When we pitch our managed services offering to potential clients, we sometimes get asked why Managed Services Providers (MSPs) are even necessary. Doesn’t AWS manage everything already? The short answer: not really! MSPs reduce your operational burden and allow you to add considerable value to your business. Let me explain why MSPs are an essential partner:
AWS has limited responsibility
Yes, AWS takes away a lot of the so-called heavy lifting. They do this by managing all the physical infrastructure and providing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). They also go further up the stack and provide you with a managed Microsoft SQL Server (RDS) for example, or a managed NFS (EFS) in what we call Platform as a Service (PaaS). They even offer Software as a Service (SaaS) tools like QuickSight, which is a competitor to the likes of Tableau and Power BI. But there are very clear boundaries between what they do and don’t manage for you.
As you can see in this image of the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, everything in blue is the sole responsibility of the customer. That would be you! And what a huge responsibility it is: I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories of companies misconfiguring AWS services and leaking confidential data or getting hacked. Or running up their cloud bill to insane amounts in days. Unfortunately those stories are true.
When pitching our Managed Services Offering to prospects, we sometimes get the question why they would need an MSP. Isn’t AWS managing everything already? In this article I’d like to debunk the biggest Cloud Myth: no, AWS does not manage everything, and yes, an MSP will add considerable value to your business. Not in the least because it allows you to focus more on that business, and less on the operational burden of your cloud environments.
You need trained brains
You can see why you would need the proper expertise to adequately manage your AWS environments. Sure, your developers can write your CloudFormation or Terraform code and make sure everything works. But your AWS doesn’t just need to be developed: it needs to be managed. At this point you have two options: either hire and train the staff you need to support and manage your AWS environments, or make use of an MSP.
We find that customers often have a very hard time finding skilled engineers, as there is a high demand for AWS profiles on the market. Keeping them on board once they’re trained is another challenge (recruiters are vicious!). To fully manage an AWS environment around the clock while providing good working conditions for your employees and accounting for the occasional absence, you’ll probably need a team of at least four engineers. Even if you don’t really have enough work for them to do.
The big advantage an MSP has is scale. Instead of all our customers implementing their own services 24/7, we provide them. And instead of hiring, constantly training and retaining qualified engineers, we’ve already got them on board. The service an MSP provides is in most cases cheaper than staffing your own operations, and you no longer have to worry about finding and keeping the talent you need.
Your MSP has got you covered
There are other benefits too: MSPs implement and operate your AWS presence in a Well-Architected way, and offer traditional services like monitoring, a service desk, backups and patching. They also make sure you don’t spend too much and advise you on architectural decisions. Not only will they help define a deployment strategy, they will be your developers’ best friends in a true DevOps kind of way. And last but not least, they’ll keep your environment secure, preferably by using a Cloud Security Posture Management System.
MSPs are trusted partners. We can be yours! To find out more, feel free to get in touch with us.