Cloud Service

Hi,
  I have a customer who currently owns SBS2003 and he does not wants to keep the server anymore. Instead he wants to move all the files (emails, Files and Documents) to "Cloud Service".
  Can you recommend a reputable cloud service provider? I heard AMAZON and MS AZURE in the past, but that is just about it.

  Preferably I would like to find one vendor for both Email/Outlook/Exchange service as well as File Sharing. Basically a vendor that does what SBS server did in house including backup.

Thanks.
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sgleeAsked:
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Cris HannaCommented:
Azure will allow you to create a domain, store files etc.  And Office 365 gives you email etc.

But before going all in for the cloud, your customer needs to assess what will be the result to the business if Internet is down for a couple of hours or if Microsoft has a service outage for 4 hours
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Chris,

  Is there a published article out there where it documented service outage history?
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Cris HannaCommented:
Not that I am aware of, but it's going to happen no matter what cloud service provider you'd go with.  I'd bet you could Google and find the information.  But the outage could also be your customer's ISP or any number of other links along the way between.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Talking about other Apps such as Quickbooks  or any other 3rd party business apps, can you simply install them on cloud server like you would do on your own server box?
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Cris HannaCommented:
QB offers hosting of their app now.  So do many other apps.  You don't say how many users are involved
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I had more in-depth discussion with my customer.
Here is what they have:
(1) SBS 2003 with 6 user mailboxes. (20GB in total)
(2) MS Office App (Word/Excel/Access/Powerpoint/Outlook)
(3) PeachTree accounting software.
(4) QuoteWerks (Quoting/Order Software that works with PeachTree software)
(5) MS Dynamic CRM software, but they decided to jump the ship and go with ACT software.
 (6) The total data file size excluding Exchange is about 250GB.

 I have talked to Microsoft reps regarding Office 365 Small Business Premium service. It appears that it will take care of MS office software, outlook email service, and synchronizing outlook email/contact/calendar against smartphones.
  So Office 365 Small Business Premium service takes care of my (1) & (2) questions.
  Now I am yet to talk to Microsoft Azure service people to see how much it would cost to rent a virtual file server where I need to install Peachtree, QuoteWerks, ACT software. They are supposed to call me back tomorrow.
 
  It looks like I need a cloud-based File Sever or App server to run all these software plus to keep user files and app files and subscribe to Office 365 for email & office software.

 Any guidance/comments as to what to look for in terms of AZURE Cloud service would be greatly appreciated.
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Cris HannaCommented:
Azure is NOT cheap.   Unless your customer is just really adamant about EVERYTHING being in the cloud, I would recommend Windows Server 2012 Essentials R2 for on Presmises with all our applications and it integrates very nicely with O365.   And I believe it's either August 1st or Sept 1st and the Small Business Plans are going to change a lot and give you more flexibility should the client want more options.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
That is what I would do too.  But my customer is determined to move things to the cloud and made it clear today. Therefore the cost is certainly not my concern.
I just want to get educated as to what kind of cloud service that I need to get for them.
If you can share your experience with cloud service, I would appreciate it.
I guess the system in the cloud would have to have same power as the local file server that I would setup ...
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Cris HannaCommented:
Primarily you will need standard VM's .  Then its just a matter of sizing it.
I would probably do 2 VM.  One for ACT and one for Peachtree/Quotewerks.
http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/virtual-machines/
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
If we want to do it all in one VM, how much memory would you allocate?
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Cris HannaCommented:
I'd want no less than 4GB of RAM for each app.  You should look at the min system requirements for each app and at least double it.  and then you always want some additional RAM for overhead and growth.   You should also check with the vendors to see if they support their apps running on a VM...not all software vendors will support that (or may have different licensing)
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
OK. I will keep that in mind when I talk to AZURE sales person  tomorrow.

Thanks.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I have a test account setup with MS AZURE. So I am going to open up a separate question specific to AZURE setup.

Thanks for your help.
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