected best fits their specific business needs. One of the compelling scenarios for the cloud and virtualization is this idea that you can deploy a solution transparently on a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD). One minute, the application is running on a machine with Hyper-V, and the next it’s extended into Windows Azure. The cloud allows a user’s story – a beautiful story of agility and elasticity – to change at a moment’s notice. This is the basis for many to make the move to the cloud. This really shines when talking about High Availability and Disaster Recovery scenarios. For example, an organization can have an on-premise farm replicated to a virtual standby within Azure. Because the machines on the cloud are “dormant”, the customer incurs no costs while they aren’t in use. However, in the event of a disaster, the machines spin up and automatically requisition the necessary resources. Productivity continues and the organization runs off of the virtual environment until the physical farm is restored; then the standby farm is put back into its standby state until called again. One question often asked is, “Will your tool be there for me no matter what?” The answer, of course, should be yes. It is this very question we considered when developing AvePoint’s product roadmap for the cloud. Our solutions are built with the understanding that a customer’s workload may exist on premise today, move into a hybrid environment tomorrow, and end up completely virtualized for any number of reasons at any time. Just as their SharePoint deployment is transparent to the end-user, the management tools for it should be just as unified and transparent. DocAve Online for SharePoint as well as our support for Windows Azure Spring Framework provides the same feature rich, enterprise grade toolset all within the same graphical user interface as our on-premises version. So, no matter where you’re managing an on-premise farm, a hybrid scenario utilizing Office 365 as an extranet, or Azure for Infrastructure-as-a-Service, AvePoint can support you.

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